Funding Projects and Programs

RELATED TOPICS: Plan Development, Design and Engineering Guidance, Performance Measurement

Funding for projects and programs can be a challenge for transportation agencies, and it is often cited as a reason why more projects that support bicycling and walking cannot be implemented. Yet, there is a great amount of flexibility within Federal transportation funding to support pedestrian and bicycle projects. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) identifies 16 different sources of funds across USDOT surface transportation funding programs that can be used to support everything from bike racks on transit vehicles to equipment for counting pedestrians and bicyclists. State agencies are increasingly creating flexible pools of funds to support nonmotorized transportation by giving these modes greater priority when allocating resources.

Funds for bicycle and pedestrian activities are typically administered through government agencies and non-government sources, such as private not-for-profit groups and advocacy organizations. At any level of government, the rules and criteria used to establish agency priorities should ensure that good bicycle and pedestrian projects compete well for funding. Non-government entities may be interested in supporting active communities for a variety of complementary reasons, including: improving health outcomes, promoting conservation efforts, stimulating economic development, providing recreational opportunities, or improving equity through transportation options.


Pedestrian and Bicycle Funding Opportunities lists various sources of Federal funding that can support nonmotorized projects.

Strategies for Accelerating Multimodal Project Delivery identifies techniques agencies have used to promote funding flexibility and create new sources of dedicated funding.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding, Design, and Environmental Review corrects several misconceptions about the availability and applicability of funding for certain projects.

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The Virginia DOT SMART SCALE ensures that project allocations are distributed equitably across different types of projects, especially those supporting bicycling and walking.

The Design-Build Push Button Contract mechanism in Florida allows rapid funding for safety projects to make quick changes without drawn-out project delivery timelines.

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