DOT makes $44.5 million to improve hike and bike trail connectivity

March 20, 2024

A new federal funding opportunity has been created for communities across the country looking to make it safer and easier for those who walk or bike to get around.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently opened applications for up to $44.5 million in grants through the new Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program, which will focus on building networks of connected bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements, including trail networks between communities.

Active transportation mobility options are those powered primarily by human energy, such as bicycling and walking, and provide positive health impacts, the FHWA said.

Applications will be accepted through June 17.

The program builds on previous efforts initiatives support bicycling and pedestrian projects through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including the Safe Streets and Roads for All Program, the FHWA said. 

“The Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program will support projects that enable people to walk, bike, and roll safely and conveniently to school, work, transit, health care facilities, and other destinations,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program will help communities provide safe, healthy, sustainable, equitable and enjoyable transportation options for all with networks of connected trails.”

Grants will help communities plan, design, and build sidewalks, bikeways and trails that connect destinations such as schools, workplaces, residences, businesses, recreation areas and medical facilities. They will also be provided for projects used for trails, pedestrian facilities, bikeways and other routes that serve as backbones to connect two or more communities, metropolitan regions or states, the FHWA said.

The funding is available for states, local and tribal governments, as well as metropolitan and regional planning organizations. Applicants can apply for more than one grant. 

The grant program directly supports the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization, which calls for safe active transportation networks in communities that enable fewer and shorter car trips. In addition to decarbonization, these investments will also improve local air quality and overall community health, the FHWA said.

Photo by Thomas Loizeau on Unsplash

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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