Policy

Federal Transportation Bill

The federal surface transportation bill funds everything from highways and transit to crosswalks and bike lanes. Thanks to federal transportation law, our country's vast network of highways, railroads, public transportation, walkways, and bikeways stretches from Maine to Minneapolis and Tallahassee to Tucson. 

The transportation bill is traditionally re-written and re-authorized every six years. 

Congress passed a new federal transportatin law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), in June of 2012. The law significantly cuts available funding for biking and walking projects, but also presents an opportunity for Americans to encourage state and local governments to fully utilize available funds to make biking and walking safer and more convenient. 

Shortly after the bill's text was released, America Bikes published a full analysis of the changes to biking and walking policies. View our full analysis here.

Our two-page factsheet on MAP-21 (online herePDF for download here) discusses the changes to biking and walking programs, new funding structures, and eligibility under other federal transportation programs. 

In the past, three programs were designed to fund non-motorized projects: Transportation Enhancements (TE), Safe Routes to School (SRTS), and Recreational Trails Program (RTP). In the last three years, these three programs represented 48% of federal funding for walking and biking projects.

MAP-21 consolidates TE, SRTS, and RTP into into one program: Transportation Alternatives. This new law reduces overall funding levels for biking and walking projects and changes how these funds are distributed for local projects. 

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