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Awards to be spent on projects in FY 2020 through 2024.

$14 million awarded in Bike and Ped grants by WisDOT for upcoming FY 2020 through 2024.

From WisDOT press release October 14th, 2020:

“Twenty-eight community transportation projects received more than $14 million in funding through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). These projects are designed to strengthen the intermodal transportation system. Awarded projects expand travel choice, strengthen the local economy, improve the quality of life, and protect the environment by supporting non-traditional projects linked to the transportation system.

“Thank you to a broad coalition of representatives from across Wisconsin for helping select projects that will create safer routes to school, stronger communities and more travel options,” Craig Thompson, WisDOT Secretary-designee said. “Trails and paths not only support many uses, they grow local economies and improve the quality of life.”

A Statewide Selection Committee reviews the applications and recommends projects for the WisDOT Secretary approval.  The committee includes representatives from the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bike Federation of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Counties Association,  and WisDOT.

The TAP program received 68 applications to the statewide pool in this program cycle, asking for a total of approximately $48 million. Of those applicants, 28 were selected by the committee and forwarded to the Secretary of Transportation for approval. These projects total $14.15 million (approximately $7 million per year), which dedicates more than 99% of the available funds in this program cycle.

The Bike Fed congratulates those who received awards!

See full list of funded projects here

Bike Fed and Milwaukee Public Schools were awarded a 2023-2024 grant to continue our 15 year partnership providing education and encouragement programs for the MPS community.

Additionally, we are happy to announce we were awarded a 2 year grant for 2021-2022 to continue to support the great work Dane County Safe Routes to School Coalition partners are doing to educate and encourage families in Dane County to walk and bike more! More on that coming soon as we’ll have to hire a new team member to lead that charge.

What is TAP?

Short for Transportation Alternatives Program and is funded through the FAST Act, a transportation funding law signed into effect in 2015. With certain exceptions, projects that met eligibility criteria for the Safe Routes to School Program, Transportation Enhancements, and/or the Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities Program are eligible TAP projects.

  • TAP funds are targeted toward non-motorized, daily utilitarian transportation rather than purely recreational activities
  • TAP is a reimbursement program and are funded 80 percent federally, with a 20 percent local match.
  • ATVs are not permitted on trails funded with WisDOT TAP funds
  • The total funding available for state transportation programs is assigned through the Wisconsin State Biennial Budget.

But what about the 40 projects that were not funded?  On average most states spend about 78% of their federal Transportation Alternatives Program funds on the non-motorized projects the program was created to fund. Our neighbors Michigan and Minnesota spend even more. Wisconsin only spends 50%, which equates to approximately $7 million per year.

What are we doing for you?

The Bike Fed has and will continue to advocate on your behalf that WisDOT and Governor Evers, as well as other elected officials, utilize as much funding as possible to make our state more bike and walk friendly. On October 1st, at the behest of Bike Fed, the Governor’s Bicycle Coordinating Council sent a letter to Secretary Designee Craig Thompson to request WisDOT utilize the entirety of funds available. Bike Fed staff have joined with colleagues on the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, the Wisconsin Non-drivers Advisory Counci (WiNDAC) and the Bicycle Coordinating Council to advocate for Wisconsin utilizing all funds available to make walking and biking better.

Member dues support the time we spend advocating at the state level for improved cycling infrastructure for riders across the state. For more on how the diversion of TAP funding to highway projects has impacted Wisconsin’s national standing as a bike-friendly state, visit our legislative agenda page

Stay tuned for Part Two of this blog for a deeper dive into TAP funding levels and our advocacy work.