With trail usage increasing by as much as 300 percent on some of our state’s most popular trails, the need for additional dollars for trail infrastructure continues to grow. Including an extra $1 million in TAP funding in Wisconsin’s biennial budget will make a significant impact on the number of projects that can be funded.
In 2020 and continuing into 2021, as more Wisconsinites from every corner of the state opt outside, Wisconsin has seen a tremendous growth in biking and walking. While trail usage is on the rise – increasing by as much as 300% on some of our state’s most popular trails – state funding for these important projects has remained stagnant since 2014.
Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding has been frozen at $7.04 million annually since 2014, despite the state’s ability to provide additional federal dollars to the program. In Governor Evers’ 2021-23 proposed budget, he included a much-needed boost of $1 million to TAP funding, which would make a significant impact on the number of projects that can be funded.
In order to meet the demand of communities across the state, TAP funding needs to grow. In the most recent award cycle, the Department of Transportation received 68 applications for trail, walking, and biking infrastructure projects, totaling approximately $48 million in requested funds.
The need for increased funding is there – Wisconsin deserves a budget that answers the call.
That’s why it’s so important that we let members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) know that Wisconsinites across the state support keeping the increased $1 million in TAP funding in the budget. Specifically, we’d like to see JFC:
- Allocate $7 million in federal funds annually for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). TAP funds a broad range of transportation-related activities, including bicycle and pedestrian projects. Wisconsin has opted since 2014 to allocate $7 million in federal dollars annually for TAP.
- Allocate additional $1 million in segregated funds annually for TAP. TAP is not currently provided segregated funding.
- Provide $75 million segregated funds in 2021-22 for a new local multimodal supplemental grant program to provide grants to reimburse local governments for eligible projects, such as local road improvements, local bridges, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and recreational trails.
Join us in letting members of JFC know how important additional funding for trails is to you!