We request the TAP program be funded at $11.3 million annually in the 2021-23 state budget.
Our organizations represent biking and trail advocates from across the state. We understand that you may be in the final weeks of developing your 2021-23 state budget, but we wanted to follow-up regarding a recommendation from the Governor’s Bicycle Coordinating Council and included in the report from the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change regarding the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). Specifically, we request the TAP program be funded at $11.3 million annually in the 2021-23 state budget.
In their 2021-23 budget request, Wisconsin Department of Transportation proposed keeping TAP funding flat at $7 million annually. However, the need for additional TAP dollars continues to grow. In the most recent award cycle, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation received 68 applications, for a total of approximately $48 million in requested funds. Allocating an additional $4.3 million annually (for a total of $11.3 million annually) to TAP will make a sizable impact on the number of projects that can be funded. Meanwhile, the corresponding reduction to the surface transportation block grant is less than 2 percent of the total funds.
Our ask is to stop diverting dollars meant for Bike and Ped projects to Highway projects. Read more from our past discussion on this funding source and how this affects Wisconsin.
This is just one of the requests included in Bike Fed’s legislative agenda. Staff and Board have been keeping an eye on the budget process, as well as newly elected officials to the state legislature, and working towards building a Trails Caucus with key partners. Bike Fed’s Executive Director Kirsten Finn’s presentation to the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change. was key to ensuring all of our legislative priorities were included in the final report.
Our next step is to wait to see the Governor’s proposed budget expected on February 16th. In the meantime, get out and enjoy some winter riding and we’ll take care of the rest. An Action Alert will go out if any urgent needs arise.
If a new federal transportation bill is taken up by Congress and the new administration things may change on the funding and project front. As always, Bike Fed is in contact with national advocates tracking those trends. If you want to stay up to date and support better biking consider joining as a member today!