In 2022, Bike Fed is focusing on advancing important trails and projects throughout the state that can make a difference for Wisconsin cyclists.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) includes billions of dollars in competitive funding available to cities, towns, and municipalities across dozens of new and existing programs. This is a once-in-a-generation funding opportunity for Wisconsin to build trail connectors, resurface roads and trails, replace bridges, and increase safety on our streets and highways.

In preparation for these funding grant deadlines, Wisconsin communities need to dream a little about what is possible, prioritize their capital needs, and make sure that projects are included on their MPO’s Transportation Improvement Plan. The Bike Fed is eager to assist and you will continue to see priority projects we are helping to advance featured in our newsletter and on our website in the coming months.

Last week I had the pleasure of introducing Mary Ellen Koontz, Manager of Trail Funding Advocacy for Rails To Trails Conservancy, at the Fox Cities Greenways’ (FCGI) annual meeting. For those who are unfamiliar with FCGI, they are a wonderful organization committed to fostering the development and preservation of trails and greenways in the Greater Fox Cities region. Mary Ellen’s presentation outlined the various programs included in the BIL that will be sources of funding for trails and other infrastructure projects that can improve biking and walking in our state.

You can view Mary Ellen’s presentation to FCGI here.

In a transportation stakeholders meeting last week, WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson reminded us that Congress still needs to vote on appropriations before we will know how much funding will be allocated to Wisconsin. He reassured those in the meeting that WisDOT will recommend to the Joint Finance Committee that Wisconsin utilize the full amount available to invest in rebuilding and improving our transportation infrastructure.

Interested in building new trails or infrastructure in your community, but unsure where to start?

The Bike Fed has partnered with Wisconsin’s Office of Outdoor Recreation, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), and Wheel & Sprocket to help communities navigate the process of bringing new outdoor infrastructure to life. Designed to make starting a new project less overwhelming, The Path to Developing New Trails provides general direction as well as resources for more in-depth guidance.

The call to build better bike networks even made it to Forbes Magazine this week. If you have an idea of how to improve the bike network in your community, consider joining the Bike Fed’s Council of Advocates or sharing your project with our Government Affairs Manager, Alesha Emmert, alesha@wisconsinbikefed.org.