$4 Million in Bike/Walk Projects Approved for SE Wisconsin

Ever get lost on the Oak Leaf Traill? Last week a regional committee approved $4.14 million in federal Transportation Alternative Program funds for 12 grant applications, including a project to add new way finding signs to the Oak Leaf Trail.  The committee voted to fund that project and 11 other projects and programs to improve bicycling and walking in ten southeastern Wisconsin communities.

Table 1 below shows all 15 applications totaling $7.61 million that made it through the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation’s initial scoping process.

Ten communities from the Milwaukee urbanized area sent in 15 applications totaling $7.61 million in projects for the $4.15 million in Federal TAP funding WisDOT has indicated is available to the Milwaukee urbanized area for State fiscal years 2014 through 2018. Click to see a larger table.

Table 2 shows all the projects that will receive funds based on their ranking by the members of the Advisory Committee on Transportation System Planning and Programming in the Milwaukee Urbanized Area, which is coordinated by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC), the official metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and regional planning commission (RPC) for the seven county southeastern Wisconsin area. SEWRPC consists of 21 members, three from each of the seven member counties of Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha.

These are the 12 projects, totaling $4.15 million that made the cut. Click to see a larger table.

There is a total of $6 million allocated for transportation projects to be funded in the years 2014 through 2018 with Federal Highway Administration Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding, MPOs in other areas will make similar decisions for the remaining funds. This process is part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) Federal transportation legislation enacted in 2012 , which created TAP to provide funding for a range of alternative transportation projects. The TAP is intended to be a new, single source of funding for such projects. The Federal TAP funding for the Milwaukee urbanized area incorporates the following two Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) multi-modal Federally funded transportation improvement programs:

  • Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
  • Transportation Enhancements (TE)

Taking into account previous SRTS and TE project commitments within the Milwaukee urbanized area, WisDOT has indicated that a total of approximately $6 million in Federal TAP funding for State fiscal years 2014 through 2018, or less than .2% of our nearly $3 billion state transportation budget.

The SEWRPC committee meeting where the TAP funds for the Milwaukee area were allocated. The Wisconsin Bike Fed works hard to be in meetings like this one, because these decisions affect important projects in communities across the state.

Even though that is just a drop in the bucket, and reports show Americans are driving less and bicycling more, it seems clear communities are going to have to find other sources of money for bicycling and walking projects and programs. With$7.61 million in applications for a pot of $4.14 million, many worthy projects will not be funded and as SEWRPC Executive Director, Ken Yunker, put it “many people will be disappointed.” The bigger picture is that our entire federal transportation system is about to run into the red by August, even the less than one percent of our transportation budget spent on bicycling and walking could be in jeopardy.

This is the projection for when the federal highway trust fund will begin running a deficit.

These grant applications will still need to be signed by Governor Walker, and as we mentioned, the funds are for the fiscal years 2014-2018, so it will take some time before these projects and programs get started.

Stay tuned to our blog and social media for reports on the remaining funds for the rest of the state and updates on the federal transportation funding crisis.

Click here to read the complete agenda for the meeting.


3 thoughts on “$4 Million in Bike/Walk Projects Approved for SE Wisconsin

  1. Is $4 millions for SE Wisconsin and $2 millions for the remainder of the state an equitable distribution? Please remind us how the formula was established and what other sources of non-motorized facilities development exist in the transportation department programs.

  2. WHY in the world would you spend a $144K on a “interactive bicycle mapping application”?? Use this money elsewhere in this bike plan. its a complete waste: expensive and hard to maintain, and hardly will get any significant usage. Please reconsider: There are existing applications that do this and do this a lot better than some home grown 144K application without maintenance plan in place will EVER do! (for example google maps is on basically every mobile device and already does all that is needed: turn on bicycling mode and see all the trails and bike lanes, or find directions and switch to bike mode to find fastest bike route to your destination). In addition, there is community already out there that makes continuously updates google maps with new roads/bike lanes, etc..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *