July 14, 2014

First, I want to remind you that we have another Wellness Webinar next week! Kenyatta Lanier from Wilson County Cooperative Extension will be presenting on healthy food programming and partnerships. Kenyatta has done a lot of great work with getting kids in eastern NC working with and eating produce, and should have some great information to share. Register for this free educational event here.

I was able to attend two great workshops in June: the NC Trails Workshop (hosted by RRS and NC DENR) in Raleigh, and the Navigating MAP-21 Workshop (presented by Advocacy Advance- a partnership of the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking & Walking) in Carrboro. I got to meet many people across NC who are doing wonderful work promoting active transportation in their communities, as well as learn some great information about ways to find funding and resources for these projects. Below are a few resources that I think you might find useful in developing trails and other bike and pedestrian projects:

  • To learn the basics about how bike and pedestrian funding happens, read this primer, and view this report to see how much federal money is planned to be distributed this year for bike and ped projects in NC.
  • Federal funding for bike and ped projects can come from many different sources, only some of which fall under MAP-21. Each of these programs has different eligibility requirements. To see which funds your project is eligible for, try Advocacy Advance‚Äôs Find It, Fund it tool.
  • Despite its name, funds from the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) can be used on any public road- not just highways. This came as a big surprise to many people (including elected officials) that were at the MAP-21 workshop. Representatives from NC DOT said that they often have leftover HSIP money, and encouraged everyone to apply for them. These funds can be used for sidewalks, intersections between a trail and a road, bike lanes, traffic calming, crosswalks, and other safety improvements. If you are looking to increase safety and access to your parks, this funding could be a great resource. Learn more here.
  •  NC DOT distributes most funds from the federal programs, but if your government is in a Metropolitan Planning Organization, the money is usually sent from DOT to be allocated through the MPO. If your local government is part of an MPO, here are some tips for working with your planning department and MPO to get your bike and ped projects included in the Transportation Improvement Program.
  • Finally, good data can help build your case for bike and pedestrian improvements. These databases track past spending on transportation projects. The NC DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Crash Data Tool can help you pinpoint unsafe areas in your neighborhood (which can be used in your application for HSIP funds). And this benchmarking report can show you how your community compares to others around the country on bike and ped infrastructure.

Do you have experience using some of these funding sources for your trail and bike and ped improvement projects? Email me at erin@ncrpa.net with your tips and suggestions.


Erin Crouse
Graduate Assistant, NC Recreation & Park Association
883 Washington St, Raleigh, NC  27605


North Carolina Recreation and Park Association
883 Washington St, Raleigh, NC 27506


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