Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DOT Developments: Veterans and Bike/Ped Improvements

Department of Transportation
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood promoted the Veterans Transportation and Community Living initiative in his blog, the Fastlane. Meant to improve transportation access to community life, employment, services, and care, the funding will be primarily for development and improvement of one-call/one click services. The deadline for applications is Sept. 16, 2011.

Information about the initiative is also available from staff at the National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination.

Bike/Ped Policy Statement

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a policy statement on the eligibility of pedestrian and bicycle improvements for funding under federal transit law - up to a radius of one-half mile for pedestrian improvements and "all bicycle improvements located within three miles of a public transportation stop or station." The FTA declares a "de facto physical and functional relationship to public transportation." Funding for bicycle or pedestrian improvements at greater distances to public transportation may also be eligible for FTA funding if it is demonstrated that "the improvement is within the distance that people will travel by foot or by bicycle to use a particular stop or station." And that's just the FTA's introduction to the statement.

[Snoopy and Woodstock at Minneapolis airport.]

The funding streams that may be used for these improvements include:
Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Program;
Section 5309 New Starts and Small Starts Major Capital Investment Programs;
Section 5309 Fixed Guideway Modernization Program;
Section 5309 Bus and Bus Facilities Discretionary Program;
Section 5310 Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities Formula Program;
Section 5311 Non-Urbanized Area Formula Program;
Section 5311 Public Transportation on Indian Reservations;
Section 5316 Job Access and Reverse Commute Formula Program (JARC);
Section 5317 New Freedom Program; and,
Section 5320 Paul S. Sarbanes Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands.

Other statutory requirements to obtain bike/ped funding specify that the funds be used to "enhance economic development or incorporate private investment; to enhance the effectiveness of public transportation project and relate physically or functionally to that project, or to establish new or enhanced coordination between public transportation and other transportation; and to provide a fair share of revenue for public transportation."

Pedestrian projects may receive up to 90 percent federal share and bicycle ones 95 percent. In terms of bike-sharing programs, bike storage facilities can be funded, but not bicycles.

Free Copyediting

Reading through the document also produced an entertaining moment. The FTA thanked the two commenters who "noted that the word 'complimentary' should be spelled 'complementary.'" And the copyediting was complimentary.