One big piece of the MAP-21 puzzle for organizations involved in bicycle and pedestrian programs is Transportation Alternatives. This new section combines existing biking and walking programs, Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails into one program. States can still fund biking and walking infrastructure under the TA program. Eligibility for museums, bike and pedestrian education and historic site acquisition was eliminated.
The Transportation Alternatives Funding Picture
Transportation Alternatives receive a 2 percent set aside of all apportioned funds. This means roughly $17.5 million for the program in New Jersey. Half of the funding will be distributed by population through the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and half will be distributed through the federal competitive grant program. Safe Routes to School is no longer a stand-alone program with guaranteed funding, but both infrastructure and non-infrastructure SRTS projects are eligible under Transportation Alternatives. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the MPO for the northern part of the state, has emphasized their support for Safe Routes to School programs and the effective partnership with the state’s Transportation Management Associations (TMAs).