Blog Entries

Good News, Bad News: Federal Highway Administration Interprets Transportation Bill

by Darren Flusche, Policy Director, League of American Bicyclists and Advocacy Advance

The Federal Highway Administration issued guidance today to state departments of transportation on the Transportation Alternatives Program (TA) — a key piece of the new federal transportation bill, MAP-21. The guidance provides specifics for state agencies and resolves any ambiguities in the complex legislative language.

Today’s release is just the basics — an “interim” guidance. We expect more comprehensive guidance to be issued later in the fall. But here’s the good and bad news for bicyclists and pedestrians.


Good news:

Transportation Alternatives (TA) maintains local control over biking and walking funds, preserving the original intentions of Senators Cardin and Cochran.

Safe Routes to School coordinators are eligible under TA.

The DOT will provide a model MPO and State Grant process.

Nonprofits, while not eligible to receive funds, can partner with other eligible entities.


Bad news:

SRTS projects are no longer 100% federally funded.

Bicycling and pedestrian safety and education programs for adults are not eligible.


Next steps: Speak up locally and turn to the larger programs

We can take two clear messages from today’s guidance:


Most of the areas on which we had issued recommendations have still not been determined. We will, of course, continue working at the federal level to advocate for changes to improve funding opportunities for biking and walking projects.

Click here for more from our partners at America Bikes and here for more from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

A Partnership of:
Alliance for Biking and WalkingLeague of American Bicyclists
Supported by:


EveryBody Walk Collaborative

New Belgium

Stay Updated:

We are revamping our communications in the coming months, and would love to keep you better connected with our work.

To sign up for our future newsletters, please fill out this short survey with your subscription preferences.