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Other Funding Sources

Finding and Leveraging Funding for Infrastructure and Noninfrastructure SRTS Activities

In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to how children get to and from school as well as where schools are located in relation to the students that they serve. Concern about childhood obesity and related diseases, worries over volatile fuel prices and traffic congestion, and increasingly tighter school budgets have made Safe Routes to School a hot topic at the federal, state and local levels.
Funding sources are available to address pedestrian and cycling routes in a community. Schools and municipalities just have to know how and where to look. The following sources of federal, state and local funding are worthy of consideration when a school or municipality is trying to implement a Safe Routes to School program or activity:
 

Municipal Liquid Fuels Funding

The Municipal and County Liquid Fuels programs fund a range of projects to support municipalities' and counties' construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public roads or streets.
 

Eligible Activities

(only those relevant to bike/ped projects are listed)
  1. Construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public roads/streets or bridges for which the county or municipality is legally responsible.
  2. Culverts and drainage structures.
  3. Acquisition, maintenance, repair, electrification and operation of traffic signs and traffic signal control systems at intersections and/or railroad crossings.
  4. Maintenance on alleys, ways and courts in counties, townships, boroughs and cities provided the municipality can demonstrate it has a legal responsibility for the alley, way or court.
  5. Street lighting in excess of taxes and bridge and interchange lighting.
  6. Minor equipment, equipment rentals or repair parts for road maintenance vehicles.
  7. Road drags and snow fence.
  8. Purchase of PennDOT-approved materials.
  9. Major road and bridge equipment (equipment costs in excess of $4,000).
  10. County engineer's salary and benefit costs for road or bridge work.
  11. Debris removal from the roadway and its gutters and shoulders.
  12. Erection of street name signs, traffic directing signs, and traffic signal control systems.
  13. Brush removal to improve sight distance.
  14. Lane and crosswalk painting and marking.
  15. Cleaning of inlets and culverts.
  16. Certain structures such as salt storage sheds or buildings built to house county or municipal-owned road equipment.
  17. Engineering fees (fees in excess of 10 percent of the total contract price must be documented and justified to the satisfaction of the Municipal Services District Office).
  18. Curb ramps to provide access by individuals with disabilities in accordance with the current ADA and PennDOT standards.
  19. Driveway grade adjustments due to construction or reconstruction.
  20. Liability insurance for road and bridge equipment and vehicles when the named beneficiary is the entity's Liquid Fuels Tax Fund.
  21. Administrative costs to a maximum of 10 percent of that year's total allocation, including benefits, overhead and other administrative charges for county employees directly involved in activities covered by the act.
  22. Indirect engineering and transportation planning costs.
  23. Ferry boat operations, where applicable.
  24. Appraisal fees for infrastructure assets (as required by GASB 34).
  25. Curbs that are part of the drainage system.
  26. Payables for year-end county expenses (should be satisfied within 60 days of year-end).
  27. Inspection costs associated with roadway and bridge structures such as signs, signals, culverts, drainage structures and bridges.
 

For more information:

Since the funds are administered to local governments, questions should be directed to your municipal and county offices. Your PennDOT District Municipal Services Section will also have more information about liquid fuels funding.
 

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Funds

The CMAQ Program provides funding for projects and programs in air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas for ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5) that reduce transportation related emissions.
Pennsylvania's Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) administer programs using CMAQ funds within their regions. Most TMAs are in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas. To find your TMA, visit Ride Sharing.
Examples of eligible projects can be found in The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program Final Program Guidance: CMAQ Improvement Program.
 

Eligibility

Although the TMA decides the most appropriate use of funds, examples (from the CMAQ Program Guidance) of what CMAQ funds may be used for are included below:
Chapter VII – Project Eligibility Provisions
Section A – Project Eligibility: General Conditions
4. Planning and Project Development
  • Studies that are part of the project development pipeline (e.g., preliminary engineering) under NEPA
  • Planning and design for bike and pedestrian projects
Section D – Eligible Projects and Programs
1. Transportation Control Measure (TCMs)
  • ix. Programs to limit areas… to the use of nonmotorized vehicles or pedestrians
  • x. Programs for secure bicycle storage facilities, other bike facilities
  • xi. Programs to control extended idling of vehicles (cars, busses)
6. Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities and Program
  • Constructing bicycles and pedestrian facilities (for transportation)
  • Nonconstruction outreach related to safe bicycle use (education)

For more information:

To find your local TMA and contact information, visit Ride Sharing.
 

Highway Safety Funds

Highway Safety Funds are used to support state and community programs aimed at reducing crashes, deaths, injuries, and property damage.
 

Eligible Programs

(funded with Sections 402 funds)
  • Alcohol countermeasures
  • Occupant protection
  • Police traffic services (e.g. enforcement)
  • Emergency medical services
  • Traffic records
  • Motorcycle safety
  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Nonconstruction aspects of roadway safety
  • Speed control 

Examples from Other States

Section 402 funds have been used to fund several bike and pedestrian safety programs across the country, including the following activities and programs:
  • Comprehensive school-based pedestrian and bike safety education programs
  • Helmet-distribution programs
  • Pedestrian safety programs for older adults
  • Training in use of ped/bike design guidelines
  • Community information and education programs
  • Public information in May (Bike Safety Month) and in September (Back to School Safety Month).
  • Public information for school zone and crosswalk safety
  • Public information about older adults and impaired pedestrian
 

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

CDBG funding can be used for housing rehabilitation, public services, community facilities, infrastructure improvement, development and planning. There are both formula grants and competitive funding cycles.
 

Eligible Projects

  • Acquisition of property for public purposes;
  • Construction or reconstruction of streets, water and sewer facilities, neighborhood centers, recreation facilities, and other public works;
  • Demolition;
  • Rehabilitation of public and private buildings;
  • Public services;
  • Planning activities;
  • Assistance to nonprofit entities for community development activities; and
  • Assistance to private, for profit entities to carry out economic development activities (including assistance to microenterprises).

For more information:

Go to PA Department of Community and Economic Development and email your question in the "Contact Us" page.
 
 

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Grants

DCNR offers grants that help develop and maintain recreational facilities.
General DCNR grant opportunities: Environmental eGrants System
 

Recreational Trails Funding

Provides funds to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail use. Recreational Trails Program Overview: Bureau of Recreation and Conservation
 
 

Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) Funding

Revenue from fines collected at automated red light enforcement cameras is collected and used to fund activities that positively affect highway safety or mobility. Learn more about this program on our Traffic Signals page.
 

Local Funding or Donations

When grants or other sources of funding are unavailable, local sources of funding or donations from private businesses may help to start or continue SRTS efforts in your community.
Local funding or donations for SRTS activities may be available from the following organizations in your community:
  • AAA club
  • YMCA
  • Businesses or nonprofit organizations
  • Fundraisers, such as a 5k walk or race
  • County or municipal maintenance funds for smaller improvements, including the following:
    • Crosswalks
    • Speed bump/table/hump
    • Bike racks
    • Yield to pedestrian channelizing devices (free)
    • Awareness campaigns
    • Walking school buses at the local level

 

Toolbox for Education Grant

Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation offers grant money to schools for basic, one-time project needs. Preference is given to funding requests that have a permanent impact, such as facility enhancement and landscaping/clean-up projects. Read more.

 

Transportation Alternatives Program

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) introduced fundamental changes to the administration of local programs, including those that previously existed as separate programs in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) legislation. Transportation Enhancements (TE), Safe Routes to School (SRTS), Scenic Byways (Byways) and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) are now consolidated into the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).

 

All items that were available through the Safe Routes to School program remain eligible, including:

  • New or reconstructed sidewalks or walkways
  • Pedestrian and bicycle signs or signals
  • Lighting, when there is a clearly demonstrated safety need
  • Transportation projects that achieve ADA compliance, such as curb ramps
  • New or reconstructed off-road trails that serve a transportation need, such as trails that provide connections to schools, parks, or other public places
  • Crosswalk, bicycle lane or sharrow painting
  • Wide paved shoulders
  • Bike parking facilities or bus bike racks
  • Bike share programs (including the purchase of bikes)
  • Shared use paths, side paths, trails that serve a transportation purpose
  • Bike and pedestrian bridges and underpasses
  • Crossing improvements that shorten crossing distance, provide access, and/or primarily improve bicycle and pedestrian safety
  • Traffic realignments, road diets, or intersection changes that improve bicycle and pedestrian access or safety

To learn more about TAP, visit PennDOT's TAP page.

 

PennDOT Discretionary Multimodal Transportation Funding (MTF)

The Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the state.

The program is intended to provide financial assistance to municipalities, councils of governments, businesses, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, rail/freight, and ports in order to improve transportation assets in order to enhance communities, pedestrian safety and transit revitalization. The Department of Transportation ("PennDOT") will administer activities directly initiated or undertaken by it in accordance with these guidelines.

Read more from PennDOT.