Trail and active transportation advocates have a one-time opportunity to obtain funding for their trail and bicycle/pedestrian projects.
The current federal transportation funding bill – Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act – gives states a second chance to spend expired grants, or earmarks, that are more than 10 years old. New York State, one of the largest recipients of these funds, has more than $200 million available in expired earmarks, including $18 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
For many trail and active transportation projects across the state, funding is the last hurdle. In the Mohawk Valley, for example, a critical four-mile gap in the Erie Canalway Trail can be completed with just $4 million. This new section of trail will expand the economic, health, recreational, and environmental benefits of one of the nation’s longest multi-use trails to several communities.
To help advocates determine if their trail or active transportation projects are eligible to receive this funding, Parks & Trails New York has put together a resource on our website that not only explains the eligibility requirements and suggests next steps to take, but also includes a map that shows the location of every eligible earmark available for repurposing in New York State.
If you think your local project is eligible and a good match for funding, contact your bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for your Metropolitan Planning Organization and/or Department of Transportation region. Call Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583 if you have questions about this funding opportunity.
New York State must notify the Federal Highway Authority of its decision to repurpose this money by August 29, 2016, so there is no time to waste.
Act now to ensure that funding for your local trail or active transportation project benefits from this unprecedented opportunity!