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Program Brief

FHWA Contact: Christopher B Douwes, Community Planner
Transportation Alternatives Program / Recreational Trails Program
christopher.douwes@dot.gov; 202-366-5013
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The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) authorized the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to provide funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation; recreational trail projects; safe routes to school projects; and projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former divided highways. MAP-21 also authorized TAP projects under the Surface Transportation Program (STP).

Eligible Projects (23 U.S.C. 213)

  1. Eligible Projects- A State may obligate the funds reserved under this section for any of the following projects or activities:
    1. Transportation alternatives, as defined in section 101.
    2. (The recreational trails program under section 206.
    3. The safe routes to school program under section 1404 of the SAFETEA-LU (23 U.S.C. 402 note; Public Law 109-59).
    4. Planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.

TAP Activities Defined (23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29))

  1. TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES- The term 'transportation alternatives' means any of the following activities when carried out as part of any program or project authorized or funded under this title, or as an independent program or project related to surface transportation:
    1. Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
    2. Construction, planning, and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.
    3. Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users.
    4. Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
    5. Community improvement activities, including--
      1. inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising;
      2. historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities;
      3. vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control; and
      4. archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under this title.
    6. Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to--
      1. address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff, including activities described in sections 133(b)(11), 328(a), and 329; or
      2. reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.; and

FHWA encourages States and regional transportation planning agencies to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth conservation or service corps. See Youth Corps Questions and Answers.

Transportation Alternatives Program: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_alternatives/

Program Guidance: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_alternatives/guidance/

This page links to the Official MAP-21 TAP Guidance, other relevant FHWA procedures, financial management, accessibility, and summaries of State practices. The TAP webpages are consistent with the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) webpages. Some resources applicable to the RTP may be labeled as TAP, and some resources applicable to TAP may be labeled as RTP. These programs can and should work together toward common goals. TAP and RTP program managers should work together.

Resources: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_alternatives/resources/
This page links to other related resources and TE interest organizations.

Updated: 05/30/2014
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