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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

FHWA Programs that Support Livability

Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
The Bicycle & Pedestrian Program of the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Human and Natural Environment promotes bicycle and pedestrian transportation use, safety, and accessibility. Each State has a Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator in its State Department of Transportation to promote and facilitate the increased use of nonmotorized transportation, including developing facilities for the use of pedestrians and bicyclists and public educational, promotional, and safety programs for using such facilities. The State Coordinators can help you with questions specific to your State.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program
One of the primary elements of the Federal-aid Highway Program, CMAQ provides support for transportation projects that contribute to emissions reductions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and ozone and its precursors. Implemented in 1992, the program has funded more than 22,000 projects at over $22 billion.

Context Sensitive Solutions
The Federal Highway Administration is committed to the advancement of CSS nationwide as one of the objectives of its Vital Few Goal on Environmental Stewardship and Streamlining. The objective is to improve the environmental quality of transportation decision making by incorporating context sensitive solutions principles in all aspects of planning and the project development process.

Ecological Grants Example: 'Blueprint Jordan River, Salt Lake Utah
Out of the Ecological Grants program came the Blueprint Jordan River Project. It is part of the Envision Utah Plan that, through extensive research and involvement of the public, local and state elected officials, the business, civic, and religious communities and other stakeholders, Envision Utah has gathered information about what Greater Wasatch Area resident's value and how they think growth should be accommodated. Envision Utah has identified seven primary goals that need to be addressed in the Greater Wasatch Area if we are to protect our environment and maintain our economic vitality and quality of life

Exemplary Human Environment Initiative
The EHEIs, now in their third year, recognize and publicize transportation initiatives that make our transportation system work better for the people who use it. Since 2008 we permit projects to be submitted for joint consideration with the Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives (EEIs). This joint recognition demonstrates that environmental achievements do not have to be divided between natural and human initiatives, and offers the opportunity for the same initiative to receive recognition in both EHEI and EEI status. The goal of the EHEIs is to make things better for people when they use our Nation's transportation system while remaining conscious of any natural environmental consequences. We want to find either new or better ways of doing things. The Human Environment encompasses all of those situations where people are affected by transportation. This includes:

The Federal ITS Program
The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS program focuses on intelligent vehicles, intelligent infrastructure and the creation of an intelligent transportation system through integration with and between these two components. The Federal ITS program supports the overall advancement of ITS through investments in major initiatives, exploratory studies and a deployment support program. Increasingly, the Federal investments are directed at targets of opportunity - major initiatives - that have the potential for significant payoff in improving safety, mobility and productivity.

Federal Lands Highways Programs, The Park Roads and Parkways Program, The Forest Highways Program and The Refuge Roads Program
The Park Roads and Parkways, Forest Highways and Refuge Roads Programs provide funding for the planning, design, construction, reconstruction, or improvement of roads and bridges that provide access to or are within units of the National Park System, National Forest System, or National Wildlife Refuge System respectively. The federal government has title to about 650 million acres or roughly 30% of the total area of the United States. A large percentage of public lands are located in rural America and serve as the economic driver for gateway communities. Americans are increasingly visiting our national parks, forests, and refuges for recreational opportunities. Recreation and travel is the number #3 largest generator of revenue in the United States and creates millions of good paying jobs. One key tenet under the Livability concept is to provide multimodal options for Americans. Many communities outside national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges, are close enough to urban areas to facilitate the use of transit, vanpools, and/or bicycles. Greater use of alternative transportation options help reduce car emissions, eases congestion at the gate, and preserves the environment inside our national treasures for future generations.

Indian Reservation Roads Program
The Indian Reservation Roads Program addresses transportation needs of tribes by providing funds for planning, designing, construction, and maintenance activities. The Indian Reservation Roads are public roads, which provide access to and within Indian reservations, Indian trust land, restricted Indian land, and Alaska native villages. Approximately 25,000 miles are under the jurisdiction of BIA and tribes and another 24,000 are under State and local ownership. IRR funds can be used for any type Title 23 transportation project providing access to or within Federal or Indian lands and may be used for the State/local matching share for apportioned Federal-aid Highway Funds. Livability issues for tribal communities often include the need for school routes that are accessible year round and transportation to hospitals and emergency medical services.

National Highway System Program
It is approximately 160,000 miles (256,000 kilometers) of roadway important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility. The National Highway System (NHS) includes the following subsystems of roadways (note that a specific highway route may be on more than one subsystem):

National Scenic Byways Program
The National Scenic Byways Program provides grants to States and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways, All-American Roads, America's Byways, State scenic or Indian tribe scenic byways. Eligible activities include the planning, design, or development of a State or Indian tribe scenic byway program; development and implementation of a corridor management plan; safety improvements to accommodate byway travelers; facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists, rest areas, turnouts, highway shoulder improvements, overlooks, or interpretive facilities; access to recreation enhancements; resource protection; tourist information; and byway marketing.

Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program
Brief Summary: The Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) provided $25 million dollars each to four communities: Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Minneapolis Area, MN; and Sheboygan County, WI, to demonstrate how improved walking and bicycling networks can increase rates of walking and bicycling.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program
Pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements depend on an integrated approach that involves the 4 E’s: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Services. The FHWA’s Office of Safety develops projects, programs and materials for use in reducing pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities.

Public Lands Highways Discretionary Program
The Public Lands Highways Discretionary (PLHD) Program provides funding for transportation planning, research, and engineering and construction of, highways, roads, parkways, and transit facilities that are within, adjacent to, or provide access to Indian reservations and Federal public lands, including national parks, refuges, forests, recreation areas, and grasslands. PLH funds can be used for any type of Title 23 transportation project providing access to or within Federal or Indian lands.

Recreational Trails Program
The RTP provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses.

Safe Routes to School
Many of us remember a time when walking and bicycling to school was a part of everyday life. In 1969, about half of all students walked or bicycled to school. Today, however, the story is very different. Fewer than 15 percent of all school trips are made by walking or bicycling, one-quarter are made on a school bus, and over half of all children arrive at school in private automobiles. This decline in walking and bicycling has had an adverse effect on traffic congestion and air quality around schools, as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety. In addition, a growing body of evidence has shown that children who lead sedentary lifestyles are at risk for a variety of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Safety issues are a big concern for parents, who consistently cite traffic danger as a reason why their children are unable to bicycle or walk to school.

Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP)
The Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). The general objective of the STEP is to improve understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation, planning and the environment. SAFETEA-LU provides $16.875 million per year for FY2006-FY2009 to implement this new cooperative research program. Due to obligation limitations, rescissions, and the over-designation of Title V Research in SAFETEA-LU, it is anticipated that approximately $12.8 million of the $16.875 million authorized will be available each year.

Surface Transportation Program
The Surface Transportation Program provides flexible funding that may be used by States and localities for projects on any Federal-aid highway, including the NHS, bridge projects on any public road, transit capital projects, and intracity and intercity bus terminals and facilities.

Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program
The Transportation, Community, and System Preservation (TCSP) Program is a comprehensive initiative of research and grants to investigate the relationships between transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices and identify private sector-based initiatives to improve such relationships. States, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and tribal governments are eligible for discretionary grants to carry out eligible projects to integrate transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices that:

Transportation Enhancement Activities
Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities offer funding opportunities to expand transportation choices and enhance the transportation experience through 12 eligible TE activities related to surface transportation, including pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and safety programs, scenic and historic highway programs, landscaping and scenic beautification, historic preservation, and environmental mitigation. TE projects must relate to surface transportation and must qualify under one or more of the 12 eligible categories.

HUD-DOT-EPA Interagency Partnership | DOT Livability | FTA Livable & Sustainable Communities
Updated: 5/14/2016
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