Federal funding and programs for trails and transportation

Hosted by AmericanTrails.org

arrow See current news and action on policies and funding for trails and bike/ped programs


On April 29, 2014 U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a new transportation bill proposal he is sending to Congress. The administration says "the GROW AMERICA Act reflects President Obama’s vision for a four-year surface transportation reauthorization."

arrow Download the 350-page bill: "Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America Act" (pdf 800 kb)



Administration sends 2014 transportation funding proposal to Congress

Compiled by Stuart Macdonald, American Trails website manager

photo of man at podium

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx discussed the
transportation plan at a Green Lane Project meeting in
Indianapolis April 30 (Photo From USDOT)


The Obama administration unveiled a new plan for Federal transportation programs, which has included funding for trails as well as bicycle/pedestrian facilities and related programs. Trail advocates are closely watching these developments to ensure that such funding continues. See the current campaign to ensure survival of the Recreational Trails Program.

The bill continues the tradition of long acronyms with the even longer "GROW AMERICA." In line with recent consolidations of programs under broad categories, no specific programs for trails, bicyclists, and pedestrians are detailed. See key provisions related to bike/ped programs below.

Safety is one of the few areas where alternative modes of transportation are mentioned by officials. “Whether traveling by motor vehicle, walking, or bicycling, we are committed to ensuring that Americans reach their destinations safely,” said Acting Administrator David Friedman, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to Time Magazine, the proposal "continues the Administration’s subtle shift towards passenger rail, freight rail, dedicated bus lanes, and other programs that don’t necessarily involve asphalt." The new bill, for example, creates the Transportation Trust Fund which is essentially a rebranding of the existing Highway Trust Fund, which was established in 1956.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, "the House and Senate face looming deadlines to avoid the economic uncertainty and job loss that would ensue if the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money this summer." The current funding authorization, MAP-21, is set to expire September 30, 2014.

Both Republicans and Democrats have supported more funding for transportation in general. This bill, however, does not include ways to increase income to address the funding crisis with the Highway Trust Fund. The shortfall required a $9.7 billion transfer from the General Fund to the Highways account at the beginning of this fiscal year. According to Streetsblog, "the bill calls for $87 billion in spending over and above what the Transportation Trust Fund is expected to be able to pay for."

What's next? A response from House and Senate transportation policy makers should be in the offing. Key members of Congress are Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.


Some key provisions which affect bicycling and pedestrian prgrams and funding:

- Establishes TIGER as part of the authorization law with specific eligibility for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Funded at $1.25 billion each fiscal year.

- Establishes the "Fixing and Accelerating Surface Transportation" program which would fund innovative transportation strategies and best practices including projects to reduce energy use, improve air and water quality, enhance community health and quality of life, and expand transportation choices. Funded at $1 billion each fiscal year.

- Establishes a federal level complete streets policy; requiring that every project receiving federal money must consider all modes of transportation.

- The Transportation Alternatives Program, which includes the current pedestrian, trails, and bicycle initiative funding, is little changed from MAP-21.


arrow Download the 350-page bill: "Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America Act" (pdf 800 kb)



Print Friendly
Print Friendly and PDF




Facebook Twitter

Stay up to date on legislative issues for trails, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


business directory


trail database

Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the National Trails Training Partnership!

The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training

arrowEnjoy and share the new online, digital version of the American Trails Magazine!

arrowHelp us provide you more useful resources to keep you on the cutting-edge -- please join today!

arrowWe are advocating for your interests! Visit the Supporting Trails page to view the latest in legislative news, current issues, and opportunities, and to learn how to access funding.

arrow Sign me up for American Trails Action Alerts and e-Newsletters">Sign up for American Trails Action Alerts and Trail Tracks e-Newsletters.


PDF  Some of our documents are in PDF format and require free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  Download Acrobat Reader

section 508 logo American Trails and NTTP support accessibility with Section 508: read more.