Tribal Development of Trails and Other Dedicated Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure

This white paper provides information and resources for Tribes, Tribal trails and active transportation advocates, and agencies that may partner with Tribes on trail projects including Federal and State agencies, MPOs, county and local governments, and community organizations.

Federally recognized Tribes receive Federal funding for transportation planning and projects through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Tribal Transportation Program (TTP).

Tribes also may partner with Federal Land Management Agencies, State departments of transportation (State DOTs) and natural resource agencies, metropolitan planning organization (MPOs), and county and local governments using other Federal and non-Federal funding to deliver transportation and trail projects. Dedicated pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure or complete streets networks, such as shared-use paths and other trails, sidewalks, and bicycle facilities, are eligible for this funding. Tribes also face challenges that, in part, can be addressed by providing or improving safe, accessible, equitable, and comfortable pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. These challenges include safety for all users (including people walking, bicycling, using assistive devices, and people using micromobility conveyances), obesity and related health problems, and access to jobs.

This white paper provides information and resources for Tribes, Tribal trails and active transportation advocates, and agencies that may partner with Tribes on trail projects including Federal and State agencies, MPOs, county and local governments, and community organizations.

It includes information on the health and economic benefits of trails, funding opportunities, partnership opportunities, and resources for trail planning. It also highlights examples of successful trail plans and projects implemented by Tribes and their partners.

The development of this white paper included a literature review on the health and economic benefits of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, funding opportunities, partnership opportunities, and resources for trail planning, both within and outside of Tribal communities.

The research team also identified trails and dedicated pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects developed by and involving Tribal governments. The research team facilitated discussions with representatives from five Tribes and staff at the FHWA Office of Federal Lands Highway involved in the TTP. The white paper includes case studies and summaries on how the Tribes planned and implemented pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to address challenges faced by Tribal members. The synthesis of these discussions and related findings informed the development of this white paper.

Attached document published November 2023

 

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