Transportation Alternatives Program

FY2018-2020 Transportation Alternatives Call for Projects

The Peoria-Pekin Urbanized Area Transportation Study (PPUATS)—the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the Peoria-Pekin Urbanized Area—announces the availability of Transportation Alternatives (TAP) funding for transportation projects. These funds come from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and are administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). As an MPO with an urbanized population over 200,000, PPUATS receives an annual allotment of TAP funds to program.

TAP funds projects that expand transportation options for non-drivers and that improve quality of life by enhancing the cultural, historic, and environmental aspects of existing transportation infrastructure.

Background

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act replaced the former Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) with a set-aside of funds under the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG). For reduce confusion, PPUATS will refer to the set-aside as TAP funds. TAP authorizes 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 such as historic preservation and vegetation management, and environmental mitigation related to storm water and habitat connectivity; 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.

How to Apply

The call for projects begins July 18, 2018 and ends at 4:30pm on Friday, September 21, 2018. Applications received after this date will be considered ineligible for TAP funding. PPUATS members may apply by downloading, completing, and submitting the application below.

FY18-20 PPUATS TAP ApplicationFY18-20 PPUATS TAP Call for Projects Instructions

Eligible Applicants

All projects applying for TAP funding must be sponsored by one or more of the PPUATS member entities. Other governmental entities within the MPO planning area are eligible only with co-sponsorship by one of the PPUATS member entities. A map of the MPO planning area may be found at the end of this document.

  • Examples of Non-PPUATS eligible project co-sponsors include:
  • Local governments;
  • Transit agencies;
  • Natural resource or public land agencies;
  • School districts, local education agencies, or schools;
  • Tribal governments; and
  • Any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for oversight of transportation or recreational trails.

Eligible Projects

A project must demonstrate a relationship to surface transportation to be eligible for TAP funding. TAP projects must enhance the transportation system either by serving a transportation need or providing a transportation use or benefit and not be solely for recreational use. Projects must be consistent with the goals of PPUATS’ Long-Range Transportation Plan, the FAST Act, and BikeConnect HOI Regional Bicycle Plan. In addition, projects need to be constructed in reasonable, usable segments and provide logical termini.

Activities are not eligible if they are routine maintenance projects such as re-striping a trail, cleaning up debris or repairing a broken curb. Please be advised if your project involves sidewalk work you most likely will be required to update the facility to meet current ADA Accessibility Standards. That would include, but not be limited to, curb cuts and handicapped ramps at intersections and corrective measures to fix cross slopes that exceed the ADA standards.

Potential applicants may find more information in the Call for Project Instructions document.

 

The Transportation Alternatives funding program is a set-aside of the Surface Transportation Block Grant. Projects completed with these funds can be of a variety of smaller-scale transportation projects such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, Safe Routes to School projects, community improvements such as historice preservation and vegetation management, and environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitate connectivity.

Note: Until the FAST Act, this was a stand-alone program: Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP. All projects and activities formerly eligible under TAP are still eligible for the Transportation Alternatives set-aside funds.

Eligible Activities/Projects

  • Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation.
  • 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.
  • Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users.
  • Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
  • Community improvement activities, including: 
    • inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising;
    • historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities;
    • vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control; and
    • archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under 23 USC.
  • Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to—
    • address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff; or
    • reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.

In addition to defined Transportation Alternatives (described above), the following projects or activities are also eligible:

  • The recreational trails program under 23 USC 206.
  • The safe routes to school program under §1404 of SAFETEA–LU.
  • Planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.
  • Workforce development, training, and education activities are also eligible uses of TAP funds.

Eligible Applicants

Dues-paying members of PPUATS are eligible to apply for funding. Other governmental entities within the Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) are eligible only with co-sponsorship by one of the PPUATS members.

Examples of Non-PPUATS, eligible project co-sponsors:

  • Local governments
  • Transit Agencies
  • Natural Resource or Public Land Agencies
  • School Districts, Local Education Agencies, or Schools
  • Any other local or regional governmental entity with the responsibility for oversight of transportation or recreational trails

Timeline

The last competitive funding cycle took place in Fall 2015. Stay tuned for future funding announcements.

What are Transportation Alternatives (TAP) funds?

The Transportation Alternatives funding program is a set-aside of the Surface Transportation Block Grant. Projects completed with these funds can be of a variety of smaller-scale transportation projects such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, Safe Routes to School projects, community improvements such as historice preservation and vegetation management, and environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitate connectivity.

Prior to the FAST Act, these funds made up the Transportation Alternatives Program, commonly known as TAP. All projects and activities formerly eligible under TAP are eligible for Transportation Alternatives set-aside funds. To eliminate confusion, PPUATS still commonly refers to these funds as TAP funds.

Eligible Projects and Activities

Infrastructure
  • Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation
  • 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
  • Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users
  • Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas
Community Improvement
  • Inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising
  • Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities
  • Vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control
  • Archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under 23 USC
Environmental Activities
  • Pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities
  • Mitigation to address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff
  • Mitigation to reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats
Other Eligible Projects/Activities
  • The recreational trails program under 23 USC 206
  • The safe routes to school program under §1404 of SAFETEA–LU
  • Planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways
  • Workforce development, training, and education activities are also eligible uses of TAP funds

Timeline and Important Dates

The competitive funding round for FY18-20 TAP funds is currently underway. PPUATS has received applications and will announce selected projects in early 2019.

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