PCC & partners recommend changes to SCDOT’s TA funding

Bike and walk infrastructure is built with funding from many generalized sources: a local general fund, county transportation committee, transportation sales tax money, state highway safety money, or from a state funded, regional Long Range Transportation Plan.

However, there are other federal pots of money that are dedicated ONLY for use for biking and walking. One is Transportation Alternatives (TA) funding, and after the new infrastructure bill, that funding went up 60% at our SCDOT and doubled in our largest cities.

PCC and partners recently submitted recommended changes to SCDOT on administering this now larger grant program. We are grateful SCDOT was open to changes; they manage TA funding as a competitive grant process for rural areas, towns, and small cities. FY2022 Transportation Alternative funding will NOW total $24Million for South Carolina. Approximately half of that goes to SC’s largest urbanized areas, where it’s managed independently of SCDOT. The other half if administered by SCDOT through a competitive grant process to small cities, towns, and rural areas.

PCC & partners recommended to SCDOT to make these program changes: 1) use for larger projects, by raising the maximum and minimum caps, 2) provide more guidance to small communities without grant writers, 3) allow more flexibility in where the 20% local match can come from, 4) allow grant to fund programs too, 5) fund Temporary Infrastructure projects, and 6) bring back Safe Routes to School program funds.

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Amy Johnson Ely

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