Climate and Environment
Photo courtesy Getty Images
Completing trail and active transportation networks connecting people to routine destinations by foot and bike are among the quickest and most affordable ways to increase emissions-free travel. Active transportation is an essential part of the solution to greenhouse gas emissions.
The transportation sector is the largest contributor to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that drive climate change—contributing to over 29% of all GHG emissions in the United States. While most vehicle trips are within a 20-minute bike ride, it is not always safe or convenient to reach desired destinations by foot, bike or wheelchair. Safe, connected and convenient trail and active transportation networks can significantly reduce GHG emissions by reducing vehicle miles traveled and, in turn, cut air pollution and vehicle congestion.
By including trail and active transportation networks as an eligibility in the following climate provisions of the BIL, federal funding opportunities are available to assist in achieving the mode shift necessary to address the climate impacts of the transportation sector.
A new funding program that will provide states with flexible funds aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions through the development of state carbon reduction strategies within two years after enactment (by November 15, 2023) which must be updated at least every four years.
This program is a longstanding flexible reimbursement program that assists local and state governments in improving the quality of their environment and meeting the requirements of the Clean Air Act by reducing highway related pollution.
Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT)
This new competitive grant program, which provides $1.4 billion in funding over four years, is designed to make transportation more resilient to rising sea levels, increased flooding, natural disasters and climate change. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will administer the program; trails and other pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure are eligible for funding as solutions to climate impacts. This grant cycle is open through August 18, 2023.