Lifting the Veil on Bicycle & Pedestrian Spending

 

External link: http://www.ssti.us/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/LiftingTheVeil_ReportScoreCards.pdf

Publication date: February 24, 2014

Capsule summary: This report analyzes bicycle and pedestrian investments included in STIPs and MPO planning documents.

Author(s): McLeod, Ken; Flusche, Darren; O'Keane, Brighid; Kwan, Christy; Turner, Darryl

Publisher(s): Advocacy Advance (a partnership of Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists)


Definition: Examining the public health impacts of transportation
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Definition: Planning practices for pedestrians, bikes and transit
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Definition: Financial strategies and techniques for transportation planning
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Definitions: The movement of people
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Definitions: Transportation on foot
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Definitions: Transportation by bicycle
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Definition: A federally funded transportation policy-making organization, comprised of local government representatives and transportation authorities
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Definition: Governmental agency focused on transportation
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Definition: A large urban area
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Definition: Report published by a governmental body or other organization (e.g. FHWA, NAS, etc.)
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Description: Information on bicycle and pedestrian spending is not always readily available, yet Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs (STIPs) and additional planning documents can serve as resources for exploring funding decisions at the state and regional level. This study analyzed the investments included in STIPs and MPO planning documents, with a focus on bicycle and pedestrian projects. The analysis determined the prevalence and costs allocated to such projects, as well as data transparency, and then evaluated the state programs based on the quality and transparency of their available data.

Objectives: The objective of this report was to share information about how state and metropolitan transportation programs allocate funding. The research aims to determine how agencies choose to invest in bicycle and pedestrian projects, thus supporting advocacy efforts for funding such projects by collecting data on current practices. This project also highlights the transparency of funding data, and observes the practices of various organizations in order to evaluate areas for improvement and to provide recommendations.

Findings: This study observed investment strategies of varying quality, and found varying degrees of transparency among data sources. Performance data can be difficult to find, or accuracy may be difficult to determine given opaque project descriptions. Few common trends emerged between agencies, although the research did reveal that bicycling and walking facilities are more often planned as standalone projects than included in road projects, and walking and shared-use facilities are more commonly reported than bicycling facilities. The study also found that STIPs and MPO planning documents can be challenging to understand due to unclear and vague project descriptions, as well as lack of context without public access to related data, documents, and contacts.

Recommendations: This report recommends improving the presentation of planning efforts and corresponding data in order to ensure transparency and provide informative materials for the public. Additionally, the research team recommends increased funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects with increased user input.

Research Theme: Financial Strategies, Planning for Pedestrians, Bikes, and Transit, Public Health

Community Type:

Transportation Mode: Bicycle, Pedestrian, Personal

Planning Scope:

Organization Type: City, DOT, MPO or RPO

Planning Subject: Plan Implementation, Resource Allocation