Welcome to the Transportation Alternatives Program! Find out more about this community-driven program that facilitates the development of non-traditional transportation projects with the goal of providing choices for non-motorized users that are safe, reliable and convenient.
Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Pub. L. 117-58, also known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” (BIL)), the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside requirements within the BIL took effect on October 1, 2021. The Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside is a funding component of the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) (23 U.S.C. 133(h)). The new implementation guidance replaces the May 13, 2016 Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Implementation Guidance. The new legislation and guidance can be seen here. Further Transportation Alternatives guidance, eligibility, facts, and funding tables can be seen at the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration web site seen here..
The TA Set-Aside provides funding for a variety of smaller transportation projects (less than 1 million dollars each) such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities; construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas; community improvements such as historic preservation and vegetation management; environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitat connectivity; recreational trails; safe routes to school projects; and vulnerable road user safety assessments. With its eligibilities including bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safe routes to school projects, scenic and historic byway efforts, and vulnerable road user safety assessments. Transportation Alternatives (known to DelDOT as the “TAP”) is a key program for helping States build Complete Streets that are safe for all users and achieve safe, connected, and equitable on-and off-road networks. The program also provides significant suballocation resources to specific population zones, MPOs, and other eligible entities to possibly help and directly assign 59% percent of the yearly federal fiscal funds. This is based on requirement in hosting a competitive project selection. DelDOT (and the MPO) will establish an application, review, or ranking and prioritization process before award of TA set-aside funds can be used. The other 41% of the yearly federal fiscal funds for projects will still be held on a competitive and application submission review with priority or ranking process, but may be used anywhere else in the State and will be administered solely by DelDOT. The current suballocated areas in Delaware is under the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO), but other recognized MPO’s may now have the opportunity to become project sponsors.
The TA or DelDOT TAP program funds activities encompassing a variety of small-scale transportation projects such as:
- Pedestrian and bicycle facilities
- Shared-use pathways and overlooks
- Safe routes to school projects and/or infrastructure-related elements for non-drivers such as measures for older adults and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs
- Conversion of abandoned rail corridors for nonmotorized uses
The TA or DelDOT TAP program funds also provide for related, accompanying community improvements such as:
- Vegetation management
- Environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitat connectivity
- Sidewalk installation
- Inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising for enhancement of scenic/historic views
- Historic Preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities
- Creation of designated bicycle lanes
- Renovation of streetscapes
- Installation of lighting, signals, and crosswalks
How the TAP Program Works
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) supports and administers the TAP for all Delaware Projects. It is rare that a project becomes sponsored administered due to federal and funding requirements that must be confirmed upfront and throughout construction. All potential TAP projects require a sponsor to be responsible for 20% of the project costs in design and construction. There will be time requirements, upfront agreements, and fees (which is used as part of match) necessary for sponsorship participation. The project sponsor is likely to assume the maintenance and legal liability for the duration of the project’s useful life. Any project sponsored by a non-government agency, organization, or individual must typically have a government agency or a qualified entity as a co-sponsor. The State may now be the sponsor, but only at the request of the qualified entity. Funds sub-allocated to WILMAPCO for TAP projects are received and reviewed for prioritization by WILMAPCO. The approved list of projects is sent to DelDOT for its project administration based on funding categories, its internal ranking, and funding availability. TAP Projects will not be phased based on funding availably as project sponsors may overmatch. Should phases of a project be necessary, the sponsor may go back to the competitive basis for project submission. Projects or project submissions not awarded under their application are welcomed to re-submit when new project submissions are called upon.
Project Sponsors may include:
- Local Governments
- Reginal Transportation Authorities
- A transit agency such as DART
- MPOs that serve an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or fewer
- Natural Resource or public land agencies
- School Districts and local education agencies
All TAP project must have a relationship to surface transportation and be available for public use. They must also meet the criteria for one of the Qualifying TA Categories listed in the federal legislation and guidance.