Funding Program: Transportation Alternatives Block Grant Set-Aside (TA)

Important Dates for FY20

August 9, 2019 – Deadline to submit the Project Endorsement Request Form to RVARC staff.

August 22, 2019 – RVTPO Policy Board meeting where applicants seeking project endorsement will make five-minute presentations.

October 1, 2019 – Deadline to submit TA applications to VDOT

The RVTPO Policy Board is expected to adopt its allocations for the TA program at their February 27, 2020 meeting.

Download the Project Endorsement Request Form and [submit the completed form here]. Not accepting applications at this time.

For more information, deadlines and applications, please visit the VDOT Transportation Alternatives page here.

Program Background and History

Transportation Alternatives (TA) was authorized in the most recent federal transportation bill – Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or “FAST Act”. Transportation Alternatives replaces Transportation Alternatives Program which consolidated the former Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails program.

  • On and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities
  • Infrastructure for improving non-motorized access to public transportation
  • Recreational trails
  • Traffic calming
  • Projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities

A complete list of the types of eligible projects that may be funded with TA can be found at:  https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact/factsheets/transportationalternativesfs.cfm

FAST Act identifies four (4) categories of eligibilities for the Transportation Alternatives:

  • Transportation Alternatives
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Recreational Trails
  • Boulevards in former Interstate System Routes

In Virginia, Transportation Alternatives, administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), focuses on Transportation Alternatives and Safe Routes to School.  To be considered for this funding, a project must relate to surface transportation and qualify under one or more of the TA or Safe Routes to School activities.

Mission of the Transportation Alternatives

The program is intended to help local sponsors fund community based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historical and environmental aspects of the transportation infrastructure.  The program does not fund traditional roadway projects or provide maintenance for these facilities.  Instead it focuses on providing for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, community improvements and mitigating the negative impacts of the highway system.  TA is part of the Federal-aid Highway program. It is not a grant program and funds are only available on a reimbursement basis.  This means the project sponsor must first incur project expenses and then request reimbursement.

Program Structure and Funding

Each State’s Transportation Alternatives funding includes: the ten (10) Transportation Alternatives (TA) eligibilities; the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) eligibilities; the “Boulevard” eligibilities; and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).  FAST-Act outlines how these funds are to be distributed.  First, a sub-apportionment for the Recreational Trails Program is taken off the top of the State’s total TA funding allocation.  Of the remaining balance, 50% can be allocated anywhere in the state, but the other 50% must be allocated based on population as set forth in the federal legislation. The divisions for the population-based sub-allocations are:

  • Urbanized areas of the State with a population over 200,000 – also known as a Transportation Management Area (TMA)
  • Areas of the State with a population less than 200,000 but greater than 5,000
  • Areas of the State with a population less than 5,000

The Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization was designated a TMA in 2012.  Each MPO is involved in the solicitation and recommendation of TA applications to the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

TA Project Applications and Awards

On March 22, 2018, the RVTPO Policy Board endorsed and funded the following projects and amounts:

ApplicantProjectTA Funds RequestedTA Funds Awarded by TPO
TA Funds Awarded by CTB Members*Total Allocation
City of Roanoke$484,413$160,969$323,444$484,413
Roanoke County$366,606$366,606$0$366,606

 

On March 23, 2017, the RVTPO Policy Board endorsed and funded the following projects and amounts:

ApplicantProjectTA Funds RequestedTA Funds Awarded by TPO
TA Funds Awarded by CTB Members*Total Allocation
City of SalemDowntown Salem Streetscape and Intersection Improvements$240,000$131,906.50$108,093.50$240,000
Roanoke CountyWilliamson Road Pedestrian Improvements$217,424$131,906.50$85,517.50$217,424

*Denotes Commonwealth Transportation Board District and At-Large Member project selections.

 

On April 28, 2016, the RVTPO Policy Board endorsed and funded the following projects and amounts:

ApplicantProjectTA Funds RequestedTA Funds Awarded by TPO
TA Funds Awarded by CTB Members*Total Allocation
City of RoanokeColonial Avenue Boulevard Improvements$458,814$282,603$176,211$458,814
City of SalemDowntown Salem Streetscape and Intersection Improvements$480,000$0$240,000$240,000
Town of VintonGlade Creek Greenway$417,710$0$417,710$417,710

*Denotes Commonwealth Transportation Board District and At-Large Member project selections.

The Salem District CTB member provided 50% of Salem’s project request, and fully funded Vinton’s.

On March 26, 2015, the RVTPO Policy Board endorsed and funded the following projects and amounts:

ApplicantProjectTA Funds RequestedTA Funds Awarded by TPO
TA Funds Awarded by CTB Members*Total Allocation
City of RoanokeVirginian Railway Passenger Station Phase II:  Building Restoration$246,000$123,000$123,000$246,000
Botetourt CountyDaleville Greenway$476,000$126,042$349,958$476,000

*Denotes Commonwealth Transportation Board District and At-Large Member project selections.

 

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