As part of the Bicycle and Bikeway Act of 1974, the North Carolina General Assembly authorized the North Carolina Department of Transportation "to spend any federal, state, local, or private funds available to the Department and designated for the accomplishment" of fulfilling the duties laid out through the Act, and clearly stated that bicycle facilities "are a bona fide highway purpose, subject to the same rights and responsibilities, and eligible for the same considerations as other highway purposes and functions." (See G.S. 136-71.8 Findings and 136-71.12 Funds.).
In addition, the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which is the most recent funding authorization legislation for Federal-aid programs, requires each state DOT to set aside federal funds from eligible categories for the construction of bicycle and pedestrian transportation facilities. Funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects, programs and activities may be funded through many different sources, of which the Federal-aid program is only one. Each funding source may have specific criteria for eligibility of project or program types, physical locations in which they may be implemented, or other constraints on how the funds are used.
In North Carolina, all bicycle and pedestrian projects are prioritized and scheduled into the State Transportation Improvement Program. These may be projects funded through Federal-Aid funds or State funds. The DBPT directly administers the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative, which is a source of funds programmed through the STIP for municipalities that want to develop a comprehensive bicycle or pedestrian plan.
Independent bicycle and pedestrian projects across North Carolina are included in NCDOT's State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) outlining transportation priorities for the next ten years. The STIP indicates when each phase of a project is slated to begin and the cost of each project phase. Improvements for bicycling and walking may also be included in the STIP as part of the construction of a highway project.
Projects to be included in the STIP) outlining transportation priorities for the next ten years. The STIP are determined through the strategic prioritization process. Every two years, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs) are given an opportunity to recommend bike and pedestrian projects to be included in the STIP) outlining transportation priorities for the next ten years. The STIP. Projects are prioritized and ranked through a methodology created by Division staff. Projects in the STIP) outlining transportation priorities for the next ten years. The STIP are included in the 5-year Work Program and the 10-year Program & Resource Plan.
Projects that have been prioritized and included in the State Transportation Improvement Program are listed by division, county, and municipality. See STIP Funding Categories for more on how projects are identified as independent or incidental projects.
Through NCDOT, there are a variety of funding programs comprised of Federal-Aid and/or State dollars. There are also other funding opportunities for projects and programs related to bicycle and pedestrian transportation which are not administered by NCDOT. Other state agencies and local governments may be a more appropriate resource, depending on the project. Also, some communities look toward non-profit organizations, foundations, businesses, or other creative public/private partnerships to provide capital or resources as a way to move a project, program or activity from a concept into reality.
The Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation directly administers and manages the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative. The DBPT is also involved with the review of planning and design aspects for other bicycle and pedestrian projects that may be directly administered or managed by other units within NCDOT.
Much of the funding that passes through NCDOT is derived from the varying categories of Federal Aid Construction Funds, including National Highway System (NHS), Surface Transportation Program, or Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds. However, the state does provide some State Construction Funds for the construction of sidewalks and bicycle accommodations that are part of roadway improvement projects.
Other NCDOT Funding
Below is a list of other funding sources within NCDOT that provide funds for a range of bicycle and pedestrian projects.
Other Agency Funding
The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources also provides funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects. The NC Department of Health and Human Services may be a resource for educational and safety programs that increase physical activity and improve health.
Other Funding Resources
Note: FTA funds can be used for bike/ped improvements within a defined radius from a transit stop/station: “All pedestrian improvements located within one-half mile and all bicycle improvements located within three miles of a public transportation stop or station shall have a de facto physical and functional relationship to public transportation.”