Defining Facilities and Programs

Most pedestrian and bicycle activities can be put into one of three categories: 1) capital improvement projects, 2) planning and research initiatives, or 3) safety/education programs. They are administered through government agencies, private not-for profit groups, and advocacy organizations.

1. Capital Improvement Projects

These projects are usually construction activities or other physical modifications of the built or natural environment that improve conditions for bicycling and/or walking. These projects are usually funded by government entities. However, matching funds are often required and it is not uncommon for 5 percent to 50 percent of such projects to be funded with non-government monies. Small scale projects, and projects where land acquisition is the primary cost, are frequently funded 90 to 100 percent with non-government sources.

2. Planning and Research Initiatives

Bicycle and pedestrian plans and research provide state, regional, and local agencies with guidance and direction for building facilities and implementing safety and education programs. Projects typically range from $25,000 to $700,000 and are usually funded by governments, though private funds have been used to conduct community-based planning efforts. Increasingly, state and local governments are funding applied research in the area of crash analysis; traffic modeling; facility design; and testing of innovative road treatments, materials, and equipment that serve bicyclists and pedestrians.

3. Safety/Education Programs

Bicycle and pedestrian safety/education programs work to increase bicycling and walking while reducing crashes. They can include a wide range of programmatic activities, such as child bicyclist safety training, ongoing bike helmet giveaways, training for traffic engineering or planning professionals, traffic safety campaigns, start-up and training costs for police-on-bike programs, campaigns to increase rates of bicycling or walking such as bike-to-work days, publication of maps and brochures, maintenance of websites, or other on-going programs. Program costs typically range from $5,000 to $250,000 and are as frequently funded by government as non-government sources.