The Federal Transit Administration will waive the local funding match requirement for Complete Streets planning activities covered by the Metropolitan Planning Program and the State Planning and Research Program, it told states and metropolitan planning organizations this week.
“The waiver will support the full consideration of public transportation in the development and implementation of Complete Streets policies that require or encourage a safe, comfortable, integrated transportation network for all users, regardless of age, ability, income, ethnicity, or mode of transportation,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said in a letter shared on the FTA website.
In an emailed statement, the FTA said the change “reflects a priority written into the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to increase safe and accessible transportation options nationwide.” The infrastructure law requires states and metropolitan planning organizations to devote at least 2.5% of their planning funds to Complete Streets activities. More than 1,700 Complete Streets policies have been passed in the U.S., including those adopted by 37 state governments and over 1,300 cities and towns, according to Smart Growth America.
According to the FTA letter, planning activities eligible for funding, where permissible under state and local laws, include:
- Adopting Complete Streets standards or policies.
- Developing a priority list of projects to improve the safety, mobility or accessibility of a street.
- Developing transportation plans to connect neighborhoods with workplaces, schools and other essential services; integrate bike and pedestrian trails with public transportation facilities; improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety; and improve public transit ridership.
- Multi-jurisdictional planning to address capacity constraints through means other than adding highway capacity, such as intercity passenger rail.
- Developing plans to support transit-oriented development.
The local match requirement is waived through 2026.