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Transportation Alternatives Program

TAP Application Submittal

Spring 2017 TAP Projects Approved!

CRTPO’s Policy Board adopted the most recent TCC-endorsed list of recommended TAP projects in April 2017. The recommended list emerged from a pool of projects submitted through the Fall 2016 call-for-projects process, combined with projects previously submitted in Fall of 2015. All projects were verified and ranked using CRTPO’s adopted TAP Methodology (see “CRTPO’s Methodology” below) and several additional factors which impact project programming.

The final list of 2017 TAP projects includes:

  • Westmoreland Road Multi-Use Corridor (Town of Cornelius)
  • Mallard Creek Church Road Shared-Use Path (City of Charlotte)
  • South Fork Crooked Creek Greenway (Town of Indian Trail)

Project previously funded with CRTPO TAP funds include:

  • McDowell Creek Greenway – Magnolia Plaza to Westmoreland Road (Town of Cornelius)
  • Greenway Connector under US 21/Turnersburg Hwy (City of Statesville)
  • Downtown Waxhaw Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Enhancements (Town of Waxhaw)
  • Charlotte B-Cycle Expansion (City of Charlotte)

CRTPO’s next TAP project submittal period is anticipated for Fall of 2018.

 


Background
Federal legislation under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) created the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) as a funding source for alternative transportation projects, including projects previously eligible for Transportation Enhancement and Safe Routes to Schools Funding.

The recently-adopted Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act revised several aspects of the TAP program, including eligible projects and reporting requirements. FHWA’s complete guidance on the TAP program is available here.

In order to allocate available TAP funds, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requires that each MPO adopt a project ranking methodology, specific to TAP, which scores projects based on locally-identified project criteria. This methodology is to be determined by the individual MPO, based on the MPO’s funding and planning priorities, and must be reviewed by FHWA.
 


Adoption:
The CRTPO Policy Board took action to adopt the Draft TAP Methodology on Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Adoption of the methodology included approval of the TAP Criteria Scoring Guide – a document which encapsulates CRTPO’s evaluation categories and priorities – and accompanying resources found in the “TAP Resources for Applicants” section below.

Any future revisions or amendments to the methodology or Criteria Scoring Guide will require action by the CRTPO Policy Board.
 


Public Information & Comment Period
As a condition of approval of Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization’s (CRTPO) TAP methodology, FHWA required a public comment period during which the public reviewed and commented on the Draft TAP Methodology. At its May 20, 2015 meeting, the CRTPO Policy Board took action to approve the opening of a twenty-one day public comment period to obtain public input on its methodology. The public comment period began on Monday, June 8, 2015 and closed on Monday, June 29, 2015. A TAP Stakeholder Webinar was held on June 22, 2015 as a means of proactively informing stakeholders about the TAP program, and encouraging input and feedback through public comment.

A TAP Stakeholder Webinar was held on June 22, 2015 as a means of proactively informing stakeholders about the TAP program, and encouraging input and feedback through public comment.

TAP Stakeholder Webinar TAP Stakeholder Webinar - June 22, 2015

Staff shared the results of the public comment period with the CRTPO Policy Board on July 9th, 2015.


Funding
The amount of TAP funding available to individual MPOs in each fiscal year is determined by two factors: 50% of the funding amount is based on the population of the MPO; the other 50% of the funding is based on a general apportionment.

The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) has been allocated $1.2 million in each of fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015 (verified as of June 2015). CRTPO anticipates $1.2 million annually for the duration of the current MAP-21 legislation.

The TAP program is a federal reimbursement program. Funds are available to be programmed for a period of three years after each associated fiscal year (i.e., FY 2013 funds must be programmed by FY 2016). All awarded TAP funds require a 20% state/local match. Projects using TAP funds must be added to the TIP.


Eligible Project Types
As stated above, TAP funds are available for specific project types.  These project types are determined by FHWA, and generally include planning, design, or construction of projects previously eligible under the Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements programs.  Specific eligible project types include, but are not limited to:

  • Provision of facilities for pedestrians and bicycles;
  • Provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists;
  • Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites;
  • Scenic or historic highway programs;
  • Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities;
  • Preservation of abandoned railway corridors;
  • Archaeological planning and research; and
  • Environmental mitigation.

For a complete and detailed list of eligible project types, please reference FHWA’s On-line Guidance

Eligible Project Sponsors
Eligible project sponsors are also determined by FHWA, and include:

  • Local governments;
  • Regional transportation authorities;
  • Transit agencies;
  • Natural resource or public land agencies;
  • School districts, local education agencies, or schools;
  • Tribal governments; and
  • Any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for oversight of transportation or recreational trails (other than a metropolitan planning organization or a State agency).

State DOT’s and MPOs may not directly sponsor projects. In certain instances, DOT’s may partner with local agencies to sponsor projects.
 


CRTPO’s Methodology
CRTPO’s Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) and Bicycle & Pedestrian Work Group (BPWG) are responsible for development of the TAP Methodology and Criteria Scoring Guide.  The TAP study and development process began in Fall of 2014 and concluded in Summer of 2015.

Development of the methodology began first with recognizing the constraints of TAP as a funding source.  These include the eligible project types, eligible project sponsors, and the limited amount of funding available.

The next step in the process included identifying appropriate evaluation categories.  The evaluation categories address “big picture” considerations and generally support transportation goals of the MPO as identified in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan.  The final evaluation categories identified include Connectivity & Place-Making, Feasibility & Cost, Safety, and Health & Environment.

The next step included developing specific, quantifiable criteria which address each of the larger evaluation categories.  These criteria were selected and developed with an eye on practically quantifying physical, safety, environmental, and other benefits.

While CRTPO’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Work Group was charged with developing the specifics of the TAP Methodology, all TCC staff were integral to its development.  Throughout the months-long process of developing the methodology and criteria, formal updates were given to TCC, regional staff, and the MPO board.  TCC staff were updated, and provided direction to the process in January, March, and April of 2015.  It should be noted that the BPWG is primarily staffed by TCC members.  The CRTPO Policy Board was updated in September 2014 and May 2015.
 

TAP Criteria Scoring Guide
CRTPO’s TAP methodology has culminated in the development of the Transportation Alternatives Program Criteria Scoring Guide, found below.  The purpose of this guide is to communicate CRTPO’s preferred evaluation categories and criteria in an organized fashion, and allow potential project sponsors to evaluate and score projects, and submit applications for project ranking and selection.  The final Scoring Guide is a compilation of seventeen (17) criteria allocated to the four previously identified evaluation categories.

The criteria included in the Scoring Guide are carefully worded to make applying for TAP funds as intuitive as possible for potential project sponsors.  The Scoring Guide is supplemented by on-line maps, documents, and guidance, also available below

 

TAP Resources for Applicants

Online TAP Application On-line TAP Application
This on-line TAP application form is intended to be used in conjunction with the TAP Criteria Scoring Guide, on-line mapping, documents, and guidance, available below. Applicants may find it helpful to first complete a hard copy of the Criteria Scoring Guide before entering scores and responses into this form.
   
TAP Criteria Scoring Guide TAP Criteria Scoring Guide
This guide will allow potential project sponsors to “score” their projects using CRTPO’s adopted TAP methodology. Scores will ultimately be verified by CRTPO’s Technical Coordinating Committee.
   
On-line Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) Mapping On-line Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) Mapping
This on-line mapping tool will allow potential project sponsors, and others, to verify project specifics such as AADT, environmental justice (EJ) classifications, vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle crash data, and existing and proposed facilities.
   
FHWA TAP Guide FHWA TAP Guidance
FHWA’s TAP Guidance includes detailed explanations of all aspects of TAP including funding, the selection process, and project eligibility, among others.
   
NACTO Urban Street Design Guide NACTO Urban Street Design Guide
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Street Design Guide provides many tools and recommendations for designing streets in ways that benefit many modes of transportation.  This guide will allow project sponsors to determine if a project potentially encourages traffic calming or vehicle lane narrowing.