In September 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced this year’s awards for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants (BUILD, formerly TIGER). Of the $1 billion in grants awarded, nearly $300 million focus on or support bicycle infrastructure and active transportation. Ranging from recreational trails to river walks, large interchanges and shoulder expansions, BUILD grants provide the necessary dollars to complete important transportation projects that would otherwise lack sufficient funding from other sources.
This year, 21 of the 70 total projects include bicycle infrastructure, a significant increase compared to previous years of BUILD grants. Applicants (generally cities, counties and transportation authorities) recognize that adding and improving bike infrastructure not only makes their applications more competitive, but represents their communities’ needs to serve the growing number of people riding bikes for both transportation and recreation.
More Americans than ever are relying on bikes as a means for efficient, socially distanced transportation and close-to-home recreation. Trail counters across the U.S. report a 75% increase in ridership compared to 2019, and governments at the local, state and federal levels face increased pressure to support the growing trends in active transportation by advancing infrastructure projects, enhancing safety and expanding mobility options.