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Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative

Grants to North Carolina Municipalities to Develop
Plans to Promote Walking and Bicycling

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation (DBPT), and the Transportation Planning Branch (TPB)

Deadline Date:

11/09/17 5:00 PM


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Grants to North Carolina municipalities for the development of comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle plans. Funding will support consultant fees and other costs associated with the development of a municipal plan. Please note that plans must be development by consultants that are prequalified by NCDOT.

Communities throughout North Carolina have begun to place more emphasis on providing facilities for biking and walking. A desire for better modal choices, the demand for more walkable and bikeable communities and a focus on smart growth initiatives have combined to highlight the need for better, more complete bicycle and pedestrian transportation systems. Comprehensive planning documents are an integral part of developing these systems, and can guide both local and state efforts to improve conditions for bicycling and walking.

Average costs associated with the development of comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian plans vary greatly depending upon the size of the municipality/county and the complexity of issues to be addressed. A range of estimated costs for plans developed by consultants is shown below. The cost of all plans funded through this initiative shall be within these established ranges. After awardee notification, the specific cost of the plan will be determined through discussions between NCDOT and the municipality/county and through contract negotiations between NCDOT/municipality/county and the selected consultant.

Estimated Costs:

Population less than 5,000:
-Bicycle Plan/Pedestrian Plan: Combined: $35,000 - $40,000
-Corridor Plan: $30,000 - $60,000

Population 5,000 to 10,000:
-Bicycle Plan: $40,000-$50,000
-Pedestrian Plan: $35,000 - $40,000
-Corridor Plan: $30,000 - $60,000

Population 10,000 to 50,000:
-Bicycle Plan: $45,000-$70,000
-Pedestrian Plan: $40,000-$60,000
-Corridor Plan: $30,000 - $60,000

Population 50,000 to 100,000:
-Bicycle Plan: $65,000-$100,000
-Pedestrian Plan: $55,000-$75,000
-Corridor Plan: $30,000 - $60,000

Population over 100,000:
-Bicycle Plan: $95,000-$190,000
-Pedestrian Plan: $70,000-$110,000
-Corridor Plan: $30,000 - $60,000

Smaller municipalities (below 5,000 population) are eligible to apply for a joint bicycle and pedestrian plan, but still have the option of applying for a stand-alone pedestrian or a standalone bicycle plan. Smaller municipalities applying for a stand-alone plan should use the estimated costs for the 5,000 to 10,000 population.

Allowable expenses include consultant costs associated with plan development and delivery; GIS/mapping services, as appropriate; preparation of technical illustrations and graphic design/layout of plan undertaken by consultant; non-staff costs associated with data collection and public involvement activities; and, printing/copying of plan and maps.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161664

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Term of Contract:

The Plan Completion Deadline is within 12 to 18 months from Notice to Proceed.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All North Carolina municipalities are eligible and are encouraged to apply for a planning grant. Counties with populations of less than 50,000 may also apply on behalf of incorporated or unincorporated communities within their jurisdiction. Due to the limited amount of funding, counties with populations greater than 50,000 are not eligible to apply, nor are colleges/universities or other non-municipal entities. Applications submitted and received for previous grant cycles do not carry over — municipalities/counties must re-apply each year to be considered within the current process. Please note that all applications and relevant documents will be accepted via email only (see Application Instructions for more information).

Municipalities/counties who currently have bicycle plans and/or pedestrian plans, either through this grant program or otherwise, may also apply to update their plan provided it is at least five years old.

Smaller municipalities (below 5,000 population) are eligible to apply for a joint bicycle and pedestrian plan, but still have the option of applying for a stand-alone pedestrian or a standalone bicycle plan. Municipalities/counties with populations of 5,000 and over may choose to apply for funding to undertake either a bicycle plan or a pedestrian plan in any given fiscal year. Municipalities/counties may apply for funding for the other type of plan in subsequent years. Funding is intended to support the development of a comprehensive bicycle or pedestrian transportation plan. If neighboring municipalities wish to file a joint application, please contact DBPT for instructions and guidance.

Submitting an application for planning funds is a competitive process. However, an effort will be made to award grants based not only on the merit of the proposal but to achieve statewide geographic distribution as well. Consideration will be given to funding a cross-section of municipality types.

In addition to the traditional bike and pedestrian planning grants, DBPT recently opened up the application process for corridor plans. Any municipality eligible for a planning grant has the option to apply for a more targeted planning grant in a specific location within their municipality. Examples include downtown business districts, targeted higher education corridors, potential shared use path connections, etc. Like the planning grants mentioned above, selection of these projects will be based on a competitive review process.

Staff costs and in-house services are not eligible for reimbursement with these grant funds.

Pre-Application Information:

Matching Grant Formula:

NCDOT planning grant funds will be provided on a sliding scale, based on municipal/county population, as shown in the table below. Neither in-kind services nor other state or federal funds from NCDOT can be used for local participation.

-Population less than 5,000: 90% DOT Participation; 10% Local Participation
-Population 5,000 to10,000: 80% DOT Participation; 20% Local Participation
-Population 10,000 to 50,000: 70% DOT Participation; 30% Local Participation
-Population 50,000 to100,000: 60% DOT Participation; 40% Local Participation
-Population: Over 100,000: 50% DOT Participation; 50% Local Participation

The Role of MPO's and RPO’s:

The relevant approval processes and procedures of MPO and RPO organizations should be followed by any municipality applying for funding. A resolution by the local MPO and or RPO is required. It is strongly encouraged that the appropriate resolution be sent in with the grant application (via email), which is due by 5:00 pm on Thursday, November 9, 2017. Staff from the MPO or RPO may assist with preparation of the application and should also be part of the steering committee guiding development of the plan.

Important Dates:

Key dates for the 2018 NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative are shown below. (Subject to change.)

-Issue Call for Proposals: August 7, 2017
-Application submission deadline - 5:00 PM (Thursday): November 9, 2017
-Awards Committee makes recommendations to NCDOT: January, 2018
-Board of Transportation gives approval: March, 2018
-Municipalities notified of award: March, 2018
-Municipal Reimbursement Agreement executed and Notice to Proceed issued: Within 6 months from award notification
-Plan completion deadline: Within 12 to 18 months from Notice to Proceed

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Nick Scheuer

John Vine-Hodge
(919) 707-2607

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Carolina