Iowa’s Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

Iowa’s Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)

Funding for surface transportation alternatives projects and initiatives that are statewide or multiregional in nature and relate to transportation. This program now includes Safe Routes to School projects, Scenic Byways, and eligible Recreational Trails Program projects.

Local projects (not statewide or multi-regional in nature) with a local city or county focus such as a small city trail should not be submitted to this program.  Local projects should be submitted to the local planning agency according to the agency’s funding program guidelines.

Eligible Project Criteria

Construction, planning and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Construction, planning and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.
Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists or other non-motorized transportation users.
Construction of turnouts, overlooks and viewing areas.

Community improvement activities, including but not limited to:

Inventory, control or removal of outdoor advertising.
Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities.
Vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species and provide erosion control.
Archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of transportation projects eligible under this title.
Streetscape and corridor landscaping.

Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to address:

Stormwater management, control and water pollution prevention.
Abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff.
Reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality.
Restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.

Infrastructure-Related Safe Routes to School Projects
The planning, design, and construction of infrastructure-related projects that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school, including:

Sidewalk improvements,
Traffic calming and speed reduction improvements,
Pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements,
On-street bicycle facilities,
Off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities,
Secure bicycle parking facilities, and
Traffic diversion improvements in the vicinity of schools.

Non-Infrastructure Related Safe Routes to School Projects
Activities to encourage walking and bicycling to school, including:

Public awareness campaigns and outreach to media and community leaders,
Traffic education and enforcement in the vicinity of K-8 schools,
Student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment, and
Funding for training, volunteers, and managers of safe routes to school programs.

Eligible Recreational Trails Program projects, which include:

Maintenance and restoration of existing recreational trails;
Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages;
Purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment;
Construction of new recreational trails (with some restrictions for new trails on Federal lands);
Acquisition of easements and fee simple title to property for recreational trails or recreational trail corridors;
Assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance;
Development and dissemination of publications and operation of educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection, (as those objectives relate to one or more of the use of recreational trails, supporting non-law enforcement trail safety and trail use monitoring patrol programs, and providing trail-related training), but in an amount not to exceed 5 percent of the apportionment made to the State for the fiscal year.

Additional Requirements and Information

Funds may be provided for up to 80 percent of eligible project costs or up to the approved grant maximum, whichever is less. A local match is required to pay for 20 percent or more of the remaining costs.

This is a reimbursement program.

With few exceptions, all funded projects will be assigned a project manager within the DOT’s Systems Planning Bureau. This project manager will work closely with the project sponsor to see the successful completion of the project.

Since this program is part of the Federal-aid highway program, awarded projects are subject to certain Federal laws and regulations including:
Involvement of the public, including adjacent property owners, in the development of the project.

Compliance with the Uniform Relocation Property Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act for the acquisition of easements or the purchase of land.
Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires verification the project is not harmful to the environment in the following areas:

Air quality
Cultural resources
Water quality
Farmland protection
Hazardous waste sites
Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Compliance with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and Minority Business Enterprises (MBE).
Compliance with Davis-Bacon wage requirements.
Competitive bidding requirements.
Obtaining necessary permits or other required approvals.


Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT)

Eligible Applicants

– Local governments
– Regional transportation authorities
– Transit agencies
– Natural resource or public lands agencies
– Tribal governments
– 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 that the state determines to be eligible).
– A non-eligible project sponsor (ex. a non-profit) may partner with an eligible co-sponsor in applying for funds.   

Application Deadline

Statewide and multi-regional in-nature projects are considered through the Statewide TAP program October 1 annually.

Local project application deadlines can be found at: by clicking your project location on the interactive map to determine the appropriate local planning agency.

Award Announcement

The approval process timeline will vary by project.

Contact Person

Pamella Lee, Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Program Manager
Iowa Department of Transportation
Office of Systems Planning
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: (515) 239-1810