In 2021, ODOT published Walk.Bike.Ohio, a statewide plan dedicated to addressing the needs of people walking and biking. The plan established a long-term vision for Ohio that: walking and biking will be a safe, convenient, and accessible transportation option for everyone.
To achieve this vision, dedicated active transportation planning is fundamental. Active Transportation Plans (ATP) map out a robust plan for advancing bicycle and pedestrian priorities that are important to the community and set the stage for implementation. Local governments of all kinds who are interested in developing an ATP should consider following the seven-step process outlined in ODOT’s AT Plan Development Guide. This guide encompasses national best practices, links users directly to statewide data and resources, encourages a standard approach to analyzing bicycle and pedestrian needs, and aligns priorities with statewide active transportation goals. Many local governments, regional planning organizations, and partners are developing ATPs (or integrating active transportation within other transportation plans) while others lack the resources, capacity, or expertise to do so. To assist local governments in developing an ATP, ODOT is accepting applications for Active Transportation Plan Development Assistance.
The purpose of this competitive application for Active Transportation Plan Development Assistance is to select and support local governments with the development of a standalone active transportation plan that ultimately impacts Ohio’s six Active Transportation goals, outlined in Walk.Bike.Ohio:
- Network Connectivity – Promoting comfortable and continuous bicycle and pedestrian facilities that connect people to destinations.
- Safety – Reducing bicyclist/pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
- Equity – Ensuring the system accommodates users of all ages, abilities and incomes.
- Network Utilization – Increasing walking and biking usage.
- Livability – Improving the quality of life for all Ohioans.
- Preservation – Ensuring critical existing infrastructure is in a state of good repair.
Scope of Assistance
ODOT will provide consultant assistance to support the selected local governments with the development of a standalone ATP, following this Scope of Services and in conjunction with the AT Plan Development Guide and AT Plan Template. These local ATPs will outline the strategies needed to support safe, convenient, and accessible active transportation options. Key deliverables of the plan include:
- An evaluation of exisiting bicycle and pedestrian conditions including demographics, exisiting plans, policies, and programs, development of base maps, and set of analyses
- Recommendations for an active transportation network, infrastructure projects, programs and policies relevant to the specific roadway authority or jurisdiction of the applicant agency(ies).
- A list of priority infrastructure projects, with routes and recommended facility types
- Stakeholder and public engagement
- A process for implementation, monitoring, and reporting
This assistance is available for planning only and cannot be used on implementation activities. There is no local match required beyond the in-kind contribution provided by the local government(s) involved. The roles of the Local Project Sponsor (or “local lead”) and ODOT’s consultant team will be outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding.
Cities, villages, townships, and counties are eligible to apply. It is possible for more than one of these agencies to collaborate on an application and plan. Park Districts may collaborate on an application and plan along with another eligible applicant but may not be the sole applicant.
A local lead must be identified from the local government(s) included in the plan and a letter of support is required from all anticipated project team members’ organization. Applicants are required to dedicate staff time throughout the plan development process and be able to perform all the Local Project Sponsor roles outlined in the sample Scope of Work.
Local governments who are selected must participate in a project scoping call with ODOT and the consultant team within 4 weeks of award.
All ATPs must be formally adopted no later than January 2024.
Applications are due on December 9, 2022 at 5 p.m. Once awarded, a scoping call with take place and an MOU will be executed between ODOT and the local. It is anticipated that planning work could begin as early as April 2023.
Questions can be sent to Caitlin.Harley@dot.ohio.gov.
Application Information & Selection
Successful applicants will be selected based on their level of readiness to plan for and implement bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and to advance policies, programs, and other initiatives necessary to make walking and biking a safe, convenient, and accessible transportation option for everyone. Applications will be scored on their ability to demonstrate that this assistance will meaningfully improve statewide goals related to network connectivity, safety, equity, network utilization, livability and preservation. Commitment from local agencies to be highly engaged in the process as well as a clear understanding of the desired planning product is a critical component to a successful application. Funding is limited and ODOT anticipates providing consultant assistance on 4-7 ATPs.
- 3-5 Letters of Support from key stakeholders (including one from MPO or RTPO, if relevant)
- Example of a recent bicycle or pedestrian related project
- What is the identified project area for the ATP?
- Who is the local lead from the agency(ies)? How much of their staff time will be dedicated to this plan?
- Describe your community’s interest in and need for an ATP.
- Why do you need assistance in developing an ATP for your community?
- Who are your key stakeholders and what role will they play in informing and implementing the ATP?
- Describe the current state of your community’s transportation system with a focus on bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
- Are there any specific challenges or opportunities that you feel should be addressed in an AT Plan for your community?
- What kind of data or information have you compiled that may contribute to this planning process? (i.e. asset inventory, volume or count data, high injury network, etc.) Please mention any planning documents addressing bicycle and pedestrian issues.
- Describe other planning efforts you’ve been involved with in the past 5 years.
- Describe any projects your community has undertaken in the last 10 years to improve walking or biking (such as building sidewalks, trails, installing bike lanes, crosswalks, or traffic calming).
- Are there currently any programs, events, or activities offered in your community to educate about or promote walking and biking?
- Describe your public outreach process for informing and engaging residents. How does your agency communicate with community members and stakeholder groups in order to share information and encourage participation?
- Please describe how you will inform and engage elected officials in this planning process.
Level of Readiness
- Why is this a good time for your community to develop an ATP?
- Describe the strengths of your agency in contributing to this planning process.
- What resources do you anticipate using to implement your plan in the future?
- What potential challenges do you foresee in completing an ATP? How do you propose to overcome them?