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Selection Criteria and Process

Selection Criteria

Projects will be selected based on the criteria below. DOT&PF staff will check projects for eligibility, then score and rank the projects based on the criteria below. Updated: 3/14/19 for technical correction

The criteria will have 12 categories:

Scoring Criteria

Standards

(5)

(3)

(0)

(-3)

1. Health and Quality of Life

(for example air and water quality, neighborhood continuity, accessibility)

Weighting:  5

This project provides a significant contribution to improved health or quality of life; or reduces or removes a significant existing negative factor.

This project provides a moderate contribution to improved health or quality of life; or reduces or removes an existing negative factor.

Project will have no effect either positive or negative on quality of life issues

This project provides a significant degradation to health or quality of life.

Examples include projects that provide mobility options for underserved populations, safe activity transportation to schools and learning centers, and pedestrian mobility for seniors and disabled persons and active friendly routes to everyday destinations.

2. Safety

Meets goals or strategies listed in the Alaska Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) related to bicyclists and pedestrians.

Weighting:   5

Project corridor has a known history of high collisions with cyclist and/or pedestrians AND is documented (two or more incidents in the last five years within project limits) and the project improvements are expected to help mitigate the existing safety concern

Project will improve safety by constructing important safety features such as traffic calming features, lighting, and other safety related infrastructure or providing for the collection of data.  

Project does not include a safety component.

Project will have a significant adverse effect on safety of pedestrians or bicyclists.

Most recently available five year official DOT&PF data. When using anecdotal crash information from first hand (EMS, Fire, Police, M&O - on-scene responsibility) = maximum score is 4 points.  When using anecdotal safety information from second-hand sources (not on-scene responsibility) or data not recognized in practice = maximum score 3 points.

3. Local, other agency or user contribution to fund capital costs

Weighting: 5
Contribution of cash matching funds: .2 pt per each 1% of project cost in excess of the required federal aid match. Contribution covers no capital costs Beyond required match commitment

N/A

Commitment to provide matching funds is required for all project nominations

Minimum match contribution of 9.03% is required for all projects. Only contributions that exceed the required match contribution shall be considered for additional points. All financial commitments must be in writing and approved by the local governing body of the community or tribal government before project will be considered for funding. Cost estimates must be prepared or approved by DOT&PF.

4a. Local, other agency or user contribution to fund operations and maintenance (O&M) costs.  (Use for non-DOT&PF facilities).  

Weighting: 0 or 4

Sponsor will assume ownership of and maintenance and operations responsibility for a new facility.

Continued sponsor ownership and operation of locally-owned facility and results in significant local maintenance savings

Results in significant local maintenance savings = 3 pts

Continued sponsor ownership & operation of locally-owned facility = 0 pts.

N/A

Commitment to continue ownership and operation of a locally-owned facility is required.

4b. Departmental M&O costs and priority (Use for DOT&PF facilities)

Weighting: 0 or 4

Significant DOT&PF M&O priority. A project that results in a transfer of ownership/management responsibility, maintenance and operations to a local government.

Moderate M&O priority. A project that results in a transfer of M&O responsibility (but not ownership/management responsibility) to a local government will be considered a moderate priority.

Project that does not result in transfer or responsibility, but will decrease current M&O burden (2)

Not an M&O priority; little effect on M&O costs.

Not an M&O priority; would increase M&O costs significantly.

Sponsor commitment must be in writing and passed by the governing body of the community or tribe before points will be assigned and DOT&PF must approve the transfer of responsibility if DOT&PF facility.

5. Public Support

  • Resolution
  • Project Support
  • Commitments

 

 

 

 

Weighting: 4

 

Project application includes a resolution of support from the local elected body* and is identified as a high priority project in state, tribal, or local plans.

Project application includes a resolution of support from local elected body* and nominally supported in official state, tribal, or local plans.

Project application includes resolution of support from local elected body*

Project application includes resolution of support and resolution includes language authorizing the execution of an agreement with the State promising to perform the specified act(s) for which the sponsor is seeking points under standard 3 (funding contributions) and standard 4 (ownership and management responsibility).  (1)

N/A

Resolution* is required for all project nominations

*Resolution is only required in areas/communities represented by locally elected body. For those communities not represented by a locally elected body, a public record of support is required. Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and similar lists adopted by resolution will be considered as a resolution. Any document for which the sponsor would like to have considered as a ‘plan’ must include documentation of public involvement.

6. Project bridges gap or removes barrier between existing trail systems or provides interpretive area for a scenic or historic site.

Weighting:  4

Project provides an important connection near a school, transit facility, or other important community center (bridges a gap, removes a barrier, or provides new interpretive area for a scenic or historic site). Project provides a modest connection or improves an existing connection (bridges a gap, removes a barrier, or improves existing interpretive area for a scenic or historic site). No gaps bridged or a barrier removed. Project creates barrier or displaces existing non-motorized uses.
In addition to providing new connections, projects that include improvements to accessibility (to meet Americans Disability Act (ADA)) and provide for active friendly routes to everyday destinations requirements or wayfinding are considered to bridge gaps and remove barriers.

7.  Project is tied to an annual recreational, educational or tourism event or activity?  This project would strongly support/sustain this event?

Weighting: 2

Event or activity is of statewide or regional significance.
Event or activity is well known/ long standing. 
Yes to both (5)
Yes to one (4).

Event or activity is local and well known
Event or activity is long standing. 
Yes to both (3)
Yes to one (2).  

Event is new but growing in importance (1).

Event is minor and local.

N/A

8.  Any of the six intrinsic qualities: scenic, historic, cultural, natural, archaeological, recreational.

Weighting: 2

One point for each quality; maximum 5.  Project must include interpretation of historic, cultural, natural and archaeological attributes for points.

None.
N/A N/A

9. Project includes Stabilization or renovation of a historic transportation facility

Weighting: 3
Nomination includes letter or other documentation of inclusion of the renovated property on the National Historic Register or provides interpretation  Nomination includes letter of support from Office of History & Archeology that declares the property to be of significant (4), or of moderate (3) historical importance or provides interpretation Project does not include stabilization or renovation of a historic property or interpretation. Project will harm or reduce in value an historic property.
Historic transportation facility may include train depots, rail trestles, bridges, lighthouses, bus terminals, tunnels, canals, locks and tow paths. The project improvements must maintain the historic integrity of the structure.
10. Cost Effectiveness:

Total project cost/persons whom facility provides essential services & benefits described in Criteria 1,2,6, or 7

 

Weighting: 3

$100 per capita or less

For example: $500,000 project serves 5,000 persons

$300 per capita or less

For example:

$1.5 million project serves 5,000 persons

$1,000 per capita or less

For example:
$5million project serves 5,000 persons

N/A
The Department will prepare or approve (possibly with revision) all cost estimates for consistency statewide.

11. Capital Cost or Project Complexity

Weighting 3

Total project cost (all phases): $500,000 or less
Or

Project has completed environmental document and is not expected to have ROW acquisition or Utility relocation. (5)

Total project cost (all phases):
$500,000- $1,000,000 (3)
$1,000,000-$1,500,000 (1)
OR
Project is expected to be a Categorical Exclusion and is not expected to have ROW acquisition or utility relocation.

Total project cost (all phases):

>$1,500,000
Not eligible for program
Requires DOT&PF review of project scope and any environmental documents before points are awarded

12. Other factors not specified.

 

Weighting: 3

Project exhibits significant innovation, creativity, or unique benefits not otherwise rated.

Project exhibits moderate innovation, creativity, or unique benefits not otherwise noted.

Project exhibits no innovation, creativity, or unique benefits not otherwise rated.

 


Appendix A: Transportation Alternatives Eligible Project Sponsors

ELIGIBLE ENTITIES (23 U.S.C. 133(h)(4)(B))

Under 23 U.S.C. 133(h)(4)(B), the entities eligible to receive TA Set-Aside funds are:

(1) a local government: Local government entities include any unit of local government below a State government agency, except for an MPO. Examples include city, town, township, village, borough, parish, or county agencies.
(2) a regional transportation authority: Regional transportation authorities are considered the same as the Regional Transportation Planning Organizations defined in the statewide planning section (23 U.S.C. 135(m)).
(3) a transit agency: Transit agencies include any agency responsible for public transportation that is eligible for funds as determined by the Federal Transit Administration.
(4) a natural resource or public land agency: Natural resource or public land agencies include any Federal, Tribal, State, or local agency responsible for natural resources or public land administration. Examples include:
· State or local park or forest agencies;
· State or local fish and game or wildlife agencies;
· Department of the Interior Land Management Agencies; and
· U.S. Forest Service.
(5) a school district, local education agency, or school: School districts, local education agencies, or schools may include any public or nonprofit private school. Projects should benefit the general public and not only a private entity.
(6)  a tribal government.
(7) a nonprofit entity responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs: Examples include a nonprofit entity responsible for:
· a local program implementing 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; and
· a safe routes to school program.
(8) any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for, or oversight of, transportation or recreational trails (other than an MPO or a State agency) that the State determines to be eligible, consistent with the goals of this subsection.
State DOTs and MPOs are not eligible entities as defined under 23 U.S.C. 133(h)(4)(B) and therefore are not eligible project sponsors for TA Set-Aside funds. However, State DOTs and MPOs may partner with an eligible entity project sponsor to carry out a project.
Nonprofit organizations are not eligible as direct grant subrecipients for TA Set-Aside funds unless they qualify through one of the eligible entity categories (e.g., where a nonprofit organization is a designated transit agency, school, or an entity responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs). Nonprofit entities are eligible to partner with any eligible entity on an eligible project, if State or local requirements permit.

Appendix B: Transportation Alternatives Eligible Project Types

ELIGIBLE PROJECTS (23 U.S.C. 133(h)(3))

TA Set-Aside funds may be obligated for projects or activities described in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29) or 213, as such provisions were in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the FAST Act. See
TAP Eligible Projects Legislation as in effect prior to enactment of the FAST Act.

Former 23 U.S.C. 213(b)(1):
(1)  Transportation Alternatives as defined in section 101 [former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)]:
The term “transportation alternatives” means any of the following activities when carried out
as part of any program or project authorized or funded under this title, or as an independent program or project related to surface transportation:

  •  Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized 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 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
  •  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 nonmotorized transportation users.
  •  Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
  •  Community improvement activities, which include but are 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; and
  • archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under title 23.
  • Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution

abatement activities and mitigation to:

  • address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff, including activities described in sections 23 U.S.C. 133(b)(3) [as amended under the FAST Act], 328(a), and 329 of title 23; or

(ii) reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats (Former 23 U.S.C. 213(b)(2)-(4)).

Examples of Transportation Alternatives Eligible Projects

Activity

Eligible

Not Eligible

Activity 1:
Design and Construction 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 American Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C.12101 et seq.).

  • Trials on and off road
  • New sidewalks
  • Rehabilitating existing sidewalks to comply with ADA standards and to improve pedestrian access
  • Other ADA pedestrian improvements including curb ramps and truncated domes
  • Bicycle lanes
  • Bicycle parking and bus racks
  • Bicycle and pedestrian bridges and underpasses
  • Rails with Trails
  • Equestrian trails when built along with a shared use path.
  • Sidewalk repair, drainage improvement or other maintenance activities
  • Circular trails/sidewalks
  • Facilities located wholly on one site or property that do not provide a connection to existing trails or sidewalks outside the site or property
  • Trails for equestrian use only
  • Recreational facilities
  • Any non-ADA compliant trial/sidewalk facility
  • Way-finding signage/program as a standalone project.

Activity 2:
Design and Construction of infrastructure related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-driver including children, older adults and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.

  • Pedestrian and bicycle signals and crosswalks
  • Pedestrian lighting and other safety-related infrastructure
  • Safe connections to public transportation
  • Bicycle and pedestrian safety/educational programs (See SRTS eligibilities for K-8)
  • Lighting fixtures intended for aesthetic purposes only (instances where adequate lighting already exists).
  • Roadway lighting

Activity 3:
Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trials for pedestrians, bicyclists or other non-motorized transportation users

  • Rails to Trails facilities
  • Projects solely to preserve abandoned railroad right of way
  • Trail facilities for motorized vehicles (ATV’s, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, etc.)
  • Maintenance and/or upkeep of trails (including the purchase of equipment).

Activity 4:
Construction of turnouts, overlooks and viewing areas.

  • Turnouts, overlooks and viewing areas that interpret a scenic or historic site
  • Interpretation and other amenities installed without construction of a turnout, overlook or viewing area
  • Safety rest areas
  • Visitor/Welcome centers
  • Farmers markets, entertainment pavilions, etc.
  • Staffing, operating or maintenance costs of the pull off
  • Marketing and promotional activities

Activity 5:
Inventory, control or removal of outdoor advertising

  • Billboard inventories including those done with GIS/GPS
  • Removal of illegal and non-conforming billboards (non-conforming signs are those lawfully erected but that no longer comply with the Highway Beautification Act of 1965)
  • Administration or operating expenses involved in State outdoor advertising program activities

Activity 6:
Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities

  • Rehabilitation and/or restoration of historic transportation facilities including: train depots, rail trestles, bridges, lighthouses, bus terminals, tunnels, canals, locks and tow paths
  • Historic building that are not part of the historic transportation infrastructure (for example: inns and taverns, gas stations and carriage houses)
  • Project that do not intend to comply with Secretary of the Interior Standards for Restoration and Rehabilitation
  • Improvements that will not maintain the historic integrity of the structure
  • Operation of historic transportation facilities
  • Spaces not open/accessible to the public
  • Spaces used in for-profit enterprises
  • Constructing a replica of a historic transportation facility
  • Construction of new rail/passenger stations
  • Transportation infrastructure not related to surface transportation (i.e. air and space travel)

Activity 7:
Vegetation management practices in transportation rights of way

  • Vegetation to improve transportation safety (could include removal of vegetation too)
  • Landscaping as scenic beautification/stand-alone landscaping project

Activity 8:
Archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project

  • Archeological excavations and surveys related to a transportation project
  • Archeological activities requires as part of MAP-21 eligible project
  • Interpretation and display of artifacts discovered as part of a transportation project
  • Archeological activities not related to a transportation project eligible under federal Title 23

Activity 9:
Environmental mitigation activities to decrease the negative impacts of roads on the natural environment

  • Storm water management activities related to highway run-off that address water pollution and improve the ecological balance of local streams and rivers
  • Detentions and sediment basins
  • Stream channel stabilization
  • Storm drain stenciling and river/stream clean-ups
  • Drainage improvements related to poor maintenance
  • Storm water management activities not related to highway run-off and water pollution

Activity 10:

Wildlife mortality mitigation activities to decrease the negative impacts of roads on the natural environment
  • Wetlands acquisition and restoration
  • Wildlife underpasses and overpasses to improve wildlife passage and habitat connectivity
  • Improvements to decrease vehicle-caused wildlife mortality
  • Project not related to the negative impacts of highway construction

 

TA SET-ASIDE PROJECT ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

The following questions and answers relating to project eligibility come from previous MAP-21 guidance and questions and answers, updated to be consistent under the FAST Act. See TAP Eligible Projects Legislation as in effect prior to the enactment of the FAST Act for the text from the former 23 U.S.C. 213(b) and 101(a)(29). Eligible TA Set-Aside projects must be sponsored by an eligible entity and selected through the competitive selection process.

Archaeological Activities: What archaeological activities are eligible?
Archaeological activities must relate to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under title 23 (Former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)(E)(iv)).

Bike Sharing: Are bike sharing systems eligible?
Yes. Bike sharing systems are eligible for Federal-aid Highway Program funds, under several
Federal-aid programs, including the STBG and TA Set-Aside. In addition to bike sharing docks, equipment, and other capital costs, FHWA funds may be used to purchase bicycles that are integral to a bike sharing system. Federal-aid Highway Program funds cannot be used for operational costs (Former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)(A) and (B)).

Historic Preservation: What historic preservation projects are eligible?
Historic preservation activities are limited to historic preservation and rehabilitation activities relating to historic transportation facilities. Operation of historic transportation facilities is not eligible (Former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)(E)(ii)).

Land Acquisition: Is land acquisition eligible?
Land acquisition is allowed for eligible TA projects, such as right-of-way or easements for
pedestrian and bicycle projects; turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas; historic transportation facilities; or environmental mitigation. FHWA’s Real Estate Guidance for Enhancement Projects remains a useful resource to address real estate and property management issues. However, MAP-21 eliminated eligibility for acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites (including historic battlefields), scenic or historic highway programs (including tourist and welcome center facilities), or museums.

Landscaping: Is landscaping and scenic enhancement eligible as an independent project?
Under the “community improvement activities” category, projects such as streetscaping and corridor landscaping may be eligible under the TA Set-Aside if sponsored by an eligible entity and selected through the required competitive process. Landscaping and scenic enhancement features, including junkyard screening and removal under 23 U.S.C. 136, may be eligible as part of the construction of any Federal-aid highway project, including eligible TA-funded projects (23 U.S.C. 319).

Lighting: Is lighting eligible?
Yes. Lighting is eligible for bicycle and pedestrian facilities and may be appropriate as part of other eligible categories. Project sponsors should consider energy-efficient methods and options that reduce light pollution (Former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)(A)).

Planning: Is planning eligible as an independent TA Set-Aside project?
Yes. Planning for pedestrian and bicycle activities is eligible as an independent project. Former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29) did not specify if “construction, planning, and design” limits planning to a component of a project, or whether planning may be an independent project related to eligible projects. Title 23 has sections that use “and” to describe both related and unrelated types of activities, therefore FHWA believes that section 101(a)(29) supported both planning components and independent planning projects.

Resilience: Are resilience improvements eligible?
Making transportation systems more resilient to changing environmental conditions is an important aspect of maintaining a state of good repair. Federal-aid highway planning and projects, including activities funded via the TA Set-Aside, may include climate and extreme weather resiliency elements to make transportation systems more reliable. For further information, please see FHWA guidance Eligibility of Activities to Adapt to Climate Change.

Road Diets: Are road diets eligible?
Road Diets are among FHWA’s Proven Safety Countermeasures. If work to benefit activities
eligible under the TA Set-Aside that are associated with a road diet (such as widening sidewalks
or installing separated bike lanes) would require incidental highway reconstruction, then TA Set-
Aside funds may cover those costs (Former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)(A) and (B)).

Safety Education Activities: Are safety education activities eligible?
Safety education activities are eligible for TA Set-Aside funds if they are eligible as SRTS projects, targeting children in Kindergarten through 8th grade (Former 23 U.S.C. 213(b)(3)). STBG funds may be used for carrying out non-construction projects related to safe bicycle use under 23 U.S.C. 133(b)(6) and 217(a).

Turnouts: What is eligible under “construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas”?
The activity “construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas” may use the criteria for “scenic overlooks” described in 23 CFR 752.6: “Scenic overlooks may provide facilities equivalent to those provided in safety rest area[s]” described in 23 CFR 752.5(Former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)(D)).

Utilities: Is utility relocation eligible?
Utility relocation that is necessary to accommodate an eligible project may be eligible for Federal reimbursement only if permitted under State law or policy. Federal law and regulation (23 U.S.C. 123,

Relocation of utility facilities, and 23 CFR 645, Utilities) recognize that some States, by State law or policy, prohibit using public funds to relocate utilities; in these States, it is illegal to use funds to relocate utilities. (23 U.S.C. 123, Relocation of utility facilities, and 23 CFR 645, Utilities)