Promoting bicycling as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation.



General Terms and Phrases

Planning Terms

Federal Funding Terms

State or Local Bicycle/Pedestian Funding


AASHTO – American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Publishes the Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities which are considered the national design standard for bicycle facilities.

Burlington County Bridge Commission – Agency responsible for the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington Bristol Bridges

District 6-0 – The Local PENNDOT District whose offices are in King of Prussia.

DRJTBC – Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission – Responsible for all bridges on the Delaware River from Trenton to the NY State Line.  

DRPA – Delaware River Port Authority is responsible for the “celebrity” bridges the Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman and Commodore Barry as well as PATCO and the Riverlink Ferry.

DVRPC – Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the MPO for 5 SE PA Counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and 4 NJ Counties (Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer).

FHWA – Federal Highway Administration  

FTA – Federal Transit Administration

MPO – Metropolitan Planning Organization A regional consortium of local governments in charge of regional planning (required by law)

MUTCD – The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices is the federal standard for trafficsigns, signals and road markings.

NACTO - National Association of City Transportation Officials - Creators of the groundbreaking "Urban Bikeway Design Guide"

NHTSA – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NJ TRANSIT – New Jersey Transit Buses and Trains in New Jersey including the RiverLINE light rail and the Atlantic City Line  

NJDOT – New Jersey Department of Transportation

PA DCNR – Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

PATCO – Port Authority Transit Corporation trains between Philadelphia and South Jersey. Operated by DRPA.

PENNDOT – Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

SEPTA – Southeastern PA Transportation Authority, buses and trains in Southeastern Pennsylvania

TMA - Transportation Management Agency, usually a non profit public private partnership. TMA's work with employers to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips. Some TMA's have dedicated bicycle programs while others do not.  

General Terms and Phrases

The 6 E’s – A term to describe the essential elements of an holistic bicycling environment.  Education, Engineering, Enforcement, Encouragement, Evaluation and Equity

AADT – Average Annual Daily Traffic a standard for measuring traffic volume. Measured as vehicles per day (VPD)

Bicycle Boulevard – A street that prioritizes the movement of bicycles, often a parallel street to a major arterial street. Road often has special treatments such as bike lanes or sharrows and bicycle signal detectors  

Bicycle Level of Service – An objective model to measure the bike friendliness of a road segment. Measured from A to F. Criteria includes traffic volume, speed, road width, shoulders and adjacent parking.

Bike Box – An advanced stop line at an intersection exclusively for bikes that allows cyclists to move ahead of  turning vehicles.

Bike Lane - A portion of a roadway that is designated by striping, signing and pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists. The minimum width for an urban street is 5 feet.

Bike Station – A secure bicycle parking facility that is either attended or automated with a smart card  

Complete Streets - are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and bus riders of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.

Cycle Track - A bike lane that is physically separated from the road and the sidewalk, increasingly popular in some European countries, a cycle track has been installed on 9th Avenue in New York City. Cycle Tracks have higher engineering standards than sidepaths.  

GIS – Geographical Information Systems, a computerized mapping database.

Road Diet - Conversion of 4 lane undivided roads to 3 lanes (two through lanes and a center turn lane), The fourth lane may be converted to bicycle lanes, sidewalks, and/or on-street parking. In other words, existing space is reallocated; the overall area remains the same. In Philadelphia several roads such as Verree Ave, Morrell Ave and Ogontz Ave have undergone a road diet.

Shared Use Path – Sometimes erroneously called bike paths. These allow different non motorized users and are located on independent rights of way such as rail trails

Sharrow – A shared lane symbol in the pavement that includes a chevron and bike symbol. This is intended to remind motorists to share the road and to designate the ideal road position for the cyclist

Sidepath– A shared use path that is adjacent to the road, poorly designed sidepaths increase the risk of a crash with turning vehicles, there are also maintenance concerns with sidepaths..

VMT – Vehicle Miles Traveled Total miles traveled by all vehicles in a geographic area over a specific time period. VMT is a good indicator of driving habits, since 2003 VMT has nearly leveled off.  

Planning Terms

Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan – A plan that identifies goals, objectives and performance measures for a government to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian travel. While Pennsylvania and New Jersey have bicycle and pedestrian master plans, only a handful of counties and municipalities have complete plans.    

EIS – Environmental Impact Statement, less stringent environmental documents are the Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Categorical Exclusion (CE). As per the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), this documentation is required if federal transportation dollars are used for a project.

Final Design – The final plans or blueprint for the project that include specific construction requirements and design details.

Mitigation – Measures to counter an undesirable condition such as the destruction of wetlands.  

PENNDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Checklist – A checklist in that project managers are supposed to use to ensure that the needs of bicycles and pedestrians are accommodated for in all road projects throughout the entire planning process. The checklist is Appendix J of PENNDOT Design Manual 1A.

Preliminary Engineering or Preliminary Design – The initial plans for a project,  product of this phase include project maps, typical cross sections, the determination of the required right of way and estimated project costs.  

ROW – Right of Way acquisition, this can be the most expensive and time consuming portion of the project. Right of Way is typically acquired after the completion of preliminary design.

Scoping – Defining the project parameters,  goals and objectives.

TIP - Transportation Improvement Program A prioritized program of transportation projects to be implemented in appropriate stages over several years (i.e., 3-5 yrs). The projects must conform with the DVRPC Long Range Plan. All federally funded projects and programs must be included in the TIP. In Pennsylvania the TIP is updated in a 2 year cycle and in before each update there is a public comment period. MPO's are responsible for maintaining the TIP.

Federal Funding Terms 

CMAQ 4.3% – Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Funds. Money authorized by SAFETEA-LU to address air quality and traffic congestion issues. Bicycle projects are eligible and some of this money is awarded competitively and these projects require a 20% match in PA (0% in NJ)

High Priority and Transportation Improvement Projects 10% – Also known as Earmarks. Earmarks are highly criticized by the Heritage Foundation and Taxpayer Rights groups. These are projects submitted by congressional members for their districts or states. About 15% of the projects are set aside for specific trail or other bicycle pedestrian type projects e.g. $4 Million was set aside for the North Delaware Waterfront Trail in NE Philadelphia. 

Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) 2.5% - Formerly known as the safety set aside. Bicycle advocates have argued for a “Fair Share for Safety”. Bicycles and Pedestrians account for 13% of the fatalities yet less than 2% of this money addresses bicycle and pedestrian safety infrastructure improvements (0% in PA).

Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Progam .04% - An experimental program that gives $25 Million to 4 communities to develop a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian network. Those communities are Minneapolis-St. Paul, Marin County CA, Columbia MO and Sheboygan County WI. It is hoped that the success of this program will open it up to many more communities in the next transportation bill.

Rec Trails Funds 0.2% - provides funds to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail use. In PA Rec Trails funds are managed by DCNR  

Safe Routes to School  0.25% - Safe Routes to School Funds are designed to make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school. 10 – 30% of Safe Routes to Schools Funds shall be used for non infrastructure programs that deal with enforcement, education or encouragement. and these projects do not require matching funds

SAFETEA-LU – The Transportation Bill passed in 2005 that amends US Code and the authorizes spending of Federal Transportation Dollars through 2009. The predecessor to SAFETEA-LU was ISTEA. The programs that follow are authorized under SAFETEA-LU percentages are the proportion of authorized funds and are roughly in order of importance to bicyclists.

Section 402 Highway Safety Funds 0.5% - Not to be confused with HSIP. Administered by NHTSA, Highway Safety Funds are used to support State and community programs to reduce deaths and injuries on the highways. Some of this money has been used for bike education campaigns in the past.   STP 14% (with TE 16%)– Surface Transportation Program, most of this money is for general transportation construction and maintenance and includes TE funds (see above), bicycle and pedestrian projects are eligible for these funds.    

TE 2.5% – Transportation Enhancements is a subset of STP funds for non traditional projects such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities. These funds are awarded on a competitive basis. In 2005 in Pennsylvania a portion of TE funds a assigned to the Hometown Streets/Safe Routes to School Program.

Transit Enhancements .05% –  This is a 1% set aside of Federal Urban Formula Transit Funds for metro areas with a population of over 200,000. This program is similar to Transportation Enhancements but are directly related to transit amenities such as bike racks on buses or train station rehabilitation. SEPTA is allocated about $1 million a year for Transit Enhancements.

State or Local Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding 

These funds are obtained from sources such as the state gas taxes, open space funds or other vehicle fees.

Montgomery County Municipal Open Space Funds (Green Fields Green Towns) – Projects need to be in updated municipal open space plans, trails are eligible for funding if they connect to the county’s trail network, and implementation of the Schuylkill River Greenway.

NJ – Local Aid Bikeway Funds Funding for planning and or construction of bike lanes or paths. Awarded annually and match is usually not required. Grants usually are big enough to fund bike lanes but trails often have to be funded in phases.

PA - DCNR Grants - DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation annually awards about $30 million in planning, acquisition and development grants for parks, recreation, rivers conservation, trails, greenways, and protection of open space and critical natural areas. The application period is in the fall of each year and require a 50% match.

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