Most community leaders now understand the inherent value and benefits of creating safe, bikable streets and roads. Dozens of communities, and the Georgia DOT, have adopted visionary Complete Streets policies.

To make these visions and policies a reality – in other words, more and better paved trails, protected bike lanes, bike parking, and bikable bridges – it all comes down to one word: funding.

How do we pay for these facilities? Good news! There are a number of funding sources out there, from federal to local, both public and private. Below are links and resources to help your community implement its bike-friendly vision.

An excellent overall primer on funding is this report: How Communities are Paying for Innovative On-Street Bicycle Infrastructure




Report: State funding options for bicycle projects

In Georgia, the state constitution limits the expenditure of state motor fuel taxes on the construction and maintenance of “roads and bridges.” Luckily, bicycle lanes and bikable shoulders occur on roads and bridges, so state transportation funds are eligible for most bicycle accommodations. Often, state funds are bundled with federal funding, and many federal transportation programs are eligible for bicycle improvements (see below).


Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding Opportunities: Federal Transit and Federal Highway Funds

“Find it, fund it” search tool: Federal funding programs available for bicycle projects


Public-Private Partnerships (aka PPP or P3) for transportation projects occur “when public agencies contract with private partners to allow the private partners to perform functions normally done by the public agencies for the design, renovation, construction, operation, maintenance, and/or management of transportation infrastructure. Each P3 has at least three elements:

1. A goal,
2. A compensation structure, and
3. A term of contract completion.”
The League of American Bicyclists and Advocacy Advance teamed up on a comprehensive report detailing the nature, pros, and cons of P3 funding strategies.

Cost of Bicycle Infrastructure Projects

The 2013 Costs for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Infrastructure Improvements report, prepared by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (UNC HSRC), details the minimum, maximum, and average costs for building and installing bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
  • Average cost to purchase and install a bike rack: $660
  • Average cost to widen road for 5′ bike lanes: ~$130k/mile
  • Average cost to install a median refuge island: ~$13k

Full report

While this is a valuable resource for advocates, planners, engineers, and elected officials, please see the clarifying remarks below from the report’s authors:
“These tables and associated database provide up-to-date information on pedestrian and bicycle treatments. It is important to remember that the tables …are estimates of pedestrian and bicycle-related infrastructure costs and that infrastructure costs will likely differ substantially between communities and between states. Additionally, these costs may not always accurately reflect the current market price of materials, labor, mobilization, and other costs included in all situations. More detailed infrastructure cost information can be found in the larger database, located at

This database of costs is presented here for use by city planners, engineers, and other city officials. The ultimate goal of the database is to encourage bicycling and walking and to make bicycling and walking safer through the provision of relevant infrastructure. HSRC researchers hope that this cost database is used to simplify the process for implementing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and will help decision-makers understand the costs involved in sustaining and encouraging pedestrian and bicycle transportation. By making more informed decisions about the costs of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure treatments, decision-makers will be able to dedicate funds to those treatments secure in the knowledge that a) these investments are often affordable and b) which treatment is the most cost-effective.” 

Advocates from Cleveland, OH report the following average costs* for re-striping a roadway to include bicycle accommodations (no road widening):

  • Grinding for removal of centerline: $5,000 per mile
  • Thermoplastic Center line:  $6,800 per mile
  • Edge line (same as solid bike lane line):  $2,800 per mile.  Note that this cost applies to each line.  So, in an area with on-street parking, you have two edge lines in each direction (total of four lines for both directions).  In areas where the bike lane is adjacent to the curb line, there is only one edge line in each direction (a total of two lines for both directions).
  • Lane line:  $1,200 per mile
  • Bike lane symbol:  $300 each
  • Shared lane symbol (aka “sharrow”):  $300 each

* Important note: echoing the bold text above, these figures are rough estimates. Actual costs will depend on specific road conditions and the vendors and contractors used in your community.

Maintenance Costs

Advocacy Advance offers this report on how communities are paying for bike lane and paved trail maintenance.