Rounding Up More TIGER Coverage

The Streetsblog Network has been abuzz over the last 24 hours about the TIGER grants that were announced yesterday by the US DOT. Elana had some great roundups on this site yesterday about winners and losers in the highly competitive process.

Yonah Freemark of The Transport Politic posted another good overview. He notes, as Elana did, that the distribution of funds seems to reflect a shift away from car-centric thinking. Freemark adds a caveat, though:

Tucson_Streetcar.jpgThe Tucson Modern Streetcar was among the TIGER winners. (Image: Tucson Regional Transit Authority)

Though the TIGER grant process was supposed to result in the funding of
creative, unique solutions to transportation problems in the United
States, it would be hard to argue that many of the programs chosen for
funding today are particularly different: no money was spent on bike share networks, for instance.

Around the country, our member blogs were posting about what the results meant to their local communities, for good and ill.

KC Light Rail and Let’s Go KC both posted on the awards going to Kansas City, Missouri, which got money for suburban transit and the improvement of conditions for pedestrians in the city’s Green Impact Zone (KC Light Rail wonders if some funds might end up going to the downtown streetcar as well). However, as KCBike.info posted, the region got no funds for bicycling improvements.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia rejoiced in the funding of seven different bicycle/pedestrian projects there.

Santa Rosa CityBus writes that although their TIGER application was turned down, they’ll be getting some of the stimulus funds that BART won’t be getting for the Oakland Airport Connector.

Greater Greater Washington says the D.C. region’s money will mean a real boost for bus service.

And Bike Portland reports that TIGER money will mean a two-way cycle track in that city.

Got some TIGER news that you’re particularly excited or disappointed about? Hit us in the comments.

  • The DC bus application that received funding included a bike-share component, but that component was not funded. More on the DC grant here.

  • New Orleans will expand streetcar service using $45 million from TIGER. This will only cover a portion of the currently planned expansion, however, and the RTA will need to find further funding to provide new service along the French Quarter, Marigny, Treme, St. Roch, and Bywater neighborhoods.

    More info @ http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/02/new_orleans_awarded_45_million.html and http://twitter.com/TfNOLA.

  • I am, of course, disappointed. My hometown of St. Louis–one of the neediest cases in the nation after Detroit–was completely and entirely shut out of TIGER grants.

    Prospective projects included:

    -A new streetcar for the city’s popular Delmar Loop District. Currently, the city has no streetcars and the agency responsible for the buses and light rail (Metro) is having difficulty finding funding to support the current system as built. Despite record ridership, Metro has been forced to cut back bus lines and service altogether. The state of Missouri is one of the stingiest in the nation as far as transit funding. It provides for a mere 6 percent of Metro’s operating budget. The average in the nation appears to be at least 30 percent from the state. Therefore, St. Louis needed this money more than your average city. While the Loop streetcar proposal is to be maintained by a private developer, and not Metro, it is still imperative that St. Louis’s transit system expand to accommodate for contraction of service by Metro.

    -The reurbanization of a section of downtown that was prepped in the 1970s for a new interstate that never came. The 22nd Street Interchange in downtown St. Louis is a monstrous waste of land and a huge deadzone just west of St. Louis’s iconic Union Station. The TIGER money would have restored a street grid and prepared the area for development.

    -A large transit-oriented development next to a light rail stop. The site currently is a parking lot and strip mall. Such a development would have constituted an epic shift for St. Louis: building atop parking lots rather than creating new ones.

    TIGER has funded some great projects across the country. As I most recently studied in New Orleans for graduate school, I am thrilled to hear of their streetcar network’s expansion, though it would have been nice to see the Desire Streetcar line get funding over the Loyola line. I’ve made the walk from Canal to the train station several times with suitcases and all. It’s really not as much a priority as connecting downriver neighborhoods to the CBD.

    Anyhow, I am just upset that the feds passed over St. Louis, a city in great need.

  • Blair Mastbaum

    Portland Oregon’s regional government, Metro, submitted a well-researched and shovel-ready ambitious North/Northeast Portland bike plan, which would have made NE Portland a miniature Amsterdam in terms of bike facilities. It was shut down. If we can’t take risks on projects like this that go all the way, we’ll never see the true benefits and average Americans will stay in their cars.

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