This morning I blogged about the freight world's positive response to our Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery grant awards.
Now I want to share some examples of how the passenger mobility community from east to west has embraced TIGER:
- The Washington, DC, area will receive nearly $59 million for improvements in Maryland, Virginia and the District, including bus shelters, dedicated bus lanes, a transitway, rapid bus service, and a crucial bust transit center. David Alpert, a blogger at Greater Greater Washington writes that these funds, "mean some long-awaited and exciting improvements will be going forward."
- Dallas, TX, and nearby Oak Cliff were awarded $23 million for a new streetcar line. This starter loop is an important part of a larger streetcar plan. As Dallas City Councilwoman Linda Koop tells the Dallas Morning News, "It's a different paradigm in transportation now; you've got to have sustainable communities." It sounds like she's been reading this blog.
- Kansas City's Green Impact Zone, was granted $27 million to fix broken sidewalks, repave roads, and add better-coordinated traffic signals. This zone is a 150-block area in urban core of Kansas City, MO, that has been devastated by high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, and high concentrations of vacant and abandoned properties. Describing the Troost Avenue improvements, the Kansas City Star's editorial board writes, "This is a tremendous investment to support redevelopment in Kansas City’s urban core." And redevelopment leads to jobs.
- The Yadkin River Crossing in North Carolina will receive $10 million for reconstruction. News 14 Carolina reports, "That's good news for those who drive Interstate 85" between the cities of Greensboro and Charlotte." And, since I-85 is a major route from Richmond to Atlanta, it's good news for a lot of Americans.
- San Francisco, CA, is set to receive $46 million to help replace Doyle Drive. Now, one of the bridges to be replaced in this project is rated as the worst in California for structural sufficiency. I am proud that this project will improve an important commuter route for both highway and transit riders in an environmentally enhanced way and within the existing footprint. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom notes that the project "will rebuild a critical and seismically vulnerable regional transportation link and boost our local economy.” That sounds like enhancing safety to me.
I know that, when more than 1,400 projects seek more than $60 billion in funding, when we only have $1.5 billion available, some will necessarily walk away disappointed from this round of awards. Some will say too large a share went to highways, to transit, to bikes.
I appreciate that. I do.
But DOT is proud that TIGER awards went to a wide range of projects covering an equally wide range of transportation options.
Look, these awards went directly to the innovators, to the folks who put together creative partnerships for projects that may not have garnered traditional funds.
As Smart Growth America's Will Schroeer told Marketplace Radio, these projects do more than just stimulate the economy and help people move around better. "They point the way," he says, "towards the kinds of transportation projects we need to be funding for the future."
He's got that right.