Cross-posted from Transportation Nation
First things first: Thank you, Transportation Nation, for submitting such great questions for this month's edition of "On the Go." I 'm so encouraged by the number of Americans who pay close attention to transportation issues because I know you'll be there to support us when we get things right, and I know you'll hold our feet to the fire if we don't.
Thank you, also, for allowing me the opportunity here to answer a few more of your terrific questions.
The first question comes from Tom Roberts on Facebook, who asks: "When will there be a TIGER III?"
Tom, I have some good news and bad news. The good news is that the third round of TIGER grant opportunities is already in the works, and we begin accepting pre-applications on August 22. TIGER supports innovative transportation projects that will create jobs and have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area. The competitive awards empower communities to build the transportation networks they need. The first two rounds of TIGER have been very successful, and I'm proud of the 126 projects--in all 50 states and the District of Columbia--that we've recognized with $2.1 billion in TIGER grants. In this third round, Congress has made available $527 million.
The bad news? We're not calling it TIGER III. Because it has been so successful, TIGER might be around for a while; with more rounds to come, we're ready to leave the numbering behind us.
ParkingInMotion asked on Twitter: "What are your early opinions of San Francisco's SFpark program, and what it will do for the future of smart parking in cities?"
SFpark is an exciting new pilot program operated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, using a $19.4 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The system provides users real-time information on parking availability before they get into their cars and helps San Francisco drivers spend less time searching for parking. It also helps reduce congestion and emissions from idling cars because drivers will know exactly where to find parking spaces. And, the system can efficiently distribute parking space availability by raising or lowering meter rates block-by-block based on the number of spaces available nearby.
Finally, asquit4 asks on Twitter: "How will DOT incentivize infrastructure maintenance and preservation for states to do more with less?"
Amy, deciding which projects take priority, whether new construction, repair, or maintenance, is a state decision. But promoting innovative technologies that deliver long-lasting infrastructure faster and do more with less is at the core of what the Federal Highway Administration does. And if you read my Fast Lane blog post from Wednesday about the Fast 14 project, you'll see what I mean. FHWA also recently launched an improved bridge oversight initiative that will allow us to more easily identify problem issues in each state.
Well, you can see that I wasn't kidding about getting good questions this month. Please keep those questions coming. And, please, keep yourself engaged in these issues--as TN followers know, transportation is about a lot more than just getting from one place to another.