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Federal TIGER Grants Fund Biking & Walking (As Congress Considers Cuts)
As the transportation conference committee in Congress is debating the future of funding for bicycling and walking projects, the Federal Highway Administration is busy funding the country's best and most innovation multi-modal transportation projects. Not surprisingly, many of those projects either focus on or include bicycling and walking infrastructure.
The fourth round of the grant awards, known as TIGER, was announced today. Several of the successful applicants focused on bicycling and walking connections.
Among other things, TIGER IV projects will:
- Connect hundreds of miles of the existing trail network in Washington, D.C., and Maryland
- Put downtown Concord, N.H., on a bicycle-friendly road diet
- Eliminate major gaps in Houston’s bike grid
- Connect downtown Tampa by completing the Tampa Riverwalk and building Selmon Greenway
- Include bike lanes on a new bridge located on the Maine bicycle system
These projects, and others that include smaller bicycling and walking pieces, will provide a host of benefits to their communities. "The TIGER grant to the City of Houston will mean three lower-economic neighborhoods in Houston will have safe biking and walking connections to key employment areas of Downtown, Midtown and the Texas Medical Center," said Paul SoRelle of BikeHouston. "We thank Houston Members of Congress Al Green, Gene Green and Sheila Jackson Lee for their work in securing this grant."
Since the very first round of TIGER grants, many highway, transit and rail projects have included bicycling and walking elements. "And all of those projects were submitted by public agencies, and had to have widespread community support, in order to receive a USDOT grant," wrote Transportation Issues Daily blogger Larry Ehl after the first grant announcement. "It’s an indication that public agencies – and communities – in urban and rural areas increasingly want a complete streets approach to transportation projects."
That's exactly right. Local agencies know that bicycling and walking projects are good for their communities. We need to make sure Congress helps them build them by supporting the Cardin-Cochran agreement in congressional negotiations. See if you are in one of the districts we're targeting.