Did TIGER I Overspend on Bicycle-Pedestrian Projects?

The Schuylkill River Trail, Philadelphia

USDOT has been directed by Congress in recent legislation to focus the 2012 TIGER program grants on “road, transit, rail and port projects.” The language is likely a reaction against a USDOT that is viewed as being too bike-friendly, particularly in grant programs. See “Are Bike-Ped Projects Banned from the 2012 TIGER Program” for more background.

Did the previous TIGER grant rounds allocate too much funding to bike-ped projects?  That depends on your definition of “too much.”  So let’s look at the actual numbers, and then you can decide for yourself.

TIGER I (Recovery Act) allocated $43,500,000 to two exclusively bike-ped projects.  That was about 3% of the $1,498,000,000 awarded and 4% of the 51 projects.

  • The Philadelphia Area Pedestrian & Bicycle Network project received $23,000,000 to “repair, reconstruct and improve 16.3 miles of pedestrian and bicycle facilities that will complete a 128-mile regional network in six counties around Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.” The total project cost is $54,800,000.
  • The Indianapolis Bicycle & Pedestrian Network project received $20,500,000 to “complete the eight-mile urban bicycle and pedestrian network in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.” The funding leverages project funding of “26.5 million from private foundations, individuals and local corporations.”  The total project cost is estimated at $62,500,000.

Summing up: Exclusively bike-ped projects represent about 3% of the projects and 4% of the funding in TIGER II. (See also: “Did TIGER II Spend Too Much on Bike-Ped Projects?”)

To be fair there were, however, quite a few highway, transit and rail projects that included a bike-ped component, such as adding sidewalks.  And all of those projects were submitted by public agencies, and had to have widespread community support, in order to receive a USDOT grant.  It’s an indication that public agencies – and communities – in urban and rural areas increasingly want a complete streets approach to transportation projects.

Here are the TIGER I projects incorporating a bike-ped component:

  • The Revere Transit Facility & Streetscape project converts dilapidated parking lots into a multi-modal transit facility and fixes the currently impeded direct access by pedestrians and bicyclists. The City of Revere (Mass.) received $20,000,000 for the project that is estimated to cost $122,585,262.
  • The Burlington Waterfront North Project reconstructs and reconfigures a highway section that has vehicle-pedestrian-bicycle traffic conflicts and realigns a bike path.  The City of Burlington received $3,150,000 for the $3,915,000 project.
  • The Normal Multimodal Transportation Center project creates a centralized transportation hub connecting aviation, rail, bus, cars, pedestrians and bicycles. The Town of Normal (IL) received $22,000,000 for the $47,400,000 project.
  • The Saint Paul Union Depot Multi-Modal Transit and Transportation Hub project is a renovation project that also improves pedestrian and bicycle access.  The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority received $35,000,000 for the $237,500,000 project.
  • The Ames Intermodal Facility will co-locate transit, intercity bus and pedestrian-bicycle and other transportation services.  The Ames Transit Agency received $8,463,000 for the $43,366,650 project.
  • The Milton-Madison Bridge Replacement project includes replacing the pedestrian and bicycle access.  The Kentucky DOT received $20,000,000 for the $131,000,000 project.
  • The Kent Central Gateway Multimodal Transit Facility will be a new bus transfer facility and constructed to include bicycle storage. The Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority received $20,000,000 for the $26,709,525 project.
  • The I-244 Multimodal Bridge Replacement project will become Tulsa’s first multimodal crossing and will accommodate vehicle, passenger and commuter rail, and bike-ped traffic.  The Oklahoma DOT received $49,480,000 for the $86,720,000 project.
  • The Mercer Corridor Redevelopment project reconstructs and realigns several roadways to relieve congested bottlenecks and will add bicycle lanes.
  • The SW Moody Street & Streetcar Reconstruction reconstructs a street to improve vehicle, transit and bike-ped access. The City of Portland received $23,203,988 for the $66,532,551 project.

TIGER III grant awards are expected to be announced in late December.