TIGER II Grants support much needed bicycling & walking facilities

On Wednesday, the US Department of Transportation announced $600 million in TIGER II grants. The announcement included some great news for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Of the 42 projects in the capital grants category, 19 include funding for bicycling and walking facilities, including two active transportation networks and six complete streets projects. Of the 33 planning grants, 22 fund planning for biking and walking projects and larger plans that specifically mention bicyclists and pedestrians.

For decades during the 20th Century, funding for bicycling and walking facilities was neglected--the major reason the U.S. has such a low proportion of bicycling and walking trips and a major contributor to currently problems like the frightening increases in adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.

Programs like TIGER II are, in part, designed to remedy that historical imbalance, by funding a balanced array of transportation projects from highways to rail freight to bicycling and walking.

Some key projects from Missouri and surrounding areas:

  • The Parkview Garden Sustainable and Accessible Neighborhood project in University City will increase connections with light rail, complete a section of the Centennial Greenway Trail, and build on-street bicycle routes.
  • The Village Center Street, Transit and Infrastructure Improvement Planning Study in Gladstone will apply Context Sensitive Solutions standards and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Neighborhood Design principles to support a Complete Street, mixed-use redevelopment.

In the previous round of TIGER funding, a large award went to the Green Impact Zone in central Kansas City--much of the funding to spent on transit, sidewalk, and crosswalk improvements.

Photo courtesy Mid-America Regional Council.