Friday, June 22, 2012

US DOT announces TIGER IV grants--Lee County's complete streets initiative not one of the lucky winners

 Lee MPO's complete streets project application for a TIGER IV grant wasn't one of the lucky winners this round, but we can try again. 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that 47 transportation projects, including 2 in Florida, will receive a total of almost $500 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2012 program.  In all, the Department received 703 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia,  totaling  $10.2 billion, far exceeding the $500 million set aside for the program.  This is the fourth round of TIGER funding.

Unfortunately, Lee MPO's application for a $10 million complete streets initiative was not among the award winners.  We're excited about the two grants that were awarded for Florida projects--$18 million for the Wave Streetcar Project in Fort Lauderdale, and $10 million to complete the Riverwalk in Tampa.  We're also pleased to see that on a national basis, 12 percent of the projects went for multi-modal, bicycle and pedestrian projects and 16 percent went to support transit projects, demonstrating USDOT's continuing support for a balanced multi-modal transportation system.
Although we're disappointed that Lee County's application wasn't successful this round, we're heartened by the fact that the fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate provides $500 million for a future round of TIGER grants.  As the Tampa Mayor said, this is the third time they've applied for TIGER funds for their Riverwalk project, so it looks like the third time is the charm.  Lee County's complete streets project application was submitted for TIGER III and IV, so let's try again for TIGER V!

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