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Critiquing the Latest Round of TIGER Grant Funding

TIGER grants aren't what they used to be, just like pretty much everything else in the federal government under the Trump Administration.
March 15, 2018, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Route 132
TIGER will fund a project to turn the Route 132 corridor west of Modesto, California into a freeway.

"Well, U.S. DOT has released the full list of new TIGER grant awards, and it looks a lot worse than the early announcements suggested," writes Angie Schmitt. "The Trump administration’s selections are skewed heavily toward highways and bridges."

Specifically: "Only 3.8 percent of the funds will support transit projects, and another 18 percent will go toward walking and biking improvements, while nearly 60 percent will go toward highways and bridges…" Examples of the most recent round of TIGER funding's focus on highway projects include funding for freeways in Nebraska and Modesto, California.

The two notable exceptions in funding for transit and walkability are found in a plan for a bus rapid transit line in Atlanta as well as a complete streets project in Carson City. Yet, the circumstances of even one of those projects is quizzical, according to an article by Darin Givens. The $12.6 million TIGER grant is "a lot of money for a route that no one has heard of before and that never saw any public engagement," writes Givens, and although he is happy to see transit investment of any kind in Atlanta, he has concerns about the process. "MARTA does all sorts of planning and engagement sessions so the public is informed and can help shape how our tax dollars are spent. But then there are basically-secret plans submitted to the feds, and that’s frustrating."

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Published on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 in Streetsblog USA
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