Is Congress Trying to Put the Kibosh on TIGER Funding For Bike/Ped?
Did TIGER spend too much money on bicycle and pedestrian programs? That’s the question Larry Ehl at Transportation Issues Daily is asking. After all, Congress appears to be encouraging USDOT to spend TIGER grant money on something — anything — other than bike/ped.
It’s right there in the 2012 transportation appropriation bill, which President Obama signed into law November 18. The TIGER section includes this mandate: “The conferees direct the Secretary to focus on road, transit, rail and port projects.” It doesn’t specifically say anything about bicycles and pedestrians, but reading between the lines, it’s easy to see what they mean. And as Ehl says, it’s a warning for USDOT to “tread lightly, or risk giving TIGER opponents more reasons to eliminate future funding for the program.”
Ehl suggests we “look at the actual numbers” and decide for ourselves:
- 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.
- TIGER II allocated $25,200,000 to two exclusively bike-ped projects. That was 4.5% out of the $556,500,000 awarded to capital projects and about 5% of the 42 projects. (TIGER II also awarded $27,500,000 for 33 planning grants.)