Feds Spend Millions More on Bike Paths, Streetcar Projects

Transportation secretary: ‘Transportation is always about the future’

October 30, 2015

The Department of Transportation announced $500 million in new spending on Thursday, which includes millions for bike paths, streetcar projects, and a solar-paneled rest stop.

The 39 local projects were awarded through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.

Many projects focus on expanding bicycle lanes and trails. A $15 million grant in Los Angeles will turn a six-mile area of unused railroad tracks into "an inviting corridor safe for pedestrians and bicyclists." Over $10.3 million will be spent on "eight miles of canal trail and street crossings for bicycling and walking" in Phoenix, Ariz.

Changing a street in Hawaii into a "bicycle boulevard" is costing taxpayers $13.8 million.

"This TIGER grant will provide funding to improve bicycling, walking, and general transit conditions for pedestrians and motorists in downtown Līhu’e," the department said.

"Additionally, Rice Street, Ho’olako Street, and Pua’ole/Malae will undergo improvements to enhance the overall user experience including the addition of new sidewalks, the creation of a shared use path for bicyclists and pedestrians, and the conversion of an existing street into a bicycle boulevard."

Another $10 million project in New York will complete less than 1 mile of bike and pedestrian trails, and "two bicycle/pedestrian bridges."

"The project is the final portion of the Bronx River Greenway, a 23-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail along the full length of the Bronx River, and will establish safe and continuous off-street travel and create neighborhood access to the Greenway for Bronx residents and workers," the DOT said.

The Pueblo of Laguna, a Native American tribe in New Mexico, will receive $1 million to "help complete a bike and pedestrian network."

Under the "supporting innovation" category of TIGER grants, the department announced $9 million for a rest stop in Rhode Island equipped with solar panels, and bicycle parking.

"The project includes a welcome center with restrooms, food, convenience shops, bike amenities, and tourism information for Rhode Island destinations and beyond; a park and ride facility; an intercity bus hub; fueling stations including alternative fuels and electric vehicle stations; and bicycle parking," the department said. "In addition, the project includes installation of electric vehicle charging stations and solar panels on the welcome center building, as well as bicycle parking, which will enhance environmental sustainability."

The grants included $29.2 million for streetcar projects, including $15 million to double a 1.6-mile streetcar line in Tacoma, Wash. The funding will also go toward "enhanced provisions for bicycle and pedestrian access."

Anthony Foxx, the transportation secretary, said that "transportation is always about the future" when announcing the grants.

"In this round of TIGER, we selected projects that focus on where the country’s transportation infrastructure needs to be in the future; ever safer, ever more innovative, and ever more targeted to open the floodgates of opportunity across America," he said.

Published under: Government Spending