Earlier this month, Congress passed—and the president signed—a budget deal that continues funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER grant program.
The deal will fund operations through September 30, 2017.
As I wrote in March for Philly Metro, President Donald Trump’s ‘budget blueprint’ originally did not spell good news for bicyclists. The original proposal put out by the Administration completely did away with the TIGER grant program in addition to a 13 percent cut to the Department of Transportation.
President Trump’s proposed budget “eliminates funding for the unauthorized TIGER discretionary grant program, which awards grants to projects that are generally eligible for funding under existing surface transportation formula programs” but keeps “DOT’s Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects grant program, authorized by the FAST Act of 2015, supports larger highway and multimodal freight projects.”
As many reading this blog already know, The first TIGER Grant awarded to Philadelphia in 2010 helped create the Schuylkill banks Boardwalk, which is one of the city’s premier biking and walking spots, serving thousands daily as a commuting and recreational path.
It was one of 10 trail projects handed out to Camden and Philly that year, which also included the Connector bridge, creating an above-grade way to travel to and from the Schuylkill River from Center City. A more recent TIGER grant award is funding a proposal that will create a more walkable, more bikeable American Street in North Philadelphia.
So, for the time being, we’re good. And no matter what the eventual federal budget blueprint includes, we’ll be working with our Pennsylvania and New Jersey representatives to help them understand why bicycle, public transit and pedestrian funding is of importance to the people of the Delaware Valley, and the country as a whole.