Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 5th, 2010 at 11:06 am
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that funding decisions for their stimulus minded Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program will be made no later than February 17th.
To refresh your memory, last fall Metro submitted a TIGER grant request for $98 million in active transportation projects throughout the Portland region. One of those projects is a $38 million proposal to build a dense and complete neighborhood bikeway system in 13 square miles of North and Northeast Portland.
Imagine cycle-tracks on Vancouver and Williams, 40 miles of new bike boulevards, and much more.
The proposal, which has been on Bureau of Transportation drawing boards since the 1990s, would create nothing less of a bike nirvana in N/NE with the stated goal of demonstrating to the rest of the country what a large, focused investment on bikeways can do (or, as Metro puts it in their application, “This project will demonstrate the “art of the possible” in achieving world-class levels of non-motorized mode splits.”).
Here’s a graphic from page 9 of Metro’s TIGER grand proposal document that illustrates the improvements that will come to N/NE if they get the money:
– Click to enlarge –
Since the TIGER grants are meant to boost the economy through transportation infrastructure investments, Metro included economic impacts of the project in their application. Metro estimates that in the long term (20 years) the project would reap a cumulative economic benefit of over $317 million.
For a full breakdown of how Metro arrived at that amount, check out this table from their grant application.
Click for larger version
If this project is selected for funding through the TIGER program, it would be mandated for completion by February 2012. Stay tuned for the funding announcements… and whether or not the dream will be realized or put on hold. For more details on this and the other three projects in the grant, see my report from back in September.