USDOT announced their TIGER (Transporation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants today (PDF), which go to a variety of transportation projects nationwide.  There were hopes that extending Link to S. 200th St could be accelerated 8 years to 2012, but those hopes died today.

UPDATE from Sherwin 6:54pm: To settle the confusion on exactly when the S. 200th extension will open, I emailed Geoff Patrick, ST spokesperson, about the matter.  Here’s what he had to say:

The ST2 Plan has this project at 2020. There has been general discussion about the possibility of moving up the project since we have already finished the preliminary design and environmental work to South 200th. However, that is a significant policy decision that has not yet been taken up by the Sound Transit Board.

The two projects to get money in Washington State are the Mercer Project ($30m), and the North Spokane Freeway ($35m).  Once again, automobiles get the new subsidy dollars while transit is told to work with what they’ve got.

Nationwide, the picture is much brighter, as many rail and bus projects got money.

19 Replies to “No Local Transit in TIGER Awards”

  1. Well, thats a bummer. I wonder if it didn’t meet some sort of ridership/dollar ratio or the USDOT think’s ST has enough money. Any idea on the TIGER criteria?

    On the bright side, the Spokane Freeway is being built w/ a light rail ROW in the center median /sarcasm.

    1. I don’t know of the exact criteria, but this is a quote from a press release out of LaHood’s office:

      The projects announced today will create jobs and spur lasting economic growth, reduce gridlock for the traveling public, and provide Americans with more safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices. They will also help factories, farms and businesses across the U.S. move goods more efficiently and better compete in the global economy. Sixty percent of the funding will go to economically distressed areas, which are home to 39 percent of the U.S. population.

      Awardees were selected based on their contribution to economic competitiveness of the nation, improving safety and the condition of the existing transportation system, increasing quality of life, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrating strong collaboration among a broad range of participants, including the private sector.

      1. Sherwin I would add these both of these projects are, to my knowledge, almost fully designed so construction could conceivably start soon. Also If I’m correct state legislators chose not to fund these project with the first round of stimulus money, rather funding other highway projects around the state.

        This is the paradox about transit vs highways. State DOT’s have the freedom to plan and design highway projects before any money has been allocated for construction. Transit agencies in comparison have to either forgo federal money and try to go it alone, or seek money from the federal government which involves jumping through 3 approval stages. From my understanding this essentially makes highway projects easier to start than transit project.

      2. S. 200th has already passed environmental review and I believe the design work is to the 30% stage.

      3. Yea, if S. 200th had be “shovel ready” it might have had a better chance at getting the TIGER money. Unfortunately for various reasons transit agencies don’t like taking capital projects past about 30% design until they have the funding in place to build them. Whereas I’m sure if one looked around WSDOT or SDOT, or just about any other agency that builds roads I’m sure they could find plenty of unfunded projects at the 30% to 99% design stage.

      4. As I understand it, Sound Transit wants to go Design/Build on the S. 200th St. project, — engineers will be promptly put to work on final design, construction documents, and so forth. So it is indeed “shovel ready” unless you take the word Shovel in the narrow, literal sense, which of course makes no sense.

  2. I wonder how much gridlock will be created, and how many transit routes inconvenienced, when the South Park Bridge closes because it’s reached the end of its life and public agencies didn’t step forward in time to replace it.

    Not funding that bridge is absolutely shameful.

    1. Say…
      What is Frank Chopp’s position on the South Park Bridge??
      I know, it ain’t in his district, but…

  3. I am very happy that at least Mercer got funded. This will help to make the neighborhood more walkable, bikeable and will help to attract residents and jobs in a more dense neighborhood. As someone who has to drive through there occasionally, it will also help immensely to reduce traveler confusion and unnecessary congestion by having those stupid roads straightened out.

    1. I agree. It won’t really reduce congestion at all, but it will make the whole area a lot nicer. Right now Mercer feels like a freeway.

    2. For what it’s worth, I don’t really like the Mercer design but it does have bike lanes, so it’s not all for automobiles.

  4. I thought the deal with S. 200th was that it could already be constructed by 2014, but this would make it so it could get built by 2012 or 2013, but I could be wrong.

    1. Even without the TIGER money I think Sound Transit is going to build S. 200th as quickly as they can to take advantage of current economic conditions.

  5. Sigh, nothing for the South Park bridge. I guess the county will just have to close it before anyone gets serious about funding a replacement.

    1. I wonder how the cost of the bridge might change if they reduced its overall size by making it one lane each direction and having bikers share the generous pedestrian space that is physically separated from traffic. Current plans have bikers in their own lane on each side, sharing the street space, separated from traffic by only a line of paint. As a serious biking advocate, I find this added street space pretty useless. I bike the bridge quite often and will still be using the safer sidewalk.

      1. Not at all. The issues is the bridge is literally sinking into the ground. More specifically, it’s been leaning in towards the centre of the channel for quite some time. It gets stuck open and closed all the time due to the movement in the piers. It’s a big safety hazard.

        And it has to be able to open and close for marine traffic.

      2. Sorry, I was referring to the new bridge design. The crumbling bridge definitely has to be replaced, no question there.

Comments are closed.