Streetsblog DC reports that the federal TIGER II grants will look at land use, hopefully encouraging transportation projects to be built with larger goals in mind:
Perhaps the biggest news in today’s announcement was the U.S. DOT’s intention to marry its decision-making on the new TIGER-esque grants with the process for allocating $40 million in land-use aid at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If the two agencies can sustain that goal past the period of public comment on the new grants that begins this week, their move would take the cooperative ethos that has defined the Obama administration’s sustainable communities effort to the next level.
In its preliminary TIGER II guidance, published in today’s Federal Register, the U.S. DOT wrote that officially linking its grant decision-making with HUD’s would ideally “encourage and reward more holistic planning efforts and result in better projects being built with federal dollars” by recognizing the inextricable connection between transportation and local planning.
The U.S. DOT’s criteria for choosing TIGER II winners differ in several notable respects from those for the original program. At least $140 million of the new grants are required to go to rural areas, and localities selected to receive federal funding would need to provide a 20 percent match — a requirement that had been waived for the original TIGER competition in view of the economic downturn.
TIGER grants are competitively-awarded transportation grants that pit highways against transit projects, and roads against bike projects, and award based on a project’s merits rather than formula funding. $1.5 billion worth of TIGER grants were included in Obama’s stimulus package that passed early in his administration. (The Transport Politic has a great entry on this policy as well.)
A new jobs bill including yet another round of TIGER grants is on “life-support” according to WSDOT’s federal funding blog.