Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TIGER II Awards Announced

Out of 1000 applications received, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation awarded $600 million of federal transportation dollars from the TIGER II program to 70 projects around the country.  Roughly 29 percent of TIGER II money went toward road projects, 26 percent for transit, 20 percent for rail projects, 16 percent for ports, four percent for bicycle and pedestrian projects and five percent for planning projects.

Unfortunately, the GREAT-MidAtlantic project, submitted by PA's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to plan and construct 30 trail segments in PA, NJ and DE was not among those that got awarded.  Neither did SEPTA's smart card project (which didn't get a TIGER I grant), or Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor project (which did get TIGER I for $105M).  Center City District's proposal to do-over Dilworth Plaza as part of the City Hall transit stop renovation project did get an award of $15M toward the $55M full cost of the project.   As described in the DOT document released today:,

"The project will improve the connections between Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) regional rail, New Jersey’s Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) high speed rail, Amtrak and the SEPTA subway system, in addition to trolley services and dozens of bus routes. Construction will incorporate better access to the transit hub located beneath City Hall."

Penn Square (also known as Center Square), the name of the concrete island that houses Dilworth Plaza and City Hall, is one of the most difficult to navigate intersections in Center City for bicyclists and pedestrians.  We hope this attention on Dilworth Plaza can be leveraged by the City to make improvements that will calm traffic and make it safer to bike around the square, and build physically separated bike lanes on Market and JFK Boulevard.