Saturday, October 31, 2015

Did 30 Crossing Just Lose 1/3 of the Funding it Never Had?

Add this to the growing pile of evidence showing AHTD is out of touch with contemporary thinking on transportation…

The list of 2015 federal Tiger grant recipients was announced on Thursday, and I'm pleased to see the feds didn't waste any money coming up with an attractive logo. (Intern, make me a logo for the Tiger report.)

A lot of innovative, multi-modal, forward-looking projects designed to improve communities around the country are going to receive funding out of the $500 million Tiger VII pot of money. Picture streetcars, light rail, bike paths, ferry terminals, passenger rail infrastructure, transit hubs, and the like. Here's a map of the 39 places about to have free money rain down like green, papery thin manna to do cool things:

We, on the other hand, asked for $200 million of that money to help us pay for the woefully expensive old-fashioned freeway expansion project called 30 Crossing in this application.

There are many, many jumping off points in that application for future writings about why 30 Crossing doesn't make any sense, but one nugget that jumped out at me immediately was this money quote from the bottom of Page 3.
Unless full Tiger funding is received, many items in the project scope will have to be removed.
I haven’t found concrete confirmation of this yet, but Arkansas’s absence from the list of Tiger VII awardees makes me think our application was rejected (after probably generating some hearty, full-throated guffaws in DC). Again, the application asked for $200 million in Tiger funding to go toward a projected $650 million total for 30 Crossing. As far as I've seen, what the loss of that piece of funding means for the project has not been discussed publicly. Maybe someone will ask about it at Tuesday's meeting at the Clinton Center.

1 comment:

  1. I am surprised that Arkansas brought forth such an arcane request. With all the guidance FHWA provides on sustainability, livability and multi-model options, it is easy to see that success in obtaining TIGER grants require a change in transportation at the state level. Add to that the large number of consultants that are experts in this process, it is evident some new vision is needed at AHTD.