TIGER funds bus corridors, not K Street or bike sharing
The Washington region will receive $58.8 million for bus priority improvements across the region, but no money for the K Street Transitway or regional bicycle sharing in the TIGER grants. USDOT announced the winners today.
Through regional planning organization MWCOG, local governments had applied for $204 million in bus improvements, $13 million for regional bike sharing, and $47 million for "transit station" improvements including a Takoma-Langley Transit Center and the Medical Center underpass.
About $140 million of the bus improvements would have built a dedicated busway along K Street for regional and local buses, many of which use that street, while the rest would have improved a patchwork of corridors in all jursdictions.
The final award provides $26.6 million for the bus corridor improvements, which will improve service on 16th Street, Georgia Avenue, H Street/Benning Road, and Wisconsin Avenue in DC; Addison Road, University Blvd, US-1 and Veirs Mill Road in Maryland; US-1, Leesburg Pike, and the Van Dorn to Pentagon route in Virginia. It also funds and connections from the TR Bridge and 14th Street to K Street in DC for Virginia buses.
Update: Here's more on the funded bus projects, which mean some long-awaited and exciting improvements will be going forward.
In addition to the bus improvements, the Takoma-Langley Transit Center gets $12.3 million, and Virginia gets $20 million for "station improvements (bus bays, real time bus information and other improvements" supporting bus priority on the I-95/395 corridor," which contribute to a longer-term plan to set up dedicated bus lanes.
It doesn't fund the Medical Center underpass, a second entrance to Rosslyn Metro, I-66 bus, bike sharing, or K Street. The table on page 11 of the application shows all of the improvements requested and their individual dollar amounts.
According to a so-far-unconfirmed rumor, the K Street project scored very highly on the metrics USDOT was using, but they excluded it because of potential bad press surrounding any funds going to "K Street" with its lobbyist connotations. If that's true, DC should immediately introduce a bill to rename K Street as "Abraham Lincoln Boulevard" or something. While they're at it, maybe they should rename Capitol Hill just in case.
Or, that could be totally false, and they simply decided that the Washington region could get almost $60 million but, at nearly $140 million, the K Street project was too large and more money had to go to other cities.
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