In September 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced this year’s awards for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants (BUILD, formerly TIGER). Of the $1 billion in grants awarded, nearly $300 million focus on or support bicycle infrastructure and active transportation. Ranging from recreational trails to river walks, large interchanges and shoulder expansions, BUILD grants provide the necessary dollars to complete important transportation projects that would otherwise lack sufficient funding from other sources.
This year, 21 of the 70 total projects include bicycle infrastructure, a significant increase compared to previous years of BUILD grants. Applicants (generally cities, counties and transportation authorities) recognize that adding and improving bike infrastructure not only makes their applications more competitive, but represents their communities’ needs to serve the growing number of people riding bikes for both transportation and recreation.
A few of the projects to highlight:
- Jefferson Avenue and 20th Street Revitalization Corridors — St. Louis, MO
- This $7,950,000 grant will support a Complete Street across downtown St. Louis, including new low-stress bicycle facilities alongside signal, pedestrian and stormwater improvements.
- PeopleForBikes supported a campaign by Trailnet, a local bike/pedestrian advocacy group, to advance a network of protected bike lanes in the downtown area.
- Glass City Riverwalk — Toledo, OH
- This $23,668,160 grant will help construct more than one mile of shared-use paths with amenities, install transient docks, add a transit stop, install a bike share hub, create a kayak share location and repair existing seawall along the Maumee River in downtown Toledo.
- SR 96 Improvement Project: Providing the Critical Link Between I-16 and I-75 — Twiggs County, GA
- This $22,000,000 grant will help construct bicycle lanes on State Route 96 as a part of the statewide bicycle network in Georgia.
More Americans than ever are relying on bikes as a means for efficient, socially distanced transportation and close-to-home recreation. Trail counters across the U.S. report a 75% increase in ridership compared to 2019, and governments at the local, state and federal levels face increased pressure to support the growing trends in active transportation by advancing infrastructure projects, enhancing safety and expanding mobility options.
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