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Grrrr…A Tiger Can Only Do So Much

TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) is a USDOT grant funding program that communities and agencies can apply to fund larger and more expensive multi-modal projects. It’s one of the few remaining such programs. This year, the 2012 TIGER IV program received 703 grant applications. The applications total $10.2 billion, while USDOT has less than $500 million to award.   So only 25 – 50 projects will be awarded grants – that means, best case scenario,  93% (give or take) of those communities and agencies that applied are going to be disappointed to hear: No TIGER grant for you!

SDOT applied this year on behalf of the Mercer West Project and back in 2010, we were awarded $30 million in TIGER funds for the Mercer East Project.  We hope to hear in the next couple of months if we will be part of the lucky 7% or not. Cross your fingers! And maybe take a minute to think about how transportation projects can and should be funded – it’s a question that’s not going away anytime soon.


Did you know that people sitting in warm rooms are more likely to believe in global warming? Apparently it’s true. Chalk another one up for human stupidity!  On the plus side, if you’re celebrating Earth Day this Sunday with a climate change denier, try sticking them in a sauna and see if you can get through to them that way!


Walk like an Egyptian? Try, Walk like a Liberal!

Slate did an interesting piece this week (in tandem with Tom Vanderbilt’s great series, “The Crisis in American Walking”) that explored the correlation between high walk scores and liberal leanings. Here’s a snippet:

You might think it’s a simple matter of size: Big cities lean liberal and also tend to be more walkable. That’s generally true, but it doesn’t fully explain the phenomenon. Houston, Phoenix, and Dallas are among the nation’s ten largest cities, but they’re also among the country’s more conservative big cities, and none cracks the top 20 in walkability. All three trail smaller liberal cities such as Portland, Denver, and Long Beach. And if you expand the data beyond the 50 largest cities, the conservative/liberal polarity only grows.

If you have a minute, go read the whole thing. And if you’re just wondering what the Top Ten Most Walkable Large Cities in the US are – here you go:

  1. New York
  2. San Francisco
  3. Boston
  4. Chicago
  5. Philadelphia
  6. Seattle
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Miami
  9. Minneapolis
  10. Oakland


Lastly, Bill Nye, Seattle’s own Science Guy, talks about the city of the future. Spoiler Alert — the future is bike friendly!


(Monday – Friday SDOT sends out a compilation of local and national transportation news links. If you’d like to subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the list, just send an email to and I’ll take care of it for you. )