Pontiac gets a TIGER II grant

The U.S. DOT announced the 75 winning transportation projects for the $600 million in TIGER II funding.

There were 1,000 applications asking for a total of $19 billion, so this was very competitive.

The good news is the city of Pontiac received a planning grant.

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Carl Levin (D-MI) today announced that the City of Flint will receive $1,570,233, Grand Traverse County will receive $395,000, and the City of Pontiac will receive $300,000 to promote economic development. The grants were announced as part of a joint funding collaboration between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The funding will boost local economic development by increasing access to affordable housing, redeveloping land, and investing in transportation infrastructure.

“This funding is critical to helping Flint, Grand Traverse County, and Pontiac create new jobs,” said Stabenow. “These grants will help our local communities increase access to affordable housing, redevelop land, and make important transportation improvements which will foster greater economic development.”

The City of Pontiac will use the TIGER II Planning Grant to help connect downtown, the Pontiac Transportation Center, regional trail system, and surrounding neighborhoods.

It’s important that bicycling advocates get involved in this planning process. Previous work with MDOT and Pontiac to extend the Clinton River Trail into downtown was poorly conceived. It signed a bicycle route on sidewalks in clear disregard of best practices and the AASHTO design guidelines.

Instead, they should be planning for Complete Streets, bike parking, and much more. We need to make sure they get that message.

The bad news is Detroit’s TIGER II grant application for the Inner Circle Greenway did not get funded. The request was on the high-side of $30 million and would have basically extended the Dequindre Cut around the city of Detroit. It included connections with Hamtramck and Highland Park. While portions would have used bike lanes, much of the route would be on an abandoned Conrail corridor.

But all hope for this project is not lost. MTGA is continuing discussions with the Conrail about converting this approximately 12-mile corridor into a trail. There are other funding sources that could pay for portions of this project, albeit in a more incremental fashion.

And there may be a TIGER III.

But it’s also a positive sign that in a city with so many infrastructure needs, they to chose to seek funding for this greenway project.

With the ongoing Complete Streets project, many miles of new greenways and bike lanes, the city has never been more in lockstep with the efforts of area non-profits to make Detroit more walkable and more bike friendly.

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