Home of Indy 500 embraces bicyclists, pedestrians
When President Obama and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced funding availability for DOT's 2014 TIGER grants a couple of weeks ago, transportation advocates got pretty excited.
And for all those who asked, "What's a TIGER grant?" the city of Indianapolis has a great answer: DOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program fills in a critical funding gap and allows communities to pursue projects that offer a wide range of benefits.
What did Indy do with its $20.5 million 2009 TIGER award? It leveraged it into a $62.5 million mix of public and private funding and created an 8-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that the New York Times called, "an accessible urban connective tissue."
With decorative paving, fresh landscaping, and public art installations, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail offers residents and visitors more than an easy way to get where they need to go; it also offers a new way of seeing the city. Not to mention the physical activity it encourages!
And, in keeping with our TIGER program's originating principle, the trail has stimulated economic development. It's no coincidence that hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and development has taken place near the new trail. That means new businesses, new residences, new services, and--perhaps most importantly--new jobs.
Here at DOT, we think that's a tremendous win for the city of Indianapolis, and those who have experienced the new trail agree. That's the power of TIGER, and we look forward to seeing what it can do this year in communities across America.