We here at Bikemore want to congratulate Baltimore City, The Department of Planning, The Department of Transportation, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on the successful grant application for a U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) TIGER Grant to improve bike and pedestrian infrastructure along the Hanover Street Bridge and throughout the Middle Branch/ Westport / Brooklyn areas of South Baltimore. Bikemore signed a letter of support for the City’s application to the federal government for this highly competitive transportation funding program. We are thrilled that the US DOT selected Baltimore’s application and we look forward to working with all partners to help implement the grant. This is a prime opportunity for Baltimore’s biking and non-biking residents to advocate for stronger non-motorized connections between south Baltimore and the downtown core,
The 2014 round of TIGER grant funding targets projects that support reliable, safe, and affordable transportation options that improve connections for both urban and rural communities, making it easier for residents to reach work, school, and other ladders of opportunity. According to ASLA, “US DOT prioritized capital projects that would create better connectivity for people to jobs, offer training opportunities, promote neighborhood redevelopment, and link neighborhoods separated by physical barriers such as highways and railroads.”
The neighborhoods of South Baltimore lack safe and equitable non-motorized access to the downtown urban core. The US DOT describes their awarding of the grant as follows : “This TIGER Grant funding of $1.1 million will support a study to result in a corridor plan for the area designed to encourage development and private investment in the Middle Branch Waterfront and surrounding area. It will identify multimodal, bridge, and roadway typical sections that can best meet the needs of residents, businesses, and commuters. Transforming the existing Hanover Street Bridge over Middle Branch into a multimodal connection to the City center will open up new opportunities to the disadvantaged populations south of the city. The proposed solutions will aim to attract future development and private investment and prepare the corridor to become a gateway area of revitalization with improved connection to existing trails, parks, and other transit opportunities.” At Bikemore, we support the full inclusion of safe biking facilities as part of this plan, as do other key stakeholders.
This is exciting news for Baltimore as these types of projects support the City’s comprehensive planning goals of realizing the economic vitality, social equity, and improved quality of life that are the result of strong intermodal, non-motorized transportation projects.