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Safe Streets for All – A Look at Using Data to Craft Strong Grant Applications

Discover more about the new Safe Streets for All initiative (SS4A) in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) — contains 375 programs, including the significant new Safe Streets for All program (SS4A). This blog post, which is the first of two blog posts on data and SS4A, looks at the details, with the aim of helping potential applicants better understand how to craft a strong proposal.

Overview

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity on May 16, 2022; the application deadline is September 15, 2022. SS4A is a discretionary program, meaning eligible applicants (metropolitan planning organizations, localities, tribes, and partnerships of these entities) work directly with USDOT. The purpose of SS4A grants is to improve roadway safety by significantly reducing or eliminating roadway fatalities and serious injuries. In addition to safety, SS4A includes equity, resilience, jobs, and economic development goals.

The program has two main components: planning grants and implementation grants with appropriated levels of $1B per year for five years. Guidance for SS4A gives detailed information on determining if you are eligible for a planning grant or implementation grant. Note: you must have a qualifying safety plan that specifies project lists before you can apply for implementation project grants.

Safe streets Chart

Getting Started

  1. Understand SS4A Program Priorities

When developing potential funding proposals, begin by reviewing USDOT’s priorities within SS4A:

  • Promote safety
  • Employ low-cost, high-impact strategies that can improve safety over a wider geographic area
  • Ensure equitable investment in the safety needs of underserved communities
  • Incorporate evidence-based projects and strategies
  • Align with USDOT priorities such as equity, climate and sustainability, quality job creation, economic strength, and global competitiveness
  1. Gather Safety Stakeholders

Stakeholders can help highlight the most pressing safety needs, as well as desired countermeasures:

  • Transportation departments
  • Law enforcement
  • School districts
  • Community leaders
  • People living on/using high-injury networks
  • Partners who will help with 20% match
  1. Screen Safety Plans to Determine Qualifications

This step will help you determine whether to seek funding for a plan (or plan update) or if your existing plan(s) satisfy USDOT’s requirement for a qualified safety plan. Because qualifying information may be distributed across several plans, review multiple documents:

  • Existing Safety Plan (Vision Zero)
  • Transportation Plans (Safety, Traffic, Bike/Ped)
  • Emergency Response Plans
  • Comprehensive Plans/Zoning Codes
  • Roadway Design Standards and Local Road Safety Plan
  • Technology Inventory
  • Capital Improvement Plans (CIP)/TIP

SS4A qualification chart

In Part 2 – we will take a closer look at how to use data for drafting a successful Safe Streets for All implementation grant.

WGI’s experts can help with improving mobility, economic, social, and environmental performance in your community. Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can help on your next project.

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