Local, regional and tribal governments and metropolitan planning organizations can apply for fiscal year 2023 funding to prevent roadway deaths and injuries under the Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All program, also known as SS4A, the department announced.
Grants are available to develop and improve or implement safety action plans focused on all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, public transportation riders and others. Local governments can apply for planning and demonstration grants worth $100,000 to $10 million and implementation grants from $2.5 million to $25 million.
The Transportation Department will award the grants “on a competitive basis to support planning, infrastructure, behavioral, and operational initiatives to prevent death and serious injury on roads and streets,” the notice says. Applications are due July 10.
Federal, state and local lawmakers are increasingly concerned about roadway deaths and injuries, which have risen in recent years. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates, traffic deaths declined 0.2% during the first nine months of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021. But that followed year-over-year increases of 4.9% and an estimated 12.3% during the first nine months of 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Policymakers are growing especially worried about fatalities among pedestrians and cyclists, which rose 2% and 8% during the first six months of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021, according to NHTSA.
Under the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law, Congress provided the Transportation Department with $1 billion in fiscal year 2023 for the SS4A grant program.
The fiscal year 2023 application process differs significantly from last year, DOT said. Notable changes include a switch from Grants.gov to Valid Eval for application submission, a new definition of underserved community and substantive changes to both grant types under the SS4A program. The program changed from providing action plan grants to providing planning and demonstration grants, according to the notice of funding opportunity. Implementation grants also received updates, including new funding award amounts and selection criteria.
Correction: An earlier version of this story provided an incorrect time frame for the NHTSA figures on pedestrian and cyclist deaths in the fifth paragraph. Those figures compared the first six months of 2022 and 2021.