The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced $800 million in awards from the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program’s first round. The awards will cover 510 projects across 49 states and Puerto Rico.
The awards come as the U.S. reached a 16-year high in traffic deaths in 2021, with pedestrian fatalities up 13% from 2020 to 2021. Early estimates of 2022 fatalities indicate they may have leveled off since then. “Every year, crashes cost tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy; we face a national emergency on our roadways, and it demands urgent action,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a press release.
The National Association of City Transportation Officials praised the Biden administration for the funding and for working with cities in designing the program to save the most lives on city streets. Corinne Kisner, executive director of NACTO, said the program shows how to address safety, equity and the climate crisis on the nation’s roads.
“By making walking, biking, and taking transit safer for the millions of Americans who do so every day, we can make the U.S. healthier, more prosperous, and resilient,” Kisner said in a statement.
The awards cover 473 action plan grants and 37 grants for implementation projects. The implementation grant award recipients include:
- Hillsborough County, Florida — $19.7 million for sidewalks, bicycle lanes and speed management to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and drivers at approximately 22 locations in the county.
- Fayette County, Iowa — $10.4 million to address roadway departure crashes along approximately 50 miles of roadway through shoulder widening, rumble strips and other low-cost treatments.
- Detroit, Michigan — $24.8 million to redesign existing transportation infrastructure in high-crash areas and places with inadequate pedestrian infrastructure.
- Charlotte, North Carolina — about $4.5 million to help implement the city’s Vision Zero strategies through safer intersections and reducing pedestrian-involved crashes.
- San Antonio — $4.4 million to install eight mid-block crossings with pedestrian refuge islands and pedestrian hybrid beacons on Zarzamora Street in the city’s historically underserved Westside.
The next round of funding opportunities, totaling $1.1 billion, is expected to be released in April, according to the U.S. DOT announcement.