Two safe streets advocates give their recommendations for how to effectively use the $1 billion in annual funding available through a federal grant program.
Writing in Streetsblog, Melissa Balmer and Leah Shahum outline some ideas for how cities can effectively put to use the annual $1 billion dedicated to Vision Zero projects through the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program.
The authors outline the basics of the program: who can apply, due dates, and what kind of projects qualify. Encouragingly, they write, “This is a mercifully streamlined application process, so don’t be daunted! While a 20 percent match is required, there are creative ways to fulfill that requirement.”
Balmer and Shahum suggest ways that communities can use these grants. First and foremost, it’s important to develop a “strong and equitable” Vision Zero plan that “can help your community institutionalize Vision Zero, setting explicit timelines, deliverables, and accountability measures.”
Second, the authors write, “Think Big, Bold & System-Wide for Implementation Projects.” The federal funding can support infrastructure projects that put action plans into literal action, such as “widespread, high-impact, cost-effective design treatments” such as speed humps, improved crosswalks, and other traffic calming measures.
Thirdly, the authors highlight a number of projects that would qualify for supplemental planning grants, such as racial and health equity plans for roadway safety work, reforming traffic enforcement with a focus on safety without over-criminalization, and education on Safe System principles.
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