Last summer, we wrote a blog post about opportunities for Safe Routes to School programs to get involved in Safe Streets for All projects. Earlier this month, the US Department of Transportation announced $800 million for more than 500 projects addressing roadway safety for local and regional governments all across the country, and we were thrilled to see Safe Routes to School projects represented in the awardees!
Before we get into highlighting projects focused on Safe Routes to School, the great news is: there are another billion dollars available to communities this year for Safe Streets for All, and at least 40 percent of that will support action planning. We anticipate that the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) will be released in April, so we encourage you to peruse the application info available now and start having conversations locally about pursuing these funds this year.
Of the 37 implementation projects and 473 action planning efforts, projects that improved safety for kids walking and wheeling, access to schools, and Safe Routes to School fared well in the highly competitive implementation awards.
- Alameda County Transportation Commission in Alameda County, California was awarded $15 million for proven safety countermeasures along San Pablo Avenue, part of the county’s high-injury network. Notably, “These multimodal safety improvements will enhance access to vital destinations—including more than 20 schools, 10 community centers, 4 libraries, 6 food banks, and other community gathering spaces—in a corridor that serves a population with high concentrations of low-income residents and people of color, high rates of asthma, and a history of exclusionary policies.”
- Contra Costa Transportation Authority in Contra Costa County, California was awarded $29 million to “construct a suite of five projects in multiple locations to improve safety in areas within walking distance to schools, major transit stops, and locations with the largest concentration of pedestrian crashes.”
- Tampa, Florida was awarded $20 million to “rapidly deploy systemic safety countermeasures in a series of low-cost, high-impact projects spread across a broad geography” “with a focus on improvements near schools, parks, and transit routes. In addition, the project will develop a Pedestrian Safety and Equity Action Plan.”
- Hillsborough County, Florida was awarded $19.7 million to “implement low-cost Proven Safety Countermeasures such as sidewalks, leading pedestrian intervals, curb bulb-outs, crosswalk improvements, bicycle lanes, and speed management strategies at locations that are the highest priorities for Safe Routes to School, bus stop pedestrian safety and access, pedestrian corridor safety improvements, and Vision Zero corridor safety improvement.”
- Missoula, Montana was awarded $9 million to – among other things - widen the existing shared-use path to better serve the schools, regional park, and other facilities.
- Charlotte, North Carolina was awarded $4.5 million to “implement systemic Vision Zero strategies to reduce risky behaviors through infrastructure improvements, with a focus on intersections and pedestrian-involved crashes”, including Safe Routes to School activities.
- Vineland, New Jersey was awarded $20 million to improve safety on a corridor that provides access to schools, jobs, and other activities.
- Bernalillo County, New Mexico was awarded $6.3 million to implement infrastructure safety countermeasures especially aimed at benefiting “students who attend school along the corridor”.
- Lancaster, Pennsylvania was awarded $12.7 million to “implement safety countermeasures concentrated along its high-injury network, aimed at addressing severe and fatal crashes involving speeding, aggressive driving, and crashes at intersections.” Including “implementing safety projects at schools”
Two planning grants were awarded specifically to Safe Routes to School planning efforts. Both in California, the City of Costa Mesa was awarded $630,472 to develop a Safe Routes to School Action Plan, and the City of La Habra was awarded $320,000.00 to develop Safe Routes to School Action Plan. We imagine – and hope! – that many of the other communities and regions awarded planning grants will incorporate Safe Routes to School priorities in their action plan development. Look at the list of awarded planning efforts. If your community is on there, connect with them to make sure they are considering Safe Routes to School priorities in their planning efforts. While we know it’s tempting to apply directly for implementation funds, having an action plan can coalesce interest and momentum as well as grease the wheels for future funding pursuits, and there is SO much funding available for it as part of this program.
Do you have questions about Safe Streets for All? Is your community developing an action plan and you’re curious about how to make sure Safe Routes to School is included? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org