A sweeping bipartisan infrastructure bill was signed into law on November 15, 2021, making $550 billion available for public transit improvement, highway reconstruction and other transportation revitalization projects. The bill was a historic win. It was the first nation-wide investment in electric vehicle charging and the single greatest investment in both clean energy transmission and public transit in U.S. history. The funds provided by the infrastructure bill will be critical in keeping roads safe.
Multiple transportation grant programs were established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), distributing the funds across all areas of transportation. One of the grant programs developed focused on decreasing roadway fatalities: the Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program (SS4A).
A Grant Program Aiming to Increase Roadway Safety
Five billion dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was allocated for the SS4A Grant Program, with $1 billion to be awarded through grants each fiscal year for the next five years. The program will award funds for increasing roadway safety for all users — from bicyclists and pedestrians to drivers and public transportation users. The funds can be used in a variety of ways, such as installing traffic safety systems or creating detailed action plans.
The program estimates it will award roughly 300 grants in the 2022 fiscal year, with each award having a floor of $200,000 and a ceiling of $50 million. These estimated limits depend on the type of grant applied for and the entity applying, such as tribal governments or subdivisions of States.
Eligible applicants for the SS4A Grant Program include:
- Federally recognized Native American tribal governments
- County governments
- Special district governments
- City or township governments
Types of Grants Available
Two types of grants are awarded through this program: Action Plan Grants and Implementation Grants. Action Plan grants fund the development of Action Plans — comprehensive plans outlining how roadway safety will improve. Action Plan grants can also be used for supplemental activities that support the development of Action Plans, such as collecting and analyzing data.
Action Plan Grant activities:
- Creating committees
- Assessing and updating existing policies
- Selecting projects and strategies
Implementation Grants fund existing Action Plan objectives and usually target specific roadway safety improvements, including:
- Installing pedestrian crosswalk systems
- Combating roadway departures with enhanced delineation
- Developing bicycle networks
Implementation Grants and Pedestrian Safety Projects
Among the most important uses of the Implementation Grants offered by the SS4A Program is the procurement of pedestrian safety solutions. From new sidewalks and audible pedestrian signals to improved crosswalk lighting, there are many solutions that offer safety to vulnerable pedestrians, especially at night.
The SS4A Program encourages applicants to research recommended traffic safety solutions. One recommended resource is the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) list of proven countermeasures. This comprehensive list features many effective solutions, such as crosswalk visibility enhancements like TAPCO’s Safewalk® Crosswalk Illuminator.
The Safewalk® Crosswalk Illuminator is a crosswalk enhancement that increases visibility at poorly-lit crosswalks by flooding the area with light upon activation. In a recent study conducted by the Illinois Transportation Institute, the Safewalk® Crosswalk Illuminator was found to provide the highest luminance and greatest contrast in comparison to other lighting configurations and solutions.
This illuminator can be added to existing TAPCO pedestrian crosswalk systems, such as the RRFB pedestrian crosswalk system, which boasts bright, flashing signage.
How to Apply for a Grant
Applications for the SS4A Grant Program are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 15, 2022. Before applying, applicants must first acquire an ID (which can take up to one month) and are encouraged to apply early in order to meet the application deadline.
A detailed plan that outlines the intended use of the grant funds will be vital, whether applying for an Action Grant or an Implementation Grant. Remember, applications should be clear and comprehensive while demonstrating how the funding will improve roadway safety.
Whether you intend to use a grant to form an action plan committee, gather and analyze traffic data or install a brand-new pedestrian crosswalk system, be sure to take advantage of this historic opportunity from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve your roadway safety and decrease pedestrian fatalities.
TAPCO | Product Manager
With over a decade in business development, marketing and product management, Robert strives to improve transportation safety through innovation.