How to Secure a Grant Through the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Program

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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 is designed to decrease 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 through 2026. 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 awarded grants to 620 communities in the 2023 fiscal year, for a total of $895 million in grant awards. Between FY22 and FY23 combined, SS4A has awarded $1.7 billion in grant funding to more than 1,000 communities — and over $3 billion is still available for the program’s future rounds of funding.

Eligible applicants for the SS4A Grant Program include: 

  • Federally recognized Native American tribal governments
  • County governments
  • Special district governments
  • City or township governments

What's New in 2024?

Some aspects of the SS4A Grant Program have changed going into FY24. One of the biggest changes? Planning and Demonstration Grants will have three deadlines, with the opportunity for applicants who were not awarded funding to reapply at a later deadline.

Additionally, Implementation Grant applicants can now submit their Action Plans for review prior to their application. The pre-application process gives applicants the opportunity to receive feedback from the U.S. DOT, where applicants will find out if their Action Plan is eligible for an Implementation Grant. Submissions must be submitted by April 17th, 2024.

The full overview of changes made to SS4A in FY24 can be found on the U.S. DOT’s dedicated SS4A portal. 

Types of SS4A Grants Available

Two types of grants are awarded through this program: 1) Planning and Demonstration Grants and 2) Implementation Grants. Planning and Demonstration Grants fund the development of Action Plans: comprehensive plans outlining how roadway safety will improve.

Planning and Demonstration Grants can also be used for supplemental activities that support the development of Action Plans, such as collecting and analyzing data. 

Planning and Demonstration 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 and VizMark™ Pavement Marking Enhancement.

The Safewalk® Crosswalk Illuminator 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.

With the VizMark™ Pavement Marking Enhancement, maximize visibility even further at heavily trafficked crosswalks. Upon activation, VizMark™ illuminates pavement markings to help motorists identify the correct stop and yield locations, elevating both nighttime visibility and pedestrian safety.

These enhancements can be added to existing TAPCO pedestrian crosswalk systems, such as the RRFB Pedestrian Crosswalk System, which features bright, flashing signage.

An activated flashing crosswalk sign.

How to Apply for an SS4A Grant

Applications for the FY24 SS4A Grant Program have varying deadlines, depending on the grant. 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. 

Implementation Grants deadline:

  • May 16th, 2024 by 5 p.m. EDT

Planning and Demonstration Grants deadlines:

  • April 4th, 2024 by 5 p.m. EDT
  • May 16th, 2024 by 5 p.m. EDT
  • August 29th, 2024 by 5 p.m. EDT

A detailed plan that outlines the intended use of the grant funds will be vital, whether applying for a Planning and Demonstration 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

View the FY24 NOFO or access the grant application portal >

Watch TAPCO’s Federal Funding Opportunities Webinar >

Robert Kurka

TAPCO | Product Manager

With over a decade in business development, marketing and product management, Robert strives to improve transportation safety through innovation.

He is a pedestrian safety solutions expert who especially enjoys working with the TAPCO family to develop lifesaving products and solutions, such as the SafeWalk® Crosswalk Illuminator and the VizMark™ Pavement Marking Enhancement.

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