Today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced a historic $800 million in grant awards for 510 projects through the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program, including 17 grants for communities in Massachusetts. The competitive grant program, established by President Biden’s historic infrastructure law, provides $5 billion over five years for regional, local, and Tribal initiatives — from redesigned roads to better sidewalks and crosswalks — to prevent deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways. The Department also launched a data visualization tool that shows crash hotspots that can help target needed resources.
The SS4A awards fund improved safety planning for over half the nation’s population, and will fundamentally change how roadway safety is addressed in communities through local and regional efforts that are comprehensive and data-driven. This investment comes at an important junction as traffic fatalities reached a 16-year high in 2021 and preliminary data indicates will remain near those levels in 2022, even getting worse for people walking, biking, or rolling as well as incidents involving trucks. In addition, traffic crashes are costly to American society. A new report shows the economic impact of traffic crashes was $340 billion in 2019 alone.
“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. “We are proud that these grants will directly support hundreds of communities as they prepare steps that are proven to make roadways safer and save lives.”
The Safe Streets and Roads for All program grants being announced today support the Department’s vision of zero roadway deaths and its National Roadway Safety Strategy: a comprehensive approach launched in January 2022 to make our nation’s roadways safer for everyone, including drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and emergency and construction workers by stressing responsible driving, safer roadway designs, appropriate speed-limit setting, and improved post-crash care, among other strategies.
As part of SS4A, the Department is awarding grants for both planning and implementation projects. Action plan grants assist communities that do not currently have a roadway safety plan in place to reduce roadway fatalities, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive set of actions. Implementation grants provide funding for communities to implement strategies and projects that will reduce or eliminate transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries.
Massachusetts received two awards for implementation projects in this first round of the program:
- $15 million for Springfield’s Citywide Systemic Safety Interventions Project (Springfield, MA): This project includes implementing systemic safety countermeasures at 15 intersections and 10 corridors with a disproportionately high number of fatal and serious injury crashes located across Springfield. Project components include crosswalk improvements, sidewalk upgrades, ADA improvements, and intersection/corridor speed management treatments.
- $9 million to improve safety at key intersections in Boston (Boston, MA): This award will help the City of Boston improve nine intersections, making the safer for users. The projects include infrastructure treatments such as raised crosswalks, pedestrian island refuges, street right-sizing, curb extensions, slow turn wedges, and high-visibility crosswalks.
The Department is also awarding 15 action planning grants to help improve roadway safety in Massachusetts. The applicants receiving awards are: