DOT awards $817 million in third round of safer streets funding for 2023

December 14, 2023

Boulder, Colorado, is moving forward on several key initiatives from its Vision Zero Action Plan to address safety for pedestrians and cyclists after receiving a $23 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

The city is one of 385 communities nationwide that will receive grants from the DOT’s Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program. DOT announced the grants, totaling $817 million, this week.

The agency has awarded over $1.7 billion from the planned $5 billion allocated for the program from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) already this year.

Boulder plans to use the funds for improvements at 22 intersections. Upgrades will include marked pedestrian crosswalks, rapid-flashing beacons, new traffic signals, retroreflective backplates on traffic signals to make them more noticeable, and protected bike and bus lanes.

“As we work together toward our Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries, we extend our thanks to our local and regional partners for supporting our community’s vision leading up to this major moment in Boulder’s history,” Boulder Director of Transportation and Mobility Natalie Stiffler said in a news release.

The state of Wisconsin is receiving over $11 million – with over $6 million going to the city of Madison to fund 14 projects in its Vision Zero plan. The city plans to use the funds for improving intersections in its high-impact network, including rapid-flashing beacons, accessible pedestrian push buttons and pedestrian crossings signals.

“This funding will help communities across the state reduce the amount of roadway incidents and make our streets safer for pedestrians, bikers, and drivers,” U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said in a news release.

Philadelphia will use its $16.4 million SS4A grant to fund two complete street projects identified in its Vision Zero High Injury Network. One of those projects also received an SS4A grant in 2022 for design, and the 2023 award will fund the construction.

“Over the course of this administration, we have been able to land more than $200 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funded grants,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a news release. This is a tremendous accomplishment that will be felt for years to come as projects become reality.”

The path to zero

More than $14 billion in the BIL will fund road safety programs such as the SS4A grant program, which will help cities reach the goal of having zero deaths on roadways, known as Vision Zero.

The grants also support the DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, which was released in 2022. This plan outlines actions the department will pursue toward having zero serious injuries and deaths on roadways using a safe system approach. By using this approach, entities can design road projects that account for human mistakes and vulnerabilities.

This includes funding projects that will make roads safer for all users, encourage safer vehicle speeds, focus on proactive safety efforts and improve post-crash care to reduce preventable deaths.

“We are acting to confront the crisis of safety on our nation’s roads, helping communities work to reduce traffic deaths to the only acceptable number: zero,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a release.

Future funding

Over $3 billion in SS4A funds remains, and the DOT plans to open applications for the next round of funding in February. Applicants could include cities, towns, counties, transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations and federally recognized Tribal governments.

Projects that are eligible for funding are split into two types. Planning and demonstration grants help applicants develop a comprehensive safety action plan or supplement other planning activities for new or existing plans. The implementation grants help build or complete projects and strategies identified in the applicant’s action plan. These could include infrastructure, behavioral or operational projects.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. can provide information on contract opportunities, plus existing and future government funding. For more information, contact

Photo courtesy of the city of Boulder, Colorado

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