US Department of Transportation Focuses on Road Safety with SS4A Grant
Traffic fatalities have been on the rise and had their sharpest increase in Q1 of 2022. Early projections from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association NHTSA) estimate that approximately 9,560 people died in motor vehicle accidents in the first quarter of 2022, which is an increase of about 7% over Q1 20211. In response to rising vehicle fatalities, the Department of Transportation has broadened its efforts to support and fund safety initiatives at the national and local level.
The Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program, or SS4A, was recently announced to help fund efforts to prevent roadway fatalities and serious injuries. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its plan to award $5 billion over five years under the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). An unprecedented 40% of the available grant dollars will be awarded to fund planning activities, a critical component of DOT’s focus on methodical, data driven safety efforts.
The Application Process Is Simple
DOT has streamlined the grant application process to reduce the amount of time applicants spend assembling and submitting their proposals. The DOT estimates that applicants need less than 20 hours to complete the online application process. Which means, there is still time for eligible applicants to apply prior to the deadline. All final applications are due September 15, 2022 at 5:00 PM EST.
Who Can Apply?
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), counties, cities, towns, transit agencies, or other special districts that are subdivisions of a State and multi-jurisdictional groups they are contained within can all apply. Federally recognized Tribal governments are also eligible.
Funds Support a Variety of Safety Efforts
Eligible activities include:
- Safety analysis of the existing conditions and historical trends that provide baseline information
- Identifying and correcting common risks across a network
- Implementing standard and novel data collection, and analysis technologies and strategies, to better understand vulnerable road users network gaps and collect exposure data
- Unifying and integrating safety data across jurisdictions where local agencies share their crash, roadway inventory, and traffic volume data to create an analytic data resource
- Leveraging data, insights and analytical tools—agencies are encouraged to work collaboratively and explore new data sets and tools provided the efforts align with the overall goal of reducing the number of roadway fatalities
How Can SS4A Funding Be Used?
The SS4A grant program provides funding for planning and implementation efforts:
- Action Plan: Supporting the creation of a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan
- Implementation Grant: If you already have an Action Plan, you can apply for an Implementation Grant to fund your Action Plan initiatives.
These opportunities can be sequential for applicants, which means you can apply for planning dollars in year 1 and in year 2 to apply for a grant to support the implementation of your plan. For applicants that have a Safety Plan in place, the SS4A funds can support the implementation of your existing Safety Plan, all within the same application process.
Action Plan Grants:
Safety Plans are the foundation of SS4A Action Plan Grants, and agencies can qualify for federal funds for the development, completion, or supplementation of comprehensive safety action plans. A good safety plan is one that provides a holistic, well-defined strategy to prevent serious injury and death on roadways within a locality, Tribe, or region.
Local governments and planning organizations are encouraged to apply for funding to initiate or complete a Safety Plan. Of the funding for 2022, $400 million is allocated for planning grants. Action Plan Grants may award up to $1 million for individual applicants and $5 million for multiple jurisdiction applicants.
These funds are intended to help the implementation of DOT-compliant plans for roadway improvements. Agencies that have already created Safety Plans may qualify for implementation grants. These include projects and strategies focused on infrastructure, behavioral, and operational activities. Furthermore, implementation grants may also fund planning, design, and supplemental activities in support of an existing Safety Plan. Implementation Grant awards range up to a maximum of $30 million for individual applicants or $50 million for regional applicants.
7 Steps to Apply
Step 1: Do Your Homework
- Review the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
- Learn more about the Safe System Approach, and Comprehensive Safety Action planning
- Brush up on your Vision Zero Planning knowledge
Step 2: Confirm Your Eligibility:
- Cities, Tribal Governments, and MPOs are eligible to apply
- Consider whether to apply individually or as part of a joint application with other eligible applicants
Step 3: Start The Process With SAM.gov
- New applicants must obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)
- Applicants that previously had a DUNS number must confirm UEI
- Joint Applications choose a single lead applicant with a single UEI
Step 4: Determine Which Grant Is Right For You
For Action Plan Grants:
- Develop a new plan, or complete a plan in progress
- Identify if you need supplemental planning dollars for your existing plan, including advanced research and analysis
For Implementation Grants:
- Determine your financial needs to activate your Action Plan
- Determine which projects and strategies from your Action Plan to implement as part of this grant
Step 5: Secure Funding Match:
- This grant requires a local share of at least 20 percent.
- All matching funds must be from non-Federal sources and may include cash or in-kind, e.g., staff labor on project
Step 6: Prepare Your Application
- Complete SF Forms (424, 424A, 424B, LLL)
- Prepare responses to selection criteria & develop an area map
- Use the Action Plan Application Template (for Action Plan Grant applications)
- Use the Implementation Plan Application Template (for Implementation Grant applications)
- Complete the Self-Certification Eligibility Worksheet
Step 7: Submit Application In Grants.gov
- Review application submittal guidance in Grants.gov.
- Apply to the correct package ID PKG00274330 for Action Plan grants or ID PKG00274329 for Implementation Grants
- Allot time to troubleshoot technical issues and submit by deadline
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-518-4726 for assistance
Leverage the Latest in Technology for your Action Plan
Safety View by GM & INRIX can help transportation professionals gain valuable road safety insights by providing safety analytics tools and datasets to support your Vision Zero plans. It provides access to insights derived from critical datasets such as FARS crash data, VRU data, demographic details and speed profiles in a single cloud-based application to help prioritize improvement projects and build a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan.
Have questions? INRIX can provide additional resources for your grant planning.Contact Us Watch SS4A Webinar
- INRIX Blog – “How to Prepare for a USDOT Notice of Funding Opportunity”
- INRIX School Zone Traffic Safety Report
- INRIX On-Demand Webinar for Understanding the NOFO and SS4A
- USDOT Website for the NOFO for SS4A
- USDOT Website for the Discretionary Grant Process
This Blog for Informational Purposes Only:
*Applicants should follow the instructions in the NOFO to correctly apply for a grant. See the SS4A website for more information: www.transportation.gov/SS4A
**This blog is not meant to replace the NOFO. Applicants should follow the instructions in the NOFO to correctly apply for a grant.