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USDOT Allocates $82.6 Million in Grants to Bolster Road Safety Efforts in 46 States

Helen Adams

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has granted $82.6 million to enhance road safety in 46 states, with a particular focus on improving freight route safety. This initiative, aimed at addressing critical safety issues, includes various projects in states like Colorado, Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, and Vermont, to ensure safe streets and roads for all.

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized the importance of community involvement in identifying safety needs, whether they relate to hazardous intersections, highways, or the need for enhanced bus and bicycle lanes, contributing to overall safety on the road. He pointed out that in the past five years, the communities receiving these grants witnessed nearly 14,000 roadway fatalities, an unacceptable reality that the USDOT aims to change by providing essential funding to address their unique safety concerns and save lives.

These funds will be instrumental in helping communities create safety action plans, make improvements along routes with safety challenges, and implement “quick-build” strategies to test safety features, such as separated bike lanes and curb extensions at intersections. The grant program plays a pivotal role in the USDOT’s national roadway safety strategy and the global effort to enhance road safety.

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Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg expressed the agency’s enthusiasm for partnering with communities across the country to swiftly prepare these plans for action. Together, they aim to implement safety road signs and state-of-the-art road safety systems.

One of the recipients of federal funds is Rifle, Colorado, a small mountain community located along Interstate 70. This area, heavily reliant on cattle ranching, faces safety issues due to traffic flow on I-70 and Colorado State Highway 13, especially during inclement weather closures, highlighting the need for safety on the road.

Pasco County in Florida will receive $320,000 in federal funding to tackle transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries on county roads, furthering their commitment to safety on the road. Situated on the Gulf Coast with easy access to major transportation hubs, the county has become a prominent logistics and distribution center, promoting safety for all road users. However, it has also experienced a concerning increase in road incidents, emphasizing the urgency of road safety measures.

Rushville, a small rural city in Indiana, will utilize its grant to create a road safety plan for its area, which has seen a surge in commercial traffic, including heavy freight trucks, causing safety concerns for various road users and highlighting the importance of safety on the road.

Edison Township in New Jersey, a significant commercial hub, will use its grant to develop a safer travel plan, addressing issues related to a high urban population, inadequate pedestrian infrastructure, and heavy truck traffic, further contributing to safe streets and roads for all.

In northwestern Vermont, Lamoille County will invest a $107,348 federal award to enhance road safety for all travelers, with a specific focus on assessing safety risks for freight trucks, passenger vehicles, and other road users while seeking innovative road safety systems and infrastructure solutions.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is expected to announce additional roadway safety grants later this year as part of ongoing efforts to improve road safety across the United States and participate in the road safety world series.