The City of Austin will receive a $22.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to make its streets safer for everyone.
The grant is part of the $5 billion Safe Streets and Roads for All program, which was established as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
With funding from this grant, Austin Transportation plans to implement safety improvements at more than 60 locations, with at least half of project funding allocated to underserved communities.
Austin has reduced severe crashes through its Vision Zero safety initiatives, including safety improvements that have led to a 31% reduction in the annual number of fatal or serious injury crashes at major intersections and a 17% decrease in fatal and serious injury crashes on the city's High-Injury Roadways.
However, much work remains in a city of more than 280 square miles and a rapidly growing population. Last year, 117 people died on Austin streets and hundreds more were seriously injured.
Based on available data, the Black/African American community makes up a disproportionate share of severe crash victims and the Hispanic and Latino community makes up an increasing share of severe crash victims in Austin.
"This grant will accelerate Austin’s ability to deliver life-saving infrastructure improvements to our community. It is through a team effort that we will end the tragic and preventable fatalities and injuries on our roadway system," Mayor Kirk Watson said.
When it comes to evaluating specific locations and treatments for safety improvements, the City of Austin evaluates the safety and equity impacts of engineering treatments and selects context-specific tools that can make the most difference. Those tools could include traffic signal installations, high-visibility crosswalks, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, added turning lanes, medians, or other changes.
You can find the news release from the U.S. Department of Transportation here.