Photo provided by Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) Credit: RIPTA

In an effort to improve traffic safety and prevent roadway accidents, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation and Governor Dan McKee today announced a new $5 million federal Action Plan Grant for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) under the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program. 

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline helped create the SS4A program through the Bipartisan Infrastructure law and made $5 billion in competitive SS4A funding available over five years.  This program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, provides dedicated federal funding to support regional and local road safety projects and strategies that will make busy roadways safer and help prevent deaths and serious injuries.

RIPTA will use the new federal funding to develop a Safe Streets action plan covering 29 Rhode Island communities.  This plan will provide a roadmap to reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit users. Once the plan is developed, municipalities will be able to apply for Implementation Grants through the SS4A program.  Providence recently received a $27.2 million SS4A Implementation Grant  Under the law, at least 40 percent of SS4A funding is set aside annually for Action Plan Grants and up to 60 percent is available for Implementation Grants.

The federal grant will help RIPTA develop a statewide action plan for more than 1 million Rhode Islanders, including 65,000 people in underserved communities.  RIPTA will use the federal funds to build upon the state’s transit master plan, as well as RIPTA’s goals, to improve transportation in all forms statewide.

Rhode Island ranked 34th among states for the number of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people, with the ninth-largest percentage increase in pedestrian fatalities as of 2020, according to a report by Smart Growth America.

The 29 municipalities participating in this safe streets action plan development include:

  • Barrington
  • Bristol
  • Burrillville
  • Central Falls
  • Cranston
  • Cumberland
  • East Greenwich
  • Foster
  • Glocester
  • Hopkinton
  • Johnston
  • Lincoln
  • Little Compton
  • Middletown
  • Narragansett
  • New Shoreham
  • Newport
  • North Kingstown
  • North Providence
  • Pawtucket
  • Portsmouth
  • Richmond
  • Smithfield
  • South Kingstown
  • Warren
  • West Greenwich
  • West Warwick
  • Westerly
  • Woonsocket