Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilmington. (Famartin photo from Wikimedia)

Wilmington gets $200,000 in Safe Streets and Roads funding

Ken MammarellaGovernment, Headlines

Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilmington. (Famartin photo from Wikimedia)

Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilmington. (Famartin photo from Wikimedia)

Wilmington has received a $200,000 grant from the new federal Safe Streets and Roads for All program.

It’s the only Delaware grant among $800 million awarded for 510 projects nationwide.

The city is partnering with the Wilmington Area Planning Council on the grant. The Delaware Department of Transportation and Delaware Transit Corp. (the DelDOT unit that runs DART buses) have pledged staff support.

“This grant will save lives in Wilmington by building on the city bike plan’s Vision Zero goal as well as an ongoing DelDOT pedestrian safety study,” the city’s grant application said.

“Our approach will begin with creating an inclusive task force, representative of the city’s population, based on the proven Wilmington Initiatives framework. The task force will establish a timeframe within which Wilmington will eliminate transportation fatalities and serious injuries. We will analyze existing conditions and historical crash trends citywide. We will identify a high-injury network and employ the evidence-based Safe Systems Approach, along with proven safety countermeasures.

“This approach will reduce conflicts and manage speeds, thereby reducing crash severity and frequency. The plan will conclude with recommendations, including policy and process changes, lower-cost systemic improvements and possibly some individual projects with higher cost and correspondingly higher benefit.

“The grant will also address broader city policy goals, such as equity, climate sustainability and economic development.”

“It’s great to see the city of Wilmington receive this funding award from President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law,” Gov John Carney said. “The city can use it to identify areas that need improvement to make Wilmington safer for both pedestrians and drivers. We look forward to working with towns and cities across our state to do more for roadway safety in the months ahead.”

Safe Streets nationwide

The grants will “fundamentally change how roadway safety is addressed,” the U.S. Department of Transportation wrote in announcing the grants.

Traffic fatalities in the United States reached a 16-year high in 2021, and preliminary data indicate will remain near those levels in 2022, even getting worse for people walking, biking, or rolling as well as incidents involving trucks. A new report shows the economic impact of traffic crashes was $340 billion in 2019.

A second round of $1.1 billion in grants is expected to be released in April.

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