The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure created to grow the economy, enhance U.S. competitiveness, create jobs, and make the U.S. economy more sustainable, resilient, and equitable. With a total of$550B in new Federal infrastructure investments and 2 million jobs created per year, this funding provides for opportunities beyond transportation including planning, safety, and other initiatives.
Specifically, the IIJA supports local initiatives to prevent transportation-related death and serious injury on roads and streets. This initiative is commonly referred to as “Vision Zero” or “Toward Zero Deaths.” With a total of $5 billion eligible over a five-year period, these funds are granted for comprehensive safety action plans as well as the planning, design, and development activities for infrastructure projects and other strategies identified in a comprehensive safety action plan (the implementation).
The first round of grant applications will occur in Summer 2022, but by the time of this conference, lessons learned from the first round will be available to inform applications moving forward. In addition, it will be important to set Arizona’s MPOs, local agencies and Tribal Governments up for success if interested in applying for a grant to develop a comprehensive safety action plan.
B&N is currently collaborating with the City of Denton in Texas to complete a Vision Zero “readiness” assessment. To develop a successful Vision Zero plan, several elements need to be considered and addressed first. This includes leadership, agency culture, agency to agency collaboration, agency to stakeholder collaboration, public support and buy-in, data collection and availability, and supporting policies. An assessment can help an agency understand 1) where they are in respect to each of these critical topics 2) what the challenges will be to moving forward with a Vision Zero plan if these areas are not addressed and 3) specific actions they can take to overcome hurdles and be organized early to develop a successful Vision Zero planning effort.
B&N will provide the steps and educate local governments and MPOs on how they can apply for these grant funds for the 2023 fiscal year while educating them on best practices for self-assessment and implementation.