MORPC Awarded $200,000 for Comprehensive Safety Action Planning in Rural Communities
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as part of the Safer Streets for All (SS4A) program to develop a comprehensive safety action plan. The grant was one of 14 totaling $15,414,000 across Ohio.
MORPC applied for Safe Streets for All funds on behalf of the seven rural county members of the Central Ohio Rural Planning Organization (CORPO) including Fairfield, Knox, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union counties. The $200,000 will be utilized to develop a comprehensive safety action plan for CORPO members. Once the action plan is completed, CORPO jurisdictions will be eligible to apply for future SS4A grant cycles to implement identified projects.
This grant will allow MORPC staff to further the work of CORPO, which provides transportation planning services to rural members. An adopted goal of CORPO is to provide a Safe Transportation System for All Users.
The Central Ohio region has seen an increase in accidents in recent years with 228 fatalities and 1,484 serious injuries reported in 2020. Prior to 2020, serious injuries had been decreasing nearly every year. And while driving was markedly down in 2020 due to the pandemic, a report for that year found a surprising and alarming statistic: traffic deaths had risen.
The National Safety Council (NSC) said deaths from motor vehicles rose 8 percent that year, with as many as 42,060 people dying in vehicle crashes. When comparing traffic deaths to the number of miles driven, the rate of fatalities rose 24 percent — the highest spike in nearly a century.
The grant funding awarded to MORPC is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BLI) and will support the development of safety action plans and safety improvements.
MORPC has a history of working closely with communities to ensure motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists are safe while traveling. Program staff actively analyzes crash data to better understand why crashes occur and how certain populations, behaviors, and locations are more susceptible to a deadly traffic crash.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established the new SS4A discretionary program and will allow $5 billion in appropriated funds over the next five years. The SS4A program funds regional, local, and Tribal initiatives through grants to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. The SS4A program supports Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg’s National Roadway Safety Strategy and the Department’s goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on our nation’s roadways.
To learn more about CORPO visit Central Ohio Rural Planning Organization (CORPO) – MORPC – MORPC