WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to improve roadway safety and make Providence streets safer for all road users, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo today joined with Mayor Brett P. Smiley to announce $1.12 million in federal funding for Providence under the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program.

This program is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation and was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (P.L. 117-58), which Senators Reed and Whitehouse helped to pass. The grant program provides dedicated federal funding to support regional and local road safety projects and develop strategies to make busy roadways safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users.

Providence will use the federal funds to build on existing projects in the city which are actively gathering crash, speed, and injury data. Using this data, paired with community engagement, the city will identify ten different intersections that will benefit most from safety enhancing improvements.

Through temporary demonstration projects, Providence will use this federal funding to implement safety upgrades in alignment with the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Safe Systems Approach with the goal of reducing roadway injuries and deaths.

“This federal grant for Providence is a smart investment in preventing deadly accidents, improving our communities, and enhancing roadway safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists across the city,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD). “By deploying traffic safety upgrades, this funding will help keep Providence’s streets safe and accessible to all who visit, live, and work in our capital city.”

“Thanks to our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re readying our capital city’s roads for the twenty-first century,” said Senator Whitehouse, who helped craft the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.  “This latest round of federal funding will build on previous investments in making Providence’s streets safe and accessible for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.”

“Roads should be safe for everyone, including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians,” said Rep. Seth Magaziner. “This federal funding will go toward traffic safety improvements that will make streets safer and more accessible for all Rhode Islanders.”

“Today’s funding announcement will make Providence’s streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. It also advances our goals of equity as it seeks to benefit residents who live in underserved communities,” said Congressman Amo. “As we continue to implement historic legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I will continue to work closely with officials at all levels of government to improve safety for our neighbors and improve Rhode Islanders’ quality of life.”

“Nothing is more important to me as Mayor than the safety of those who visit, live, and work in Providence,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “I am thrilled that we have been awarded this Safe Streets for All grant to study and improve our intersections and promote better connectivity, safety, and accessibility for everyone.”

Roadway safety is an area of grave national concern. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2023, Rhode Island was one of only fifteen states that saw an increase in deadly crashes compared to the previous year. Last year, Rhode Island saw a 38 percent increase. Nationally, the number of Americans who died in car crashes decreased by 3.6 percent in 2023.

According to Providence, between 2017 and 2021 there were 38 roadway fatalities that occurred at 36 intersections throughout the city. The federal funding announced for Providence today will advance the City’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

Providence estimates that this SS4A project will take approximately 18 months to complete.

Under the law, cities and towns can apply for federal SS4A grants.  The program is designed to provide $1 billion per year over five years and is open to communities of all sizes to help them ensure safe, accessible streets and roadways for all.