5 Key Strategies for Winning an Implementation Grant: Lessons from Tomika Monterville, City of San Antonio

April 8, 2023

Image Caption: 5 Key Strategies for Winning an Implementation Grant: Lessons from Tomika Monterville, City of San Antonio

Winning an SS4A grant can be a challenging and competitive process. In our recent Webinar, Setting Yourself Up for SS4A Success, Tomika Monterville, the Director of Transportation at City of San Antonio shared insights on the city's success in securing a $4.4 million grant for their Zarzamora corridor. Here, we explore five key takeaways from the speech that can serve as a guide for others seeking to win an implementation grant. Watch the full webinar here.

1. "We prioritized the High Injury Network based on annual severe injury reports for bicyclists and pedestrians over multiple years.”To win an implementation grant, it's crucial to demonstrate the need for safety improvements by focusing on areas with high injury rates. By using data-driven solutions, you can show the urgency and potential impact of your proposed interventions. In San Antonio's case, they were able to pinpoint the most pressing areas for intervention and create a compelling case for funding.

2. "The funds were requested to implement eight mid-block crossings with pedestrian refuges, a proven safety countermeasure from the FHWA."Using proven safety countermeasures from established sources, such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), strengthens your proposal by demonstrating the effectiveness of your planned interventions. By leveraging established best practices, San Antonio were able to create a stronger and more persuasive application.

3. "Our sustainability department has an impressive climate action plan completed several years ago."Connecting your project to existing plans and programs within your jurisdiction, such as sustainability or climate action plans, demonstrates a comprehensive and integrated approach. In San Antonio's case, they showcased their sustainability department's impressive climate action plan. This connection allowed them to present a cohesive vision for the project, illustrating how it aligns with broader community goals and initiatives.

4. "This roundtable convenes all of our municipalities [...] ensuring we don't compete against each other."Forging strong partnerships and collaborations with local stakeholders is vital to avoid competition and create a unified approach to grant applications. San Antonio established an executive roundtable led by their city manager, which included representatives from municipalities, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), VIA Metropolitan Transit, and the local energy company. By working together, they ensured that they were not competing against each other for grant funds, ultimately increasing the likelihood of success.

5. "We knew that data, criteria alignment, storytelling, and implementation planning were key aspects of our successful application."To increase your chances of winning an implementation grant, it's essential to create a clear and compelling narrative backed by data. San Antonio's Vision Zero project team focused on these aspects, including data-driven insights, criteria alignment, and a strong implementation plan. Their approach paid off, as they were successful in securing the $4.4 million grant for the Zarzamora corridor.

Conclusion: Winning a SS4A grant requires careful planning, strategic partnerships, and a persuasive narrative. By following the insights shared by San Antonio's Vision Zero project, organizations can increase their chances of success. Prioritize data-driven solutions, leverage proven safety countermeasures, connect with existing plans and programs, establish strong collaborations.

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