February 16th, 2023
Making Systems Safer - Right Now
The road safety crisis is escalating. In 2021, 42,915 people lost their lives on our roads, marking a 10.5% increase from the previous year. To reverse this trend we need to act - right now.

These aren’t just numbers, these are people too

These aren’t just statistics, these are people too - members of our community, our neighbors, our colleagues, and possibly our loved ones. It is a grave and pressing issue that demands immediate attention.

At Flow Labs we support the work of the US DOT in promoting this issue and providing funding for safety initiatives. Earlier this month, US DOT announced that they had released over $800m in funding as part of the first round of the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program. This was across 510 projects driven by community transportation leaders.
But this is just the beginning - there are plenty more upcoming grant opportunities making funding available for communities in the coming months, including the next round of Safe Streets for All funding:
  • Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A): Expected release date in April 2023. Up to $5,000,000 is available for an Action Plan Grant. Up to $50,000,000 is available for an Implementation Plan Grant.
  • Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE): January 2023. Up to $25,000,000 is available per RAISE grant.
  • Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund: January 2023. Between $23 million to $25 million in total funds awarded annually.
  • Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects (INFRA) grant program: Expected release date in March 2023. Will fund projects of at least $25 million (defined as a large project in their NOFO).
  • National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) grant program: Expected release date in March 2023. $5 billion in total funds is available over 5 years of funding.
  • Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN): Expected release date in September 2023. Up to $12 million is available.
  • Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART): Expected release date in September 2023. Up to $2 million is available for a Stage 1 grant. Up to $15 million is available for a Stage 2 grant.

The silver bullet for safety?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to safety issues. Safety issues can vary greatly in terms of their causes and severity, which means there is no single silver bullet for every situation. Engineers need to experiment with different solutions and approaches at different scales to see what works best, and even then, not everything will work. Two cities in New Jersey have been able to successfully implement these approaches and meet their Vision Zero goals:
  • Jersey City: Through their SafStreetsJC program and their experimental mindset, they were able to implement a Vision Zero plan that led to zero fatalities in 2022. As Mayor Steven Fulop said, "you have to be willing to be nimble, try things, recognize when it doesn't work."
  • City of Hoboken: Hoboken has not seen a traffic fatality since 2017 after implementing a Complete Streets initiative. “Our experience in Hoboken is data driven and Vision Zero generally is a data driven initiative,” said Hoboken transportation planner Greg Francese. “I think, you know, looking at the crash data in Hoboken, looking at the crash data in Nashville, there’s probably some similarities but it’s certainly not a one size fits all solution.”

Focus on the Iteration Loop

Doing something about safety is great, but doing the right thing is better. To truly improve safety, engineers need to diversify their strategies, put their efforts into multiple baskets, and ensure that they're putting them in the right ones. But they need to have the right tools to do so, otherwise they are left shooting in the dark.

All Engineers, regardless of what task they are doing, are going through the same fundamental process: figure out what is happening, figure out why it is happening, do something about it, figure out if that thing worked. This is the iteration loop, and at Flow Labs, we provide engineering teams with the tools to accelerate through this loop and make an impact right now.
In our upcoming series on Making Systems Safer for All we’ll be going through how you can use safety funding to accelerate every part of this process and make systems safer for everyone.

Flow Labs technologies like Predictive Traffic Control (PTC) enable you to spend less, deploy faster and see results quicker. Contact us to schedule a demo today.
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