The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding grants totaling nearly $40 million to the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County to make streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.
“Every year, crashes cost tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy; we face a national emergency on our roadways, and it demands urgent action,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a news release.
The city of Tampa will receive $20 million for its “T-SAFE: Tampa — Systemic Applications for Equity” effort. The money will be used to install pedestrian mid-block crosswalks, backplates with reflective borders that improve the visibility of traffic signals, flashing beacons, high visibility crosswalks and signs along the city’s road network.
Tampa also will install new sidewalks and implement safety measures — like street light upgrades, separated bike lanes and school speed zone flashers — near several schools, parks and transit routes, the news release said.
Hillsborough County will receive $19.7 million for its data driven equitable transportation safety programs. The money will be used to install sidewalks, curbs, bike lanes and speed management strategies at 22 locations in the county.
Hillsborough County had 219 traffic fatalities, including pedestrians and bicyclists, in 2022, according to the Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization.
The county has the highest traffic fatality rate per capita among large counties in the U.S., the federal transportation department said.
The federal government also is awarding planning grants to 34 local governments in Florida, including $559,074 to Pinellas County, to develop safe street efforts.