Action Plan Requirements
Comprehensive Safety Action Plans (Action Plans) are the basic building block to significantly improve roadway safety. Action Plans are comprehensive safety plans aimed at reducing and eliminating serious injury and fatal crashes. Action Plans use data analysis to characterize roadway safety problems and strengthen a community’s approach through projects and strategies that address the most significant safety risks.
The Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) NOFO provides funding for two types of grants: Planning and Demonstration Grants and Implementation Grants.
Two Grant Types
Planning and Demonstration Grants provide Federal funds to develop, complete, or supplement a comprehensive safety action plan. Having an Action Plan in place is the foundation of the SS4A grant program. Action Plan Grants may also fund supplemental Action Plan activities. The goal of an Action Plan is to develop a holistic, well-defined strategy to prevent roadway fatalities and serious injuries in a locality, Tribe, or region.
Planning and Demonstration Grants have three different types of activities:
- Develop an Action Plan
- Conduct supplemental safety planning to enhance an Action Plan; and
- Carry out demonstration activities to inform the development of, or an update to, an Action Plan.
The three different types of activities under Planning and Demonstration Grants can either be bundled together into one application, or an applicant may choose to request funding for only one of the activities. Applicants applying for only supplemental planning and/or demonstration projects must have an existing Action Plan that is substantially similar and meets the eligibility requirements or be in the process of developing a comprehensive safety action plan.
Implementation Grants provide Federal funds to implement projects and strategies identified in an Action Plan to address a roadway safety problem. Projects and strategies may be infrastructure, behavioral, and/or operational activities. Implementation Grants may also fund associated planning and design and supplemental Action Plan activities in support of an existing Action Plan. Applicants can apply for demonstration projects under an Implementation Grant only if they have a conforming Action Plan in place and the demonstration activity is used to inform the Action Plan.
Applicants must have an existing Action Plan to apply for Implementation Grants or have an existing plan that is substantially similar and meets the eligibility requirements.
Eligibility Requirements for an Action Plan to Be Used to Apply for an Implementation Grant
To learn more about eligibility requirements for an Action Plan to be used to apply for an Implementation Grant, please consider the following:
Action Plans that Satisfy SS4A NOFO Requirements
In order to satisfy the SS4A NOFO requirements to apply for an Implementation Grant or a Planning and Demonstration Grant that includes only supplemental planning and/or demonstration projects, applicants must have an existing Action Plan or be in the process of developing one that:
- Is focused on preventing roadway fatalities and serious injuries in a locality, Tribe, or region, and includes projects and strategies to address the safety problems it identifies.
- Meets the requirements in the Self-Certification Eligibility Worksheet. Note that the existing plan must have been finalized and/or last updated between 2018 and June 2023. It must be complete and adopted by the time of application submission.
- The qualifying elements may come from a variety of types of local plans, as long as they meet the requirements of the Self-Certification Eligibility Worksheet. For existing plans that include many but not enough of the elements in the Self-Certification Eligibility Worksheet, applicants may apply for Planning and Demonstration funds to complete or update the existing plan and conduct supplemental planning and/or demonstration activities. Examples of existing plans that may meet the criteria include:
- Vision Zero Action Plans,
- Local Road Safety Plans, and
- Tribal Transportation Safety Plans.
Note: Implementation Grant applicants who meet any of the following conditions must update their Action Plan to align with the Comprehensive Safety Action Plan components in NOFO Table 1 as a condition to receiving SS4A funds:
- Self-Certification Eligibility Worksheet areas that include a "no" response;
- Safety focus does not include all road users, and at a minimum includes pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle safety; or
- Action Plans whose latest update was more than three years ago.
Applicants may include Planning and Demonstration activities (Activity A) as part of their Implementation Grant application to update their Action Plan accordingly.
Action Plans that Do Not Satisfy SS4A NOFO Requirements
The following Action Plans do not satisfy the SS4A NOFO requirements to apply for an Implementation Grant or a Planning and Demonstration Grant that includes only supplemental planning and/or demonstration projects:
- Plans that are not primarily focused on road safety.
- Plans that do not meet the requirements in the Self-Certification Eligibility Worksheet.
- Plans that do not identify road safety problems and identify a list of projects and strategies to address those problems.
- State-level plans (e.g., a Strategic Highway Safety Plan required in 23 U.S.C. § 148, State Highway Safety Plans required in 23 U.S.C. § 402, or Commercial Vehicle Safety Plans required in 49 U.S.C. § 31102).
- Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans required in 49 U.S.C. § 5329.
- Note: A transit agency may apply for a Planning and Demonstration Grant, or partner with communities within its service area to implement projects that improve safety and access to transit.
- Plans that are not complete at the time of application.
- Plans that were completed or last updated prior to 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions about Action Plans that Satisfy SS4A NOFO Requirements
Does an eligible Action Plan have to be a single plan, or could an applicant for the SS4A program point to multiple plans already in place that fulfill the elements of the Action Plan?
- The necessary elements may be found in more than one existing plan for this funding round.
- State-level action plans, including but not limited to a Strategic Highway Safety Plans, State Highway Safety Plans, and Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans, cannot be used as an established plan.
- The SS4A program encourages applicants to apply for supplemental planning funds to consolidate existing plans into a single, comprehensive safety action plan covering the entire jurisdiction.
Would a Pedestrian and/or Bicycle Safety Action Plan be eligible?
For this round of funding, a bicycle and/or pedestrian safety action plan is eligible if it meets the eligibility requirements for an existing Action Plan outlined in the Self-Certification Eligibility Worksheet, even if it does not focus on all roadway users. We recommend documenting in your application’s narrative the conditions that led the community to decide to develop the mode-specific safety action plan. Note that as a condition of the grant, recipients would be required to update the existing plans to include analysis of all roadway users.
Would a Transportation Master Plan or a Mobility Master Plan meet the criteria?
Generally, no. Transportation Master Plans typically include strategic, multimodal transportation visions for a community and do not share the same safety focus that characterizes a comprehensive safety action plan. However, components required for an established plan to be substantially similar to an Action Plan may be found in multiple plans, including a transportation master plan (e.g., leadership commitment, equity analysis).
If we are applying for a Planning and Demonstration Grant to develop a new plan, can we still do supplemental action plan activities as part of the plan development?
Yes, applicants may apply for development of a new Action Plan as well as supplemental planning and/or demonstration activities. Please see our other resources for more information on supplemental planning and demonstration activities.
We are already starting the process for developing a safety plan. When is it too late for this plan to qualify as an existing Action Plan?
A qualifying comprehensive safety action plan must be completed and adopted by June 2023 to be used to apply for an FY23 SS4A Implementation Grant or for a Planning and Demonstration Grant that includes only supplemental planning and/or demonstration activities. If your plan is in progress but not yet completed, you may apply for funds to complete or update the plan in addition to supplemental planning and/or demonstration activities.