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SS4A Grant Recipient FAQs

Grant Administration

Which Federal agency is administering SS4A grants?

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has the responsibility for administering all SS4A grants.

Grant Agreement Execution

I am a SS4A grant recipient. How may I obtain a copy of the SS4A grant agreement template?

Please contact the FHWA Division Office lead point of contact assigned to your grant to obtain a copy of the grant agreement template.

What if a grant recipient does not know the name of the FHWA Division Office lead point of contact assigned to the grant?

Please send an email to the Safe Streets and Roads for All Team at SS4A.FHWA@dot.gov, and the SS4A team can help connect you with the appropriate lead point of contact.

Who schedules the kickoff meeting with SS4A grant recipients?

The FHWA Division Office lead point of contact assigned to each grant will contact the identified SS4A grant recipient point of contact to schedule a kickoff meeting.

How may grant recipients update their point of contact information?

Recipients should reach out to their designated FHWA Division Office lead point of contact and let them know of any changes.

Will award letters with the award details be provided?

The award emails that the Department of Transportation sent to each recipient will serve as the official grant award letter.

Does the recipient complete the grant agreement template?

Yes, each grant recipient will develop the grant agreement using the approved grant agreement template, which may be obtained from the FHWA Division Office lead point of contact assigned to the grant.  The Division Office lead point of contact can help answer any questions you may have.

How long will it take to get an executed grant agreement?

The timeline depends on the specific circumstances of each grant.

Does the grant recipient need to provide a basis for the budget for an Action Plan Grant?

The Action Plan Grant applicants had to complete an SF-424A form for their budget when submitting their application.

Given the 5-year limit to expend SS4A grant funds, when does this period begin?

The 5-year clock starts on the date that the grant agreement is fully executed, which means it has been signed by both the grant recipient and the FHWA Agreement Officer.

State Involvement in SS4A Grants 

Since States are not eligible to apply for the SS4A grants, may a recipient establish an arrangement with a State department of transportation (DOT) or some other State or local governmental entity to administer an SS4A grant?

Yes. A recipient may establish an arrangement with a State DOT or another State or local governmental entity to administer an SS4A grant so long as that arrangement complies with State and local law. Under 2 CFR § 200.331, the recipient must determine whether such arrangement is contractual, such as an interagency agreement, or a subgrant. As provided at 2 CFR § 200.300(b), the recipient is responsible for compliance with all Federal requirements applicable to the award. States will not have direct funding relationships with USDOT.

Can cities, counties, or MPOs serve as a funding pass through to have a State DOT administer the entire grant agreement in its place?

SS4A grant agreements are directly between the applicant and the Department. SS4A grant agreements are not with State DOTs, and eligible applicants cannot serve as a pass through for a State DOT to take full responsibility over the grant agreement. However, an applicant may choose to work with a State DOT and provide SS4A grant funding to State DOTs to assist in the execution of the grant activities separately from the grant agreement. But the SS4A recipient retains responsibility for ensuring completion of the grant activities and for compliance with the terms of the grant award and federal requirements.

If a recipient enters into an arrangement with a State DOT or another State or local government entity to administer an SS4A grant, are the costs incurred managing the award eligible for reimbursement with SS4A funds? 

Yes. Under 2 CFR § 200, Subpart E, these costs may be reimbursed either as indirect costs if such costs are included in the recipient’s approved indirect cost rate, or as a direct cost if the cost is incurred specifically for the award and not otherwise accounted for the approved indirect cost rate. If a recipient intends to enter into such an arrangement and seek reimbursement of direct costs through the grant, those estimated costs should be included in the grant application. During administration, the recipient is responsible for ensuring direct costs incurred are eligible and allocable to the grant administration. States will not have direct funding relationships with USDOT.

SS4A Community of Practice (CoP)

The following FAQs are based on questions at the first SS4A CoP webinar in November 2023. Visit the SS4A CoP website for more information about the CoP and a recording of that webinar.

Getting Involved in the CoP

How can we get involved in the CoP? 

As we continue to build the community of practice, FHWA will rely on you for input and recommendations. If there is a topic you are interested in discussing in a future meeting or if you’d like to share a success story or noteworthy practice, please email us at SS4A.FHWA@dot.gov and we will follow up.

Is there a way to find other CoP members’ contact information?

We are excited to hear that you’re interested in engaging with other grant recipients. To the extent possible, we encourage CoP members to collaborate with one another. In the coming months, we’re going to ask CoP participants about their preferences on sharing contact information. Please stay tuned for more information. 

Who is allowed to participate in the CoP? If I am not the designated grant point of contact for an SS4A grant, can I still participate? 

If you are the designated grant recipient point of contact for your grant or are working in any way on a SS4A grant, and you are interested in contributing to a goal of reducing roadway fatalities and serious injuries, then we want you to be a part of this Community! Please join us. Let’s all work together to share our challenges and solutions. 

Grant Agreement Execution and Next Steps

Where can I go for more information on SS4A? 

There are a couple of options for getting more information on SS4A. You can contact the Division Office point of contact assigned to your grant with any questions. Alternatively, you can also visit the SS4A webpage for additional information. As soon as the SS4A Clearinghouse website is published, we’ll distribute that information as well. We hope that will be a one-stop shop for SS4A grant recipients.

What information does FHWA need from us in order to execute a grant agreement? 

You will receive more information about this from your Division Office point of contact during a grant recipient kick-off meeting. We will also be hosting an initial webinar for grant recipients in January to review the grant agreement template and grant agreement execution process with you. 

Creating a Successful Safety Action Plan

Are there models or other specific resources for producing a high-quality Action Plan? For many of us, this is the first time putting such a document together.

FHWA’s Local Road Safety Plan DIY site has some helpful information and includes some examples of robust safety Action Plans. Please note: the Action Plan examples linked on the DIY site are not always completely conformant to the requirements for an Action Plan that is eligible for SS4A funding. However, the information provided on the site can be very helpful, especially if you’re not sure where to start.   

See also the Comprehensive Safety Action Planning resources on the SS4A website.

Every day I see cell phone-related distracted driving. What can a safety Action Plan do in changing human behavior? 

Action Plans can contain a variety of strategies to help with this, and we definitely plan to delve into some behavioral safety countermeasures in future CoP meetings. A good start is to look at your data as it relates to distracted driving-related crashes. Review your community’s crash data to see when, where, and how these crashes are happening.  

It would be valuable to get information and resources we can use to dialogue with emergency responders that might have concerns that slowing down traffic (e.g., roundabouts) might increase emergency response times. Can you circulate those types of resources? 

We do have one resource on roundabouts and emergency services available here, and would like to explore this topic—and post-crash care generally—at a future CoP meeting. 

Our general advice to agencies pursuing their first roundabout is to go above and beyond the norm for coordinating with Fire and EMS, including them in the preliminary planning and design, all the way through construction and opening. It sometimes helps to hold a “test drive” where the basic geometry is laid out using cones and sandbags in a parking lot or field, having the Department drive through and observe the results, and then use that information to tweak the design. There are also design details that can make a huge difference, such as truck aprons and sloped curbing. 

Applying for Future Grants

Will we be able to apply for an Implementation Grant in the FY24 round if we received our grant to develop a new Action Plan in FY23? 

Implementation Grant applicants must have an eligible, complete Action Plan in place to be eligible to apply. (That includes being formally adopted by their governing body or board and posted publicly on a website.) So, the Action Plan must be in place prior to the application being submitted. However, it would be possible to apply for a supplemental planning and/or demonstration grant.

 

The contents of this page do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide information to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. However, compliance with applicable statutes or regulations cited in this page is required.