Research supports behavioral approaches to highway safety improvements such as traffic calming measures in roadway design, and many cities are adopting these proven effective means of controlling driver behavior. These programs can be expensive, however, and city budgets have been pressed to find funding sources.

Often, county and local governments that want to implement traffic calming programs can find funding through state and federal grant programs.

US Department of Transportation

Surface Transportation Improvement Grants

The DOT lists “livability” as one of the strategic priorities and have grants available for a wide range of transportation projects that are designed to improve the livability of US communities.

The Surface Transportation Improvement program is very flexible in regard to funding uses. It can be used for anything from highway improvements to capital funding for rail projects. Large scale safety improvement programs can find funding through a Surface Transportation Improvement grant.

Federal Highway Administration

Bicycle and Pedestrian Program

Traffic calming programs and programs for bicycle and pedestrian safety programs are eligible for most FHWA grant programs. The Department of Transportation office in each state staffs a bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator. Contact the DOT pedestrian program coordinator in your state to inquire about specific grant programs.

State Highway Safety Office

The Highway Safety Act of 1966 first authorized the administration of federal grants for highway safety programs. The Highway Safety Office in each state administers a variety of grant programs funded through federal legislation. Check with the SHSO in your state.

US Department of Agriculture

Rural Development Grants

Rural Development Grants are available to communities with a population under 20,000 to improve roadways. Community Facilities grants can be used to fund projects that contribute to community safety and improvement.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Reinvestment and Recovery Grants

Funding to improve roadways and pedestrian access in urban areas may be available through the department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD uses to list available grant opportunities.

Search For More Federal Grants Online is an excellent resource to search for more federal grant programs that can be used for community safety and traffic management projects.

Highway and traffic safety are important concerns for communities because poor traffic conditions, speeding and increased accident rates can diminish quality of life in urban areas. Well-designed roadways and traffic control measures make communities more livable, but funding these projects sometimes needs assistance. Federal grants and loan programs can help communities implement their traffic calming programs with these costs.