The City of Cedartown has been selected to receive a $160,000 grant from the United States Department of Transportation to improve pedestrian, cyclist, and motorist safety in high-traffic areas in the community.

Cedartown’s award is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recent announcement of $82 million in Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grants to 235 regional, local, and Tribal communities for planning and demonstration projects to improve safety and help prevent deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways. These funds will help communities develop safety action plans, inform improvements along corridors with safety issues, use “quick-build” strategies to test out safety features such as separated bicycle lanes or curb extensions at intersections, and more.

The grant will be used to increase safety awareness and education efforts, as well as implementation of accessible sidewalks and bike lanes, explained City Manager Edward Guzman. In addition, funds will be used to upgrade traffic mitigation strategies and equipment with a specific focus on downtown and adjacent corridors. The action plan provides foundations for roadway safety education programs and public information initiatives as well.

“I’m excited about this grant because one of the things residents talk to me about the most is traffic related concerns,” said City Commission Chair Jessica Payton. “With the increase in businesses, night life, and pedestrians in the downtown area as well as additional retail and industrial growth, especially in our northern corridor, we need to be proactive in seeking funds to help mitigate not only our already known traffic concerns but also those we anticipate in the foreseeable future. Cedartown is always looking for ways to bring local residents’ federal tax dollars back into our community, and I’m very happy that our city is being noticed by our highest offices.”

Helping communities plan and design safer streets is a key element of USDOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy to combat the crisis of deaths on our nation’s roads. While NHTSA estimates show a fifth straight quarter of declines in roadway deaths, the fact is tens of thousands of people die each year on America’s roads, which is why President Biden’s infrastructure law includes unprecedented funding for safety improvements.

“Whether it’s a dangerous intersection or highway, or a need for better bus and bike lanes, no one can better pinpoint a community’s safety needs than the people who actually live and work there,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “In the past five years, the communities we are awarding these grants to experienced nearly 14,000 roadway deaths. To help change that unacceptable reality, we are proud to deliver this needed funding to help them address their unique safety needs and save lives.”

“I know from my time as Commissioner of New York City Department of Transportation that roadway safety projects save lives,” said U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “The Department is so excited to partner with communities all across the country to quickly and nimbly get these plans ready for action.”

In total, the SS4A grants are expected to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in funding investments in safety, provided directly to local communities.