The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Division of Traffic Safety (DTS), administers highway safety funds made available to IDOT DTS annually through the US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Highway Safety Program grants (Section 402) are designed to help states, counties and communities initiate programs to address traffic safety-related problems and generally to promote traffic safety on our highways. The major goals of DTS are to reduce motor vehicle crashes, fatalities and injuries, increase the use of occupant protection devices, and to reduce impaired driving. The grants available through this program focus on enforcement, education, outreach, and training. (See http://www.trafficsafetygrantsillinois.org/Grants_2014.asp.)
Although IDOT has reduced the number of programs from six to four, and no longer has the Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Program (PBS), the Injury Prevention Program (IP) can be used for to fund pedestrian and bicycle safety education programs and projects. In the past, IDOT safety grants have been used to produce educational materials, such as the brochure, "Safe Bicycling in Illinois."
Here is IDOT's description of the Injury Prevention Program (IP).
Injury Prevention Program: This program is designed to reduce fatalities and injuries sustained in traffic crashes through educational programs. The staff in your community provides educational presentations, coordinates public information campaigns, and works with the media to raise public awareness of safe driving laws, use of occupant protection devices, helmets and designated drivers. This program can be implemented for schools and community meetings.
Grant application procedures and due dates will be announced on the Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Traffic Safety websiteand, for FFY 2013, grant applications were accepted through February 17, 2012.
The two other highway safety programs, although not as applicable as the Injury Prevention Program, may in certain cases relate to and help fund bicycle and pedestrian safety-related projects. These two programs are as follows:
Local Alcohol Program (LAP): designed to produce a significant impact on a local community's impaired driving problem. Project activities may include local task force formation, DUI enforcement, public information and education, prosecution and adjudication. Starting in FFY 2011 enforcement was limited to hire back officers.
Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP): These grants are designed to increase occupant protection usage and to reduce DUI through hire back enforcement. This program provides for participation in special enforcement campaigns such as "Click It or Ticket" and "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over". This program includes up to ten (10) enforcement periods. Enforcement details during the Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Years, St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day campaigns is required for these grants .
In FFY 2014, the deadline for applications for all safety programs was February 15, 2013.
SAFETEA-LU Programs (for informational purposes)
As mentioned above, SRTS and ITEP have been combined under MAP-21 inthe Transportatin Alternatives Program (TAP). Nevertheless, IDOT still maintains websites on these programs, and it may be that TAP -- or aspects of it -- will draw upon the goals and programming rules of SRTS and ITEP. We therefor offer the following for informational purposes:
Safe Routes to School (SRTS): The Illinois Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) has been administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). SRTS uses a multidisciplinary approach to improve conditions for students who walk or bike to school. The program has three main goals:
- To enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school
- To make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and
- To facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity (within 2 miles) of both public and private primary and middle schools (grades K-8).
The Illinois Safe Routes to School Program providing funding for both infrastructure improvements to the physical environment, as well as non-infrastructure projects. Eligible project sponsors include schools and school districts, governmental entities and non-profit organizations. Projects may be organized on a variety of jurisdictional levels.
The Illinois SRTS Program elements include:
- Funding at 80% with a 20% local match
- 70% to 90% of the total allocated funds for Illinois will support infrastructure projects. 10% to 30% of funds will support non-infrastructure programs.
- Requires an approved Illinois School Travel Plan
- Only those projects and programs included in the corresponding School Travel Plan are eligible for funding.
- Multiple projects may be applied for by a single Sponsoring Agency, using a single application.
- School Travel Plans and funding applications are accepted only through an online application process.
On January 24, 2012, Governor Quinn announced the funding recipients for the 2011 SRTS Funding Cycle. 229 projects were chosen to receive funding totaling $21.7 million. The full list of awarded projects is available for viewing by clicking the link "2011 Funded Projects" at the top of the left hand sidebar of the IDOT SRTS webpage. The northeastern Illinois region received a total of approximately $8.91M (approximately 41%), of the $21.17M programmed statewide. CMAP has posted an analysis of a survey of municipalities in the region in relation to whether or not they have approved school travel plans at http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/bike-ped (scroll 1/2 down webpage).
SRTS Website: http://idot.illinois.gov/transportation-system/local-transportation-partners/county-engineers-and-local-public-agencies/safe-routes-to-school/index