TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—A $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will be flowing into Tompkins County to support the development of a roadway safety action plan.

The grant comes from Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A), a $5 billion program aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities on America’s roadways. SS4A was established as part of the over $1.2 trillion in spending that was authorized through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021.

The local application is a joint effort from 10 of the 16 municipalities within Tompkins County, as well as the county itself. The City of Ithaca served as the lead applicant with Erin Cuddihy, the city’s transportation engineer, managing the project. 

“We pulled this together in a matter of a couple of months,” Cuddihy said. “It just showed a lot of commitment from everyone in all the different municipalities to do this important safety project.” Cuddihy emphasized that the Ithaca Tompkins County Transportation Council played an important role in coordinating all the municipalities that applied for the grant.

The $600,000 grant coming into the county will be matched with $150,000 from the applicants for the SS4A grant, which include the towns of Ithaca, Caroline, Danby, Dryden, Lansing and Newfield; the Villages of Cayuga Heights, Dryden and Lansing; as well as the City of Ithaca and the Tompkins County. The New York State Department of Transportation has also committed to contributing to the local match. 

When completed, the safety action plan will also position participating local municipalities to access federal grants in the future. 

Along with a review of crash data, as well as data concerning driving speeds and hard-stopping events, there will be public outreach efforts to support the county safety action plan. The public will have an opportunity to highlight roadways that have been a cause for concern, like Floral Avenue in the City of Ithaca.

Cuddihy said that “By analyzing a lot of data and discussing with people in all the different communities, we’ll be able to paint a much more complete picture of the safety issues that we have in all these municipalities, and then come up with some equitable plan for addressing those safety issues.”

Jimmy Jordan

Jimmy Jordan is a general assignment reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact him at Connect with him on Twitter @jmmy_jrdn