Broken Arrow applies for federal ‘Safe Streets’ grant

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — The City of Broken Arrow is joining the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) in an application for a grant that could provide the City with up to $4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the city announced this week.

INCOG is also coordinating Tulsa, Owasso, Jenks, and Tulsa County to complete the regional grant application for the Safe Streets and Roads for All Discretionary Grant.

If awarded, INCOG estimates the City of Broken Arrow could receive as much as $4 million in federal grant monies. The grant would fund the implementation of low-cost, high-impact safety measures such as street striping, flashing yellow arrow traffic signals, HAWK beacons, reflective yellow backplates for traffic signals, Accessible Pedestrian Signals, and more.

Broken Arrow and each entity represented in the application would be required to provide $1 million in matching funds. All grant funds must be spent within five years.

The City Council approved Broken Arrow’s participation in the regional grant application at its meeting on Sept. 6. The City’s application includes a letter from Mayor Debra Wimpee to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg explaining Broken Arrow’s need for inclusion in the grant program.

The mayor’s letter cited specific ways the City is improving mobility within the community, such as implementing the Bikeshare program, adding new bike lanes, and using HAWK beacons in school zones. The mayor also mentioned the City’s leadership role with INCOG in advocating for a regional vision for safe transportation systems.

It is INCOG’s goal to considerably decrease serious injuries and fatalities by 25 percent by 2030.

“The SS4A grant funding would significantly reduce crashes on roadways throughout our region and our city, thereby saving lives,” Wimpee said. “Implementing systemwide crash reduction measures will greatly benefit the City of Broken Arrow.”

In a presentation to the City Council, Transportation Division Manager Travis Small said, “INCOG reached out to various municipalities that are constituents of INCOG and asked for their support.”

City Manager Michael Spurgeon asked Small about the required matching funds.

“Obviously, $1 million is a lot of money. Do we have existing projects that have been voter-approved that we could identify as a match?” Spurgeon said.

In response, Small mentioned several projects such as signal improvements, street striping, and HAWK traffic beacons that are already allocated and will meet the matching fund specifications that could be put into place within the five-year window required for the grant.

“Great,” Spurgeon said. “I wanted the Council to know that we have the appropriated funds that we could make available, and it wouldn’t be additional funding we would have to come up with.”

Funding for the Safe Streets for All grant program is part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Law that established the new discretionary program with $5 billion in appropriated funds over the next five years. In fiscal year 2022, up to $1 billion is available to fund regional, local, and Tribal initiatives through grants to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries.