April 22, 2024
Annapolis, US 62 F

Annapolis Secures $683K to Make Forest Drive Safer for Pedestrians and Cyclists

The City of Annapolis has received a grant of $683,200 from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program. The award will be used to develop a citywide Safe Streets Action Plan, and to implement safety improvements along Forest Drive, one of the highest crash corridors in the City.  Combined with matching funds from the City, the total budget of the project is estimated to be $854,000. 

Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) is a discretionary grant program funded with $5 billion in Appropriations from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress late 2021. SS4A has a goal to reduce roadway deaths. 

Project Overview: Forest Drive is the only roadway within the Annapolis city limits that is owned and maintained by Anne Arundel County.   After conducting a series of public meetings with City of Annapolis planners, Anne Arundel County planners contracted traffic safety engineers to publish the Forest Drive Safety Study in July of 2023. The study stemmed from data showing that the Forest Drive corridor is in the top 10 for highest crash rate among all roads in Anne Arundel County. The Study identified a wide variety of immediate improvements that could be made along the Forest Drive corridor including priorities already underway including the City of Annapolis’ Hilltop Lane Connector trail project where a bicyclist was the victim of a fatal hit and run event approximately one year ago.  The recommendations coming  out of that study include: 

  • pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements to mitigate conflicts with automobiles (new signal crossings, improving existing pedestrian crossings, bus stop relocations and trimming back vegetation that encroaches on sidewalks); 
  • upgrades to traffic signal hardware, improvements to traffic signal phasing to reduce vehicle conflicts; and 
  • signing and marking improvements to provide increased guidance through and approaching intersections. 

These recommendations prompted County and City officials to search out grant opportunities in order to cover the costs of implementing the suggested improvements. The City of Annapolis was awarded funding in a round of grants announced by USDOT on December 13. 

“Forest Drive is a priority area for traffic safety,” said Annapolis Planning and Zoning City Manager Michael Mallinoff. “I want to thank our county counterparts for working together on the plan and our City team for their successful efforts in chasing down these funds.” 

While the majority of the grant will pay for immediate safety improvements, a portion of the funding will pay for a citywide Safe Streets Action Plan which will help the City’s eligibility for USDOT implementation funding in the future. 

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