Disability rights and highway safety advocates say some of the funding from the new $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure law, which includes $11 billion for transportation safety programs, should be spent on curb ramps, more accessible sidewalks and roads engineered to slow down traffic and provide safe crossings for people with disabilities.
The law includes the “Safe Streets and Roads for All” initiative, which will provide $5 billion in grants to local governments over five years to support projects and strategies to reduce crashes and fatalities.
The law also boosted funding for the Federal Highway Administration’s state-administered highway safety improvement program. It added a provision aimed at improving safety for “vulnerable road users” such as older adults, people with disabilities and bicyclists. If those users comprise 15% or more of the total number of annual fatalities in a state, it will have to dedicate at least 15% of those funds the next year to improve those road users’ safety.