Safe Streets Pinellas is a collaborative effort to create a transportation system that is safe for everyone. Our goal is for no one to be killed or seriously injured using the roadways in Pinellas County.
Forward Pinellas has committed to improving the safety of our streets in many ways. In 2021, Forward Pinellas developed and adopted the Safe Streets Pinellas Resolution, committing the agency to prioritizing safety in all aspects of what we do. By late 2022, 21 of the 25 local governments in Pinellas County have also signed on to the Safe Streets Pinellas Resolution. Our staff continues to work to get all 25 local governments to sign the Safe Streets Pinellas Resolution, documenting our shared commitment to driving down fatalities in Pinellas.
One of the biggest responsibilities of Forward Pinellas is to prioritize transportation projects for funding. Coming out of the Safe Streets Pinellas Action Plan, Forward Pinellas revamped the way we consider how to evaluate proposed projects. All transportation projects that are proposed or addition to our Multimodal Transportation Priority List, are evaluated on a point-based system. Of the total points available for a project to receive, a full 25% of the possible points are based on safety, the highest percentage of points from any rating category. This was done to address the scale of the safety challenges identified in Safe Streets Pinellas, to ensure that the projects we advance as an agency are taking the safety of all roadway users into consideration. All materials related to our project prioritization process can be found here: https://forwardpinellas.org/transportation-priority-lists/call-for-projects/#1624902597700-d8eabc85-21ea.
In addition, Forward Pinellas continues to work with our local government partners to advance projects that address the recommendations coming from the Safe Streets Pinellas Action Plan, including through the pursuit of grant funding. In 2022, Forward Pinellas submitted a grant application for the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) federal program, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in coordination with six of our local government partners. In early 2023, Forward Pinellas was awarded $559,074 in funding, with each local government partner providing a proportionate 20% in local matching funds.
Forward Pinellas, in partnership with Pinellas County and the cities of Dunedin, Gulfport, Largo, Oldsmar and St. Petersburg, will utilize these funds to conduct targeted safety analyses in each respective community. These analyses will center around data collection, evaluation of existing challenges and engagement with the local community through walking audits held collaboratively with law enforcement and school representatives, community organizations, and private stakeholders. This effort will build on the work completed through the Safe Streets Pinellas Action Plan to fully understand issues at each location through a Safe Systems Approach and will identify and prioritize low-cost but high-impact strategies that are implementable in our communities. It is the intent to submit a follow-up SS4A implementation grant application to assist with implementation of the recommended strategies within each community.
Dunedin’s and St. Petersburg/Gulfport’s projects will kick-off before the end of 2023 and anticipated to be completed by summer 2024. The remaining projects will begin in 2024 and anticipated that all will be completed before the end of the same year.
We’ve put together a Story Map that helps us dive deeper into where our more serious problems may be. If you’re interested in data and details, we encourage you to explore the Story Map and the data we’ve already started to analyze.