The Globe City Council last week accepted a $124,846 federal grant award that will be used to explore making downtown streets safer, and approved $31,000 in matching funds from the city.
The award for the “Downtown District” project was one of 385 fiscal year 2023 grants to local communities, through the Safe Streets and Roads for All program, that the U.S. Department of Transportation announced on December 13.
City of Globe Grants Manager Connie Callaway said the grant has a Vision Zero Initiative component and a huge public engagement component “that will be a first in this area, I think.” (The Vision Zero Network [visionzeronetwork.org] is a nonprofit with a collaborative campaign to help communities eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries.) “One of the biggest components of this is that the public will have involvement before, during and after.”
To spark this involvement the city will host public meetings, send out surveys and publish the outcomes to allow for public and private stakeholders’ input. Another facet of the project will be “temporary applications” in the downtown corridor (Broad Street) for approximately 12 months – which could include solar-powered pedestrian beacons, paint for crosswalks, curb extensions, plastic delineators, landscaping and possibly a bike lane. All this will be used to gauge how effective potential solutions might be.
Callaway said signage would notify the public of the installation of those temporary applications. “We want to try and narrow the corridor for speed – naturally narrow the corridor instead of posting a speed limit sign.” She added that data gathered from the applications could be used to apply for an implementation grant. Though the applications, being temporary, will have to come down, they could be put back up as permanent features if the city chose.
An additional element of the grant is an effort to use recycled parts, whether they come from Globe or from other cities.
“This is the first time the City of Globe has been awarded a USDOT grant in over a decade, so it’s huge for us. The mission is to make our streets safer, and it’s a commitment from us,” said Globe Mayor Al Gameros, who served on the grant committee.