Small Cities are Winning Large Grants for Street Safety – StreetsBlog USA
By Kea Wilson
For nearly seven years, a small Georgia community has been haunted by the unsolved killing of 4-year-old Lun Thang, who was struck by a hit-and-run driver while she walked to school with a relative. Now, it's one of a growing number of small cities and towns that are winning major federal dollars to save lives like hers — and sharing the recipe for how they beat out bigger and better-resourced cities for the funds.
In early December, Clarkston, Georgia became one of 385 U.S. communities to win a Safe Streets and Roads for All grant, earning $1 million to develop a comprehensive street safety plan. That's an unusually large victory for a city of just 14,500 people with median incomes one-third lower than the national average.And it could prove an unusually impactful one, considering that Clarkston has an annual traffic-fatality rate roughly double the national average — not to mention an unusually large refugee population, many of whom arrive to the United States without cars, jobs that pay well enough to buy them, or even the language skills necessary to read American street signs.