Background: In the past, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission announced a call for grant proposals in December for grants that would begin on October 1 of the following year. WTSC required that all grantees submit an application for grant funds each year. Between January and April, the Traffic Safety Commission Staff assisted by a Technical Advisory Committee evaluated and ranked all of the grants and created a one-year portfolio of projects. Once approved by the Traffic Safety Commission, all of these projects were bundled and submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission by July 1 as the official Washington State Highway Safety Plan.
Change: NHTSA has changed its process for states submitting their annual federal applications. This change allows more time for us to plan our highway safety programs. As a result of this change, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is adjusting our project solicitation process and timeline.
Impact: In review, about 70 percent of the projects we currently fund require multiple years to complete. For the 2020 grant year, WTSC has decided that these projects will not need to go through the competitive call for proposal process. This change will save our grantees and staff a great deal of time. We are also looking at areas where there are opportunities to fund projects to address strategic gaps in our traffic safety plan.
Next Steps: WTSC will notify grantees whose projects will continue in 2020 by January 11, 2019. WTSC will announce calls for proposals by April 30, 2019 for new projects that would be funded during the 2020 federal fiscal year (which begins October 1, 2019) to fill these strategic gaps. We anticipate that the call for proposals in 2020, will be focused on specific program areas.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is devoted to investing federal dollars in evidence-based and innovative projects that have the best potential for saving lives.
For the annual grant process, Wade Alonzo, Program Director