Safe Streets are for Everyone

 The counties of Carroll, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, and Whiteside, Illinois have partnered with the Blackhawk Hills Regional Council (BHRC) in order to develop a Safe Streets for All Safety Action Plan (SAP) for their region. This plan will serve as a framework to guide future infrastructure design. This page will be updated regularly and will serve as a timely, comprehensive resource for information regarding the development of the SAP. The Project Team will provide valuable information and materials for the public through this website, as well as solicit feedback and comments from residents, business owners, and stakeholders of Northwest Illinois.


The six counties and BHRC have chosen a reputable, well-established engineering firm to manage the development of the SAP. Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC (KEG) will be leading all efforts associated with the SAP. KEG specializes in traffic and safety engineering and design and is supported by a multidisciplinary team to provide a comprehensive, well-rounded SAP. They will be the main contact for the project and are able to assist with questions or concerns as the project progresses.

What is an SAP?

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According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a Safety Action Plan, or SAP, is a “powerful way to prioritize safety improvements and justify investment decisions.” In short – it is a plan put in place to get people home safely. Safe streets really can be for everyone, and establishing an SAP can be a positive move forward toward a goal of zero deaths from roadway incidents.

A formal SAP has many benefits, including:

  • Provide valuable data and analyses as to causes of roadway fatalies and serious injuries
  • Establish proven safety measures to implement in your region
  • Serve as a guide to local and safe infrastructure solutions
  • Initiate productive, open lines of communication between stakeholders and transportation agencies
  • Open possible future funding opportunities for infrastructure improvements

Project History

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From 2019 to 2021, roadway fatalities increased 17.4% nationally and 32.1% in Illinois. The northwest Illinois region followed this upward trend, with fatalities increasing by 7.1% in these six counties.

As part of a regional approach to improve transportation safety, the six counties in partnership with the BHRC submitted and were awarded a Safe Streets for All (SS4A) grant to support creation of a Safety Action Plan (SAP) for their region in Northest Illinois. In addition, the project has received support from public health departments, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police, the Northwest Highway Commissioners of Illinois (representing local townships), and municipalities to participate in safety action planning.

What is Safe Streets for All?

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The Safe Streets for All (SS4A) discretionary program was established through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2022.

The SS4A program is allocated $5 billion to support regional, local, and Tribal initiatives through grants to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. The program supports the goal of zero roadway deaths using the Safety System Approach, which incorporates the following principles:

  • Death and Serious Injuries are Unacceptable – A Safe System Approach prioritizes the elimination of crashes that result in death and serious injuries.
  • Humans Make Mistakes – People will inevitably make mistakes and decisions that can lead or contribute to crashes, but the transportation system can be designed and operated to accommodate certain types and levels of human mistakes, and avoid death and serious injuries when a crash occurs.
  • Humans Are Vulnerable – Human bodies have physical limits for tolerating crash forces before death or serious injury occurs; therefore, it is critical to design and operate a transportation system that is human-centric and accommodates physical human vulnerabilities.
  • Responsibility is Shared – All stakeholders—including government at all levels, industry, non-profit/advocacy, researchers, and the general public—are vital to preventing fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways.
  • Safety is Proactive – Proactive tools should be used to identify and address safety issues in the transportation system, rather than waiting for crashes to occur and reacting afterwards.
  • Redundancy is Crucial – Reducing risks requires that all parts of the transportation system be strengthened, so that if one part fails, the other parts still protect people.

How Do I Get Involved?

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The Project Team, counties, and BHRC value and appreciate the feedback of stakeholders, residents, business owners, and the general public on safety issues in the region. To ensure your voice is heard, please fill out the form on the bottom of this page with your contact information and any comments you may have regarding the SAP. Once you submit a comment, you will be included on any future communications for the SAP.

A virtual public information meeting will be held in Fall of 2024. Please sign up for future communications to receive more information on that upcoming meeting.


Virtual Stakeholder Information Session & Workshop

The Study Team held an Information Session & Workshop for identified Stakeholders on March 20th, 2024. The session was held virtually and we have provided a copy of the presentation linked below.

Virtual, Interactive Safety Issue Map

This online tool allows the public at large to help the Study Team identify safety issues and trends in your community and region. Simply click the button below to be taken to the map and send your real-life experiences directly to the Study Team!


BHRC Website

Safe System Approach

SS4A Grant Overview

Stay in touch with us!

Fill out the contact form below to ensure you stay up-to-date with information, resources, and public events surround the SAP development. Please include any initial questions or safety concerns in the form below for the Project Team to address. We appreciate your interest!

Safety Action Plan Contact Form

Please let us know what's on your mind. Have a question for the Project Team? Ask away.