The region's twice-yearly Street Smart pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign will kick off March 25 with a formal event and press conference in College Park, Maryland.
The regional campaign, organized by the Transportation Planning Board, aims to remind area motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists to be on the lookout for one another in order to avoid potentially deadly collisions. The spring campaign is timed to occur as warmer weather and longer days bring more Washington area residents out on foot and bicycles, whether for their daily commute, to run errands, or for exercise or recreation.
College Park will be the site of the official kick-off event for this year's spring campaign. The city is one of many communities throughout the region where large numbers of people regularly walk or bike to meet their daily needs. In recent years, city officials have taken significant steps to improve safety along Route 1, a state highway that runs through the city, including lowering speed limits on the busy thoroughfare and erecting new fencing and signaling systems to help pedestrians cross the roadway more safely.
At the event on March 25, elected leaders from College Park and Prince George's County will highlight the importance of traffic safety to their community. They will be joined by state transportation safety officials from Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, as well as by law enforcement personnel, who will be stepping up enforcement of traffic safety laws throughout the region as part of the campaign.
As in recent years, Street Smart's key safety messages will be featured in outdoor advertising, mainly on bus shelters and on the backs and sides of buses, and during regular traffic reports on area radio stations. The ads will employ imagery from the award-winning "Tired Faces" campaign featuring individuals whose faces have been symbolically blemished by a tire tread in order to call attention to the dangers confronting bicyclists and pedestrians.
The spring campaign will also include the placement of ads on the tops of gasoline pumps at more than 100 gas stations across the region in order to reach motorists in areas where buses and bus shelters are less prevalent. Street-level marketing teams will also distribute safety cards and other materials at several key intersections and near busy Metro stations to raise further awareness.
Street Smart started thirteen years ago as a cooperative effort by local, state, and federal agencies to reduce the number of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths in the Washington region. College Park is one of nearly two-dozen local jurisdictions throughout the region that participate in the twice-yearly event.
This year's spring campaign will run through April 19.
For more information about Street Smart and the spring 2015 campaign, go to BeStreetSmart.net.