What is a Safe Streets Team?
Safe Streets Teams are made up of volunteers who work together in their own communities on projects to make their streets and sidewalks safer for everyone. Team members decide for themselves what they want to focus on and how much time they have to give, and Local Motion staff provide the support and resources they need to get things done.
What kinds of projects to Safe Streets Teams work on?
While all projects have one thing in common -- a focus on improving safety for bike riders, pedestrians, and motorists as they interact with each other -- the specifics are driven by the priorities in each community. Here are a few examples of what our teams took on in 2011:
- The Shelburne Team began planning for 2012 bike safety and skills trainings for children at Shelburne Community School so they can navigate the village's streets and sidewalks with confidence
- The Winooski Team distributed information about the rules of the road along with discount coupons for safety gear at the rapidly growing Winooski Farmer's Market
- The Essex Team equipped its bike patrol with reflective legbands to hand out to bike riders around town
- The South Burlington Team began using an online service called SeeClickFix.com to document bike-ped safety concerns (faded crosswalks, damaged sidewalks, and the like) and then work with city officials to ensure follow-up
- The Burlington Team organized a series of bike safety outreach and enforcement events in cooperation with the Burlington Police to promote safe riding and enforce traffic laws for bike riders
- The UVM Team distributed reflective legbands and bike lights to student bike riders, held a major bike/board helmet outreach event on campus, and developed several radio and web PSAs promoting helmet use and safe riding
Do I have to go to lots of meetings to be on a Safe Streets Team?
Definitely not! The teams are all about getting things done. Each team meets once a year to brainstorm and map out strategies for the year. Then team members simply sign up for volunteer events that match their schedule and interests. Each event typically lasts only an hour or two, and every event is coordinated either by a volunteer leader or by Local Motion staff.
Which communities have Safe Streets Teams?
Currently, Local Motion is actively working with Safe Streets volunteers in five communities: Burlington, South Burlington, Essex (Town and Junction), Winooski, and Shelburne. There is also a UVM team and a multi-town cycling outreach team (which focuses on bike-car interactions during group bike rides).
If your community does not have a Safe Streets Team, you can help get one started! A team's work is as small or as big as its members want it to be, so you can start a team just by handing out our "Give Respect, Get Respect" brochures and safety gear coupons at your farmer's market once a month. That's all it takes! Email
or call him at 861-2700 x109 to discuss how you can be the start of a new team.
Sign me up! How do I get involved?
Joining your local safe streets team is easy! Just email
, Local Motion's Safe Streets coordinator. You can also call him at 861-2700 x109. Jason will help you decide what project is the best match for your interests and availability.
Alternatively, you can simply vist the webpage of the team for your community, where you will find a list of projects and a calendar of upcoming events. If you see something you like, just email the event organizer and then go to the event!