The City of Jacksonville is one of 29 communities selected for the state’s ‘Watch For Me’ Program.
The goal of the program is to improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists in the area.
“Here in Jacksonville, one pedestrian or bicycle crash is one too many, and so we have been working on that for a number of years,” Anthony Prinz, Transportation Services Director, said.
Anthony Prinz, City Transportation Service Director, said the City of Jacksonville has been working on reducing pedestrian and bicycle crashes by installing new crosswalks and bicycle lanes.
“We went from 9 pedestrian crossings with pavement markings and signals, we had 9 of them in 2010, now we have 35 of them,” Prinz said.
Officials say there are only so many signs can do. Drivers along with pedestrians must also be educated on the proper ways to approach crosswalks, that’s why the NCDOT recently selected Jacksonville to participate in the ‘Watch for Me’ program as an effort to continue improving safety.
“Which is teaching people how to properly use a crosswalk, drivers how to address the crosswalk, then again we look at the enforcement so law enforcement is going to be a partner with us as we go through this ‘Watch for Me NC’ program,” Prinz said.
Jacksonville will also receive technical assistance, materials, and media promotions to help raise public awareness on these safety issues.
“We’re going to go out to the schools. We’re going to go out to the civic groups. We’re going to just have public announcements on billboards, and on the radio to educate folks about how to be safe pedestrians about how to be safe bicyclists, as well as how to be safe drivers,” Prinz said.
The city expects to begin the ‘Watch for Me NC Jacksonville’ program this summer