Washington ramps up outdoor safety with new program

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WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s a time for self-isolating, but that doesn’t stop people from wanting to get fresh air and be active.

That being said, the city of Washington is finding new ways to keep people safe while outdoors.

Watch For Me NC is a state-run program that was created to help educate people on the importance of looking out for others who they might be sharing the road with.

“The program really is more of an educational piece,” said Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell.

“It provides print information that we can hand out, stuff that we can mesh with our website through social media. Again, just a large educational component.”

Russell said it’s a great tool for people like police officers, to learn more about assisting pedestrians and cyclists as well.

Self isolation has made people want to be outside more than ever.

Russell says the goal is to continue the love for being outdoors and getting exercise even after the pandemic has ended.

“In the longer run, when things do get back to normal, we’re hoping to encourage people to stay active. Walk and bike when possible, and to improve connectivity within the community,” said Russell.

This program has been an ongoing process for the last few months.

The Washington City Council started the application process last year, with the City accepted into the program at the beginning of April 2020.

In addition to the program, Russell says continuing to improve sidewalks and outdoor access to people in Washington is still a top priority.

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