#childsafety | Pedestrian Safety Campaign Underway In Newtown Borough

NEWTOWN BOROUGH, Pa. —Stickers and magnets are popping up all over town to encourage cars to slow down and pedestrians to use the crosswalks.

The awareness campaign is part of Walk Friendly Newtown, the borough’s newest committee formed in response to an increase in pedestrian accidents in town.

Committee members this past week began distributing pedestrian safety window stickers throughout the State Street business district carrying a simple, but important message – “Newtown Loves Pedestrians. Please Use The Crosswalks.”

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The committee is also giving out free car magnets – now available at the Newtown Borough Hall – urging motorists to “Slow Your Roll” with the depiction of an adult and child in a crosswalk.

“If you have been walking on State Street you may have noticed these great stickers, which are meant to increase awareness of pedestrian safety,” said Councilor Amy Lustig, noting that the stickers and magnets are building upon the police department’s recent pedestrian enforcement awareness campaign.

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“Now we’re backing it up as a community,” said Lustig. “It’s important that everyone is engaged in this through the stickers and the magnets. It is a visual reminder everyday that we are all responsible for community safety when we’re on the road, on the sidewalk and in the crosswalks.”

Earlier this year, the council formally adopted a resolution establishing “Walk Friendly Newtown,” a standing traffic committee to address concerns related to traffic and pedestrian safety within the Borough.

The group, chaired by Lustig and resident Don Hayden, has been discussing ways to enhance pedestrian safety, improve walkability, and increase community engagement.

Among the group’s recommendations to council in early February was to consider actively engaging with the national Walk Friendly Communities organization to complete a comprehensive evaluation, secure third party advice, make recommendations, develop a multi-year plan and conduct follow-up assessments.

Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) is a national recognition program developed to encourage towns and cities across the U.S. to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safer walking environments. The WFC program recognizes communities that are working to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access, and comfort.

The committee’s near term plans include reaching out to WFC to determine eligibility, establishing a relationship and identifying initial steps; a review of the Jacobs study done in 2012; conducting a baseline survey; and initiating a Walk Friendly assessment.

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