In the winter of 2011, the Department of Transportation and Bike Fed made history. The DOT and the Wisconsin Bike Fed cooperatively developed Share & Be Aware, the first comprehensive road safety program that provided direct education to all road users to make walking and biking safer. S&BA is also the first and only statewide Ambassador based road safety program. Special thanks to John Duffe, Tom Huber, and Larry Corsi for working in partnership with the Bike Fed to develop an effective program design.
In the four years since it’s launch, Share & Be Aware has been a great success. The program’s core idea of pairing regional staff with media outreach has been proven effective. The goals that the partners worried were too tough for the program proved surmountable, overall and have been doubled and even quadrupled for some goals.
While staying on budget, the program has educated 230,930 people, over 400% of the goal! In 2014 (through October) the bicycle fatality rate has been low. Through a partnership with UWM, we hope to explore if Share & Be Aware has played a role in this decrease.
In 2014, Ambassadors taught 132 classes with 2,613 people in them, exceeding goals by over 250%.
The Share & Be Aware program is designed to be a direct education program with a team of regional Ambassadors that encourage bicycle and pedestrian safety across the state. They are trained by a League Cycling Instructor on pedestrian and bicycle safety and laws. They participate in weekly conference calls to offer ongoing support and training.
These trainings allow the Ambassadors to successfully conduct outreach at community events, teach classes, lead rides or walks, do media interviews, and become leaders in their communities to improve safety for those walking and biking. Educational materials including brochures, curriculums, Powerpoints and a outreach question flowchart, support the effectiveness of the Ambassadors.
During the past year, the Ambassadors attended 166 events and reached 230,930 people with Share & Be Aware messages. Each of these people gained knowledge about increasing the safety of people biking or walking. A suite of fliers with revamped cover designs including two in Spanish, helped the Ambassadors educate the public on various safety topics and practices.
2014: By the Numbers
Pedestrian billboards were posted in the 7 counties with the highest fatal pedestrian crash rates for the first time. The counties were Shawano, Taylor, Marinette, Green Lake, Manitowoc, Barron, Wood.
- There is significant demand for kids bicycle education and the program has to turn down many kids events to preserve resources for other key goals. Luckily, Safe Routes to School and other community resources help fill the need for child bike education.
- Consistent Staffing for Managers and Ambassadors is key. There is a long learning curve in this position and training is time intensive. Limiting turnover is
good for the program and goals.
- Focus on media and leveraging donated professional
services pays dividends.
Improvements for 2015
- At her surviving family’s request, the Bike Fed has created the Cheri Uelmen Share & Be Aware Fund. Donations will go toward additional education in Cheri’s Eau Claire community.
- Higher level program evaluation with University on program impact
- Working on getting a mandatory bike/ped question on driver’s test
- Developing Sharrow brochure
- Creating more effective education for group rides
organizers to share with riders
- Teaching Safe Bicycling Update
- Pedestrian fatality response kit, letter to the editor,
press release, etc.
- Bike/ped training at Huber facilities is being explored
- Adding pedestrian enforcement training to LE
- Developing a volunteer training program
- Make recommendations for ped law tune up bill
- Explore the DOT crash database, find high frequency
communities/intersections to drive targeted
- Developing Neighborhood group guide to bike/ped
- Conducting outreach to professional conferences
- Translating all brochures into spanish
- Editing and updating Ambassador manual
- Further developing staffing structure and reviewing
smaller regions/more Ambassadors for 2015
Interested in bringing a Share & Be Aware to your community or business?