No matter if you prefer to get around on foot, by bicycle or behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, we all need attractive, convenient and safe facilities. Wisconsin now has a Complete Streets law, so as our roads are reconstructed they are being engineered to accommodate people on foot and on bike, but even after every street is a complete street, people will still need to follow the rules of the road and be aware of others.
Even the most complete street will not be safe if motorists speed, pedestrians dash into the road from between parked cars and bicyclists run red lights. To address those safety issues we need good education programs so everyone knows their rights and responsibilities, enforcement for those who break the law and efforts to encourage people to be considerate of other road users. To address those other important “Es,” in this spring the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin has teamed with the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Safety to launch a “Share and Be Aware” program.
Using a combination of traditional marketing techniques like billboards and public service announcements, as well as in-person appearances by Share and Be Aware Ambassadors, the program is attempting to reach all road users with positive safety messages that emphasize rights as well as responsibilities. After only a few short months, we have already made quite an impression. Our billboards and radio PSAs have been seen or heard by more than 600,000 people in cities across the state. LaCrosse and Eau Claire have been very actively promoting the Share and Be Aware messages. Let us know via the comments below if you have seen one of the signs or heard a PSA. The new billboard below, sponsored by Wheel and Sprocket, will be going up in the Milwaukee area soon.
You can view videos of the public service announcements on the Bike Fed YouTube Channel by clicking here. The radio spots are basically just the sound from the videos. Below is a sample. Watch the video and then play it again with your eyes closed to imagine it as a radio PSA.
Finally, let us know if you have seen one of our Share and Be Aware Ambassadors at one of the great summer events in your area of Wisconsin. Share and Be Aware Ambassadors not only go to large public events, they can also come to your workplace to give targeted presentations and help with rides. Below is a list of our Ambassadors and the cities in which they are based:
Matthew Andrews, Eau Claire
Barbara Connolly-Blick, Milwaukee
Carolyn Dvorak, La Crosse
Scott Reilly, Appleton
Justin Sonnentag, Stevens Point
Brian Turany, Madison
To request that a Share and Be Aware Ambassador come to your workplace, school, church or event, fill out this form or email matt.gissbl (at) wisconsinbikefed.org.