This spring semester has been the first where student volunteers partnered to expand the reach of safety education with the Bike Fed’s Share & Be Aware ambassadors. Four students in UW-Madison’s Badger Volunteer program educated others on walk/bike/drive safety around their own campus, city and as part of a commuter fair at Madison College Truax (where there is a new commitment to bike sharing and a more walkable and bikable campus).
This partnership with area students to influence our education on road safety and to better engage their own community is a model that we hope to share with more Share & Be Aware Ambassadors in more communities around Wisconsin. La Crosse, Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Appleton and so many communities could have service-learning students contribute to their community by getting more people to safely walk and bike their short trips and also prioritize safer driver behavior and yielding at crosswalks, marked and unmarked.
Students helped grow a social media plan for growing our dialogue around the state with both a Facebook and Twitter page that we ask for you to share with your personal and professional networks in Wisconsin. Through these pages, we hope to introduce the biking and walking safety discussion to new folks and have them see the value in ‘requesting an ambassador’ for a brown bag lunch, a walk or a bike ride through www.ShareAandBeAware.org.
This summer will bring a new team of Badger Volunteers that will be involved with popular programs like Cycling Without Age. Partnerships like these contribute to safer mobility for senior citizens, but also training professional drivers of walking and biking safety priorities, working with high school and middle school students on safely biking short trips, growing new rider involvement in Wisconsin Bike Week and Bike to the library and much more.
Thanks again to all the volunteers that get involved with the Bike Fed and walking and biking safety in communities all around Wisconsin. Please share our request an ambassador link at www.ShareAndBeAware.org and contact me with more groups of peers looking to volunteer with us this season.