October Proclaimed Pedestrian Safety Month


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

Oct. 23, 2006

October Proclaimed Pedestrian Safety Month

At its Oct. 23 meeting, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed October as Pedestrian Safety Month in Fairfax County. Pedestrian safety and mobility are a high priority for Fairfax County and improving pedestrian safety is an ongoing county initiative.

“The loss of even one life is too much, and this year there have been 12 pedestrian deaths in Fairfax County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly. “As the seasons change and the days get shorter, it will take all the more vigilance by drivers and pedestrians alike to watch out for each other. As a county, we will continue our efforts, in conjunction with our partners at the national, regional and state levels, to increase pedestrian safety — and decrease pedestrian fatalities.”

Fairfax County emphasizes the “three Es” approach to safety — education, engineering and enforcement. Funding and strong support from the Board of Supervisors have provided for increased pedestrian safety efforts and access improvements. These efforts and improvements include:

  • Providing $10.775 million for pedestrian project construction in the Board of Supervisors’ Four-Year Transportation Plan.
  • Funding for the regional “Street Smart” pedestrian safety awareness campaign, which distributes materials in several languages to change the behavior of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
  • Distributing Fairfax County pedestrian safety outreach materials — reflective bracelets and shoe tags, safety information sheets — for adults and children throughout the year at community events, county events such as Celebrate Fairfax! and in the schools. Many of these materials are bilingual.
  • Implementing the “Yield to Pedestrian — $100 to $500 Fine” signage program to encompass some 400 locations in the county.
  • Ongoing periodic pedestrian enforcement and education campaigns by the Police Department in high-pedestrian crash areas, including one in September in the Franconia District along Franconia Road, one in early October along the Richmond Highway corridor within the Mount Vernon District and one beginning this week in the Mason District at Route 50 and Patrick Henry Drive.
  • Creating staff positions — a bus stop coordinator and a bicycle program coordinator — to work along with the existing pedestrian program manager to expand the implementation of non-motorized transportation program goals.
  • Providing funding of $2.5 million to start implementing improvements recommended by the Bus Stop Safety Study.
  • Providing $163,000 in funding to the Virginia Department of Transportation for a collaborative effort to install countdown pedestrian signals at approximately 125 priority intersections and higher-density activity centers throughout the county. These signals let pedestrians know how long they have to cross the street.
  • Proclaiming Oct. 15 White Cane Safety Day in Fairfax County by the Board of Supervisors to raise awareness of Virginia’s White Cane Law provisions.

Last January, the Fairfax County Pedestrian Task Force, consisting of residents, appointed commission members and multi-disciplined staff, presented its final report to the Board of Supervisors. The report, the result of more than a year of work, outlined a 10-year pedestrian capital improvement plan for implementing safe and effective pedestrian facilities and a coordinated and collaborative education/outreach program.

Information on the county’s pedestrian program and a link to the Pedestrian Task Force Report are at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/pedestrian.htm.

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To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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