RideWise has partnered with 10 Somerset County communities to conduct Street Smart pedestrian safety campaigns since 2016. The campaign reminds people that everyone has a role to play in making streets safer. Drivers need to obey speed limits and stop for people crossing; pedestrians must use crosswalks and cross the road with the signal; everyone needs to avoid distractions.
North Plainfield & West End Elementary School | The North Plainfield Police Department and West End Elementary school partnered with RideWise for a Street Smart campaign in May 2022. Focusing on the intersections around the school, the goal of the campaign was to reduce the number of parents crossing mid-block with their children during school drop-off and dismissal times. During the campaign, West End Elementary held several Safe Routes to School presentations to educate students on the importance of pedestrian safety.
At Greenbrook Rd and Harrington Ave, driver behavior improved after the campaign, with the majority of drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Before the campaign, the majority of drivers did not stop. Surveys also showed that most participants saw an improvement in driver and pedestrian behavior after the campaign, and 100% of respondents reported seeing some form of safety messaging after the campaign.
Franklin Police Department | In October 2021, Franklin Township partnered with RideWise to hold a campaign in the downtown section of Somerset, along Hamilton Street. Fifteen summonses were issued by the police during the campaign. Eight of these summonses were for failure to stop for a pedestrian, and two were for crossing outside the crosswalk.
Observed pedestrian behavior improved significantly at all target locations after the campaign. There was an increase in pedestrians using the crosswalk after the campaign at all target locations, with more than half of all pedestrians using the crosswalk. There was also a 102% increase in awareness of police efforts to enforce drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk.