News Releases

4/2/2018: Greenways Providing Positive Economic Benefits to North Carolina

Greenways Providing Positive Economic Benefits to North Carolina

Posted 4/2/2018 10:09:19 AM

RALEIGH – Greenways provide several positive economic benefits such as increased sales for local businesses, according to a new study sponsored by the N.C. Department of Transportation. “This study provides evidence of the economic benefits of a collaborative multi-modal transportation system, further making the case for bicycling and pedestrian facilities,” says Julie White, NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Multi-modal Transportation. “There’s been a lot of commentary on this idea, but we now have solid, North Carolina-specific data to back it up.” Findings from the project revealed that greenways in North Carolina provide substantial economic benefits, including: Business and Employee Benefits: $19.4 million in total estimated revenue for local businesses along the four studied greenways Retail Sales Tax Benefits: $684,000 in total estimated sales tax revenue made from businesses along the greenways, which goes back to local governments Trail Construction Benefits: $48.7 million in total estimated business revenue from construction of the studied greenways Health, Congestion and Pollution Benefits: $25.7 million in total estimated savings due to more physical activity, less pollution and fewer traffic injuries from use of the four greenways The Institute for Transportation Research and Education and Alta Planning + Design researched four greenways, also known as shared use paths, to develop and test a way to measure the trails’ economic impact. The American Tobacco Trail (Durham), Brevard Greenway (Brevard), Duck Trail (Duck) and the Little Sugar Creek Greenway (Charlotte) were evaluated. The full research report and summary brochure are available here. An infographic is available for download here. For each trail, data was collected through surveys with people on the trail and counts of users along each greenway on one weekday and one weekend day during daylight hours. The project began in March 2015 and was completed in February 2018. The Institute for Transportation Research and Education conducts surface and air transportation research, training, and technical support activities for municipal, state, federal, and international clients in order to address critical transportation issues.  Alta Planning + Design is North America’s leading multi-modal transportation firm that specializes in the planning, design, and implementation of bicycle, pedestrian, greenway, park, and trail corridors and systems.  ***NCDOT***
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2/1/2018: NCDOT Seeking New Partners for 2018 Watch for Me NC Program

NCDOT Seeking New Partners for 2018 Watch for Me NC Program

Posted 2/1/2018 11:31:06 AM

RALEIGH – North Carolina communities interested in participating in the 2018 Watch for Me NC program may now submit applications to the N.C. Department of Transportation. The nationally-recognized program focuses on bicycle and pedestrian safety, education and enforcement. The 2018 campaign is supported by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program in partnership with the NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.  "Watch for Me NC provides hands-on training to law enforcement while also educating the public as both must be engaged in the process to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety,” said Ed Johnson, Watch for Me NC program manager. “Our goal is to reduce severe crashes and injuries in our communities through law enforcement training, public education, material and technical support.” Communities selected to participate will receive free law enforcement training, technical assistance and safety tools provided by NCDOT and the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. Some materials include bicycle lights, reflective arm bands, bumper stickers, brochures, posters and banners with pedestrian and bicycle safety messages. Communities may also be eligible to receive advertising such as billboards, transit ads, and public service announcements. Applicants must demonstrate support from local law enforcement agencies such as local government and campus police, plus the capacity to participate fully in the program. Interested communities are encouraged to register for NCDOT’s webinar on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m., where more information about the program requirements and application process will be provided. Applications are due March 23 and can be downloaded on the Watch for Me NC website.
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***NCDOT***
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10/25/2017: Don’t Get Tricked: Stay Safe on Halloween

Don’t Get Tricked: Stay Safe on Halloween

Posted 10/25/2017 2:30:30 PM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC pedestrian and bicycle safety program, is encouraging parents, motorists and trick-or-treaters to be safe this Halloween. More than 2,200 pedestrians are injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles in North Carolina each year, and over a third of those collisions occur in the evening or at night. With thousands of children expected to be walking outside on Oct. 31, here are some tips to help make sure Halloween is both fun and safe for everyone: For Parents Before children begin their trick-or-treat rounds, parents should: Plan and discuss a safe route trick-or-treaters intend to follow and establish a return time. Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along the established route. Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12. Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars. Let children know that they should stay together as a group if going out to trick-or-treat without an adult. Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules. For Trick-Or-Treaters To have a safe trick-or-treating adventure, trick-or-treaters should: Stay in familiar neighborhoods along the established route and stop only at familiar houses unless accompanied by an adult. Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. Cross streets at crosswalks when available. Look both ways before crossing streets and cross when the lights tell you to cross, after you check for cars in all directions. Carry a flashlight, wear clothing with reflective markings or tape, and stay in well-lit areas. Wear a watch you can read in the dark. Don't cut across yards or driveways. For Motorists Motorists should be especially alert on Halloween and follow these tips: Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where pedestrians trick-or-treating could be expected. Watch for children darting out from between parked cars. Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs. Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully. At dusk and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing. The Watch for Me NC program, started in 2012, is a collaborative effort to reduce pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes through enhanced education and enforcement of safety laws. It consists of pedestrian, bicycle and driver-focused safety messages as well as concerted efforts by area police to enforce laws. To learn more about the program, visit watchformenc.org.
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9/21/2017: Bicycle Safety Awareness Being Highlighted During Ride Event

Bicycle Safety Awareness Being Highlighted During Ride Event

Posted 9/21/2017 9:08:35 AM

RALEIGH – Bicycling clubs, teams, advocates, organizations and officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation will meet for a second year on Sunday, Sept. 24 to raise awareness of bicycle safety during the Capital Area Ride for Safety (CARS). The event was started in 2016 after a motorist struck and seriously injured four local cyclists in a traffic crash.  Attendees and speakers will try to raise awareness of motorist and cyclist interactions with a vital message: when passing a cyclist, motorists should slow down, look and wait for other traffic, then change lanes to pass. “Unfortunately this year, there have been numerous crashes and close calls between motorists and cyclists,” said Julie White, NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation. “One incident is too many, and it’s our hope that events like these will encourage motorists to treat cyclists as drivers on the road by slowing down and passing with plenty of room. We want everyone to make it home to their loved ones.” The ride (a 28-mile loop or 14-mile one-way option) will start at 9 a.m. at Wakefield Commons in Raleigh. There will be a stop halfway at 10 a.m. at Halifax Mall for refreshments, socializing and to hear from several speakers. There is also an alternate 5-mile, urban ride loop that will leave from Lynnwood Brewery at 9:45 a.m. Event speakers include NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Julie White, City Councilman Bonner Gaylord, Paul Neville with the Raleigh BikePed Committee, BikeLaw attorney Ann Groninger and Lisa Riegel with BikeWalkNC.  To learn more about the event or view the schedule and route, visit https://www.carsride.org/.
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***NCDOT***
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9/19/2017: NCDOT’s Watch for Me Safety Initiative Receives Peter K. O’Rourke Achievement Award

NCDOT’s Watch for Me Safety Initiative Receives Peter K. O’Rourke Achievement Award

Posted 9/19/2017 9:06:44 AM

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Watch for Me program today was awarded the Governor’s Highway Safety Association’s Peter O’Rourke Special Achievement Award. The award is in recognition of the program’s efforts to educate the public about bicycle and pedestrian safety, while also training law enforcement officers to apply existing laws. The Watch for Me NC program, which began in 2012, directs safety and educational messages toward drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, along with enforcement efforts by area police to crack down on violations of traffic safety laws. As part of the effort, communities that apply and are invited to become partners receive additional support and training from NCDOT. Communities also receive technical assistance, materials and paid advertising to help raise public awareness about important pedestrian and bicycle safety issues. “We’re honored that Watch for Me NC’s safety and awareness efforts are being recognized,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Program Director Mark Ezzell. “This program has turned training, enforcement and education into real-life results that are keeping pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers safe across our state.” The program reached its highest level of participation to date in 2017 with 32 community programs encompassing more than 140 individual agencies or departments. A preliminary analysis of crash trends in the Watch for Me NC pilot region (Orange, Durham, and Wake counties) showed a five percent reduction in the average pedestrian and bicycle crash rate in the after the pilot (2012-2014) compared to before (2009 to 2011). The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award recognizes notable achievements in the field of highway safety by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, media, government agencies, universities or programs. It is named for Peter K. O'Rourke, who was instrumental in the passage of several important pieces of safety legislation in California before being elected GHSA chairman. The UNC Highway Safety Research Center provides technical support with campaign implementation and evaluation. To learn what communities have done to improve safety, visit: www.watchformenc.org/about/partner-community-profiles.
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Interim Bicycle and Pedestrian Division Director and Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator Ed Johnson accepts the Peter O'Rourke Award. Photo credit: Governor''s Highway Safety Association ***NCDOT***
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