Monday, September 9, 2019

Madison Kicks Off Street Smart NJ Campaign

The Borough of Madison has launched a Street Smart Campaign that will run through the month of September 2019. Street Smart is a statewide public awareness campaign that combines educational outreach and high-visibility law enforcement to change behaviors as they relate to pedestrian safety. The borough of Madison, the Madison Police Department, TransOptions and other advocates launched the campaign on Monday September 9, 2019 and will be working together throughout the campaign.

This is the first Street Smart campaign for Madison. It comes after a 68-year-old woman was struck and killed by a motorist near the intersection of Wilmer Street and Green Village Road in a hit-and-run in June, and more recently, an 8-year-old boy on a bike was struck by a car on Madison Avenue in a hit-and-run on August 25th. The boy was treated for his injuries at Morristown Medical Center and released.

“Madison has a great reputation as a walkable community but with that comes the responsibility of all acting in a safe manner,” said Robert Conley, Mayor of the Borough of Madison. “I look forward to the launch of the Street Smart campaign as it educates pedestrians on safe walking habits and reinforces with drivers that when they are behind the wheel 100 percent of their attention goes to driving and they must always share the road.”

“Every community that conducts a Street Smart campaign helps us get closer to the ultimate goal of zero fatalities on our roadways,” said TransOptions President Dan Callas. “TransOptions applauds Madison for its efforts on pedestrian safety and we look forward to helping them on this campaign.”

Street Smart’s focuses on safe travel roles and responsibilities for both pedestrians and motorists alike. Since its creation in 2013, more than 100 communities have participated in Street Smart NJ. Campaign signs are displayed on tip cards, posters, banners and street signs throughout the community and in local businesses during the campaign as a visual reminder for drivers and pedestrians.

TransOptions, a non-profit transportation organization, is leading the Street Smart effort in Madison, after successfully completing similar campaigns across northwestern New Jersey.

“Pedestrians and motorists need to work together to maintain safer roadways,” said Laura Cerutti, TransOptions’ Street Smart project manager. “TransOptions works side by side with its communities and analyzes pedestrian and driver behavior, conducts outreach and delivers the education portion of the campaigns.”

“Madison has actively developed bike routes, traffic calming and complete streets in addition to basic maintenance of roads, sidewalks, signals and signage,” said Robert Vogel, Madison Borough Engineer. “TransOptions and the Street Smart program brings common sense education and enforcement activities together to complement Madison’s infrastructure investment and make our roadway corridors safer and more accessible for multiple users.”

Since 2016 there have been 18 pedestrians involved in crashes including two fatalities according to the most recent data available from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety and Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT). 67 percent, (12 crashes), of pedestrian-involved crashes were attributed to drivers failing to yield to pedestrians. Also, 78 percent, (14 crashes), of pedestrians struck were in a marked crosswalk at the time of the crash.