For the past three summers, guests at hotels along Gulf Boulevard in St. Petersburg walked safer on the streets thanks to a pedestrian safety tip card insert that came along with their room key card. Our friends at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce all partnered together to distribute the cards as part of the WalkWise Tampa Bay program. The safety key cards use the “WALKWISE” acronym to list safety tips for pedestrians. These tips include walking without distraction, always following the crosswalk signals, and looking left, right and left again before crossing.
The goal is to educate and inform pedestrians, especially tourists, who would otherwise remain unaware of the safe way to walk in a high foot-traffic area. This is especially important on Gulf Boulevard, where the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reports that from 2009 to 2013, there were 123 combined pedestrian and bicyclist crashes and five pedestrian fatalities.
The key card inserts are just another step in FDOT’s push to make Gulf Boulevard safer for pedestrians, which includes installation of flashing beacons at mid-block crosswalks. There is also talk about putting the inserts into rental cars as another way to target tourists in the area. With the implementation of these safety measures, FDOT hopes to save approximately 15 lives per year.
To learn more about the WalkWise Tampa Bay program or to request a pedestrian safety presentation for your group, visit www.walkwisetampabay.com.