Delaware County Holds Safety Ambassador Training as Part of Vision Zero Delco: Drive Safe, Roll Safe, Walk Safe

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Released: February 10, 2024

Delaware County Holds Safety Ambassador Training as Part of Vision Zero Delco: Drive Safe, Roll Safe, Walk Safe

Delaware County Council Member Elaine Paul Schaefer and Delaware County Planning Department Director Gina Burritt were joined by Senator Tim Kearney, State Rep. Jenn O’Mara, and AARP Pennsylvania Associate State Director of Advocacy Yocasta Lora on Saturday, February 10 in Media to formally kick off the Vision Zero Delco: Drive Safe, Roll Safe, Walk Safe initiative’s Safety Ambassador training. The training is the latest in a series of public education and engagement efforts being rolled out by the County in support of Vision Zero Delco’s goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

The Safety Ambassador training utilized AARP’s 'Livable Communities Walk Audit Toolkit,' a comprehensive set of materials that offers a step-by-step guide to evaluating sidewalks, crosswalks, driver behavior, traffic control, and other elements that affect pedestrians' safety and comfort. Comprised of checklists and surveys that help volunteers systematically record observations, the toolkit encourages observers to consider the perspective of all users, including seniors, children, and people with disabilities.

The AARP toolkit was chosen as the training module for the Vision Zero Delco Safety Ambassador program due to the County’s and AARP’s aligned goals of fostering safe, walkable streets, age-friendly transportation options, ensuring easy access to needed services, and expanded opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life.

Guided by the County team, the newly appointed Safety Ambassadors evaluated a segment of Baltimore Avenue in Media, marked as a 'Corridor of Concern', based on crash data from 2018-2022. The data cited numerous hazards including damaged pavement, obstacles, constricted sidewalks, poor lighting, and insufficient ramps and crosswalks impacting both drivers and pedestrians. Additionally, the Safety Ambassadors were trained in effective community engagement techniques—an essential aspect of their mission to gather meaningful feedback from residents on safety concerns affecting the County's extensive network of roads.

“Today marks a significant step forward in our commitment to ensuring the safety of those who travel in or through Delaware County. By empowering our Safety Ambassadors with the tools and knowledge they need, we are laying the groundwork for a safer and more connected community,” said Council Member Schaefer. “These dedicated individuals are at the forefront of a vital movement, and I’m eager to see how their efforts help transform our roads and sidewalks into safer spaces for everyone, regardless of their mode of transportation.”

Planning Department Director Burritt also expressed her gratitude, saying, “I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the Safety Ambassadors for coming out today. Your dedication and willingness to contribute are what will truly make a difference in our community. I am thrilled about the work we have ahead of us and confident that together, we will make significant strides towards our goal of a safer Delaware County for all.”

In the coming months, Safety Ambassadors will engage with their communities, conduct Walk Audits, and provide the team with feedback and data that will serve as the foundation for tangible improvements to local transportation safety and shape the County’s Vision Zero Traffic Safety Action Plan.

Want More Information?

The Vision Zero initiative is a global transportation strategy adopted by over 40 U.S. cities that promotes safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all residents and aims for the elimination of traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

Join us in making Delaware County safer for all. Learn more about our Vision Zero initiative and how you can contribute at DelcoPA.Gov/VisionZeroDelco.

You Can Help: Take Our Survey!

Residents interested in issues of traffic safety and mobility for all are urged to complete the Delaware County Planning Department’s Vision Zero Action Plan Survey at DelcoPA.Gov/VisionZeroDelcoSurvey.

Christen Rexing, Upper Providence:  Christen is a public health and injury prevention specialist. She believes that by using evidence-based approaches we can design a safer and greener community. She loves Delco because you’re never a stranger here.

Doreen McGettigan, Upland Borough:  Doreen is relieved the County is working on Vision Zero, having witnessed an elderly man get hit by a car. She loves Delaware County, because as neighbors we look out for each other and support each other.

Tamika Jenkins, Colwyn:  Tamika frequently walks, bikes, and takes public transit to get around Delco, and so traffic safety is very important to her. She wants to make sure that people can get to where they need to go safely.

Ed Kline, Ridley:  Ed has been a First Responder his entire life in Delaware County- Firefighter, police officer, 911 dispatcher, and Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator. His life’s work has been dedicated to the safety and resiliency of our Delco communities.

Justin Wilson, Chester City:  Living in Chester, Justin has observed how traffic infrastructure affects drivers, pedestrians, and the environment. He has watched people struggle to navigate Route 291 due to fear of being struck by vehicles. Justin loves the rich and diverse history of Delaware County.

Alexis Washington, Media:  Alexis is the proud pastor of the historic Campbell AME Church of Media. Alexis lost two relatives due to vehicle crashes and knows her older congregation members have been involved in crashes as well. She looks forward to ensuring safety for all residents in Delaware County.

Lyn Hedrick, Collingdale:  Lyn wants to do whatever she can to make her neighborhood a safer place for everyone. When Lyn first moved to Delco in 2010, she instantly felt vulnerable as a daily walker using streets and sidewalks. She loves the small parks, athletic fields, and the 3 public transit stops she has access to.

Dave Schwartz, Haverford:  Dave is a transportation engineer and planner, and has always been passionate about safety, especially for our most vulnerable road users. He loves the diversity of our neighborhoods in Delaware County and the range of transportation options we have.

Rosie Grayburn, Springfield:  Rosie is a walking/running/biking enthusiast and believes that it is critical that we provide a safe transportation network so that people can do the activities they enjoy without fear of injury. She loves living in Delco and her amazing neighbors, friends, and parks!

Crystal Peterkin, Parkside:  Crystal has been involved in community revitalization and pedestrian and traffic safety in other communities, and she looks forward to doing that in Delco! She loves Delco because she has great neighbors.

Kevin Voit, Concord:  Kevin has lived in Delco his entire life. Throughout the years he has witnessed the rapid growth and the toll it has taken on the transportation network. Traffic safety has been a major concern when he is out and about with his family and is looking to help make sure everyone’s family is safe when travelling on our roads.

Linda McIsaac, Newtown:  Linda wants to create a more vibrant and connected community, where people can safely navigate between different areas. AS an avid gardener, one of her favorite spots in Delco is Chanticleer Garden.

Arnita DeShields, Upper Darby:  Arnita wants to improve safety, educate others, and make a positive impact on her community. She currently loves serving on the Women’s Commission of Delaware County.

Tomaka Gardner, Upper Darby:  Tomaka loves all the neighbors, the festivals, and great diversity in her community. As a resident leader in her community, she hears the issues regarding our roads and what people need and want. She believes she can help bridge the gap!

Amanda Johnson, Chester City:  Amanda loves living in Delco because she has a waterfront view and is just minutes from Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey. She looks forward to sharing information with her community and hearing the feedback that can help keep residents safe.

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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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