Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mayor and City Leaders Launch Stamford Street Smart Initiative



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Office of the Mayor

September 3, 2014

CONTACT:
Tom Dec

Mayor and City Leaders Launch Stamford Street Smart Initiative
Public Safety & Awareness Campaign


STAMFORD, CT – Mayor David Martin, joined by city leaders, launched the Stamford Street Smart Initiative, a major initiative focused on improving pedestrian, driver and cyclist safety and awareness throughout the City of Stamford. The initiative, coordinated through the Mayor’s Office, will involve several city departments and collaboration with community organizations, and focus on enforcement, engineering and education. The initiative is the first cohesive effort to improve pedestrian, driver and cyclist safety throughout the city in many years.

“I am proud to launch the Stamford Street Smart Initiative and bring together city departments, community organizations and residents to champion safer streets throughout the city. There is no single silver bullet that will solve these issues, which is why we are taking a multi-faceted approach through the Street Smart Initiative,” said Mayor David Martin. “In the coming weeks and months we will be pursuing a number of projects to improve safety and raise awareness of pedestrian, driver and cyclist safety throughout the community.”

In advance of the announcement, the Mayor held multiple planning meetings with Office of Public Safety, Health & Welfare; Office of Operations; Board of Education; Grants Office and others. The Mayor also conducted an analysis of city traffic data, met with independent traffic engineers and conducted independent research to explore possible solutions and find best practices.

Although Stamford’s overall rate of pedestrian injuries over the past several years compares favorably to other Connecticut cities, residents, elected officials and community groups have all voiced concerns over pedestrian and driver safety in recent months. Year to date, Stamford has experienced three pedestrian fatalities, an increase from prior years.

“There are 130,000 people who live in Stamford. In addition, there are tens of thousands of people who drive to Stamford on a daily basis to work, shop and enjoy our great city. We need to practice safety on our roadways and I am fully supportive of this initiative,” said Police Chief Jon Fontneau.

Ted Jankowski, Director of Public Safety, Health & Welfare, made a direct appeal to residents, stating “Whether you are a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian, the Office of Public Safety urges you to be Street Smart, to be focused and attentive, to obey the rules of the road, and to be vigilant. Safety is all of our responsibility. Your actions may be the difference between life and death.”

 Specific steps being taken as part of the Stamford Street Smart Initiative include:

Engineering

Ø  Reviewing all intersections to ensure signage is clearly mounted and visible for drivers and pedestrians
Ø  Improving crosswalk visibility throughout the city
Ø  Synchronizing the city’s traffic signals
Ø  Supporting the implementation of a Complete Streets Ordinance

Education

Ø  Working with the Board of Education and Health Department to educate residents and students on pedestrian, driver and cyclist safety
Ø  Supporting the Safe Routes to School Program
Ø  Hosting a Google Hangout to review in greater detail key statistics and to provide a more in depth discussion of the actions being undertaken
Ø  Working in collaboration with community organizations to build awareness

Enforcement

Ø  Anti-Distracted Driving Campaign (month of September)
Ø  Enforcement operations of the Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit (DUI, seatbelt violations, speeding, etc.)
Ø  Crackdown on jaywalking throughout the city
Ø  Focus on school bus safety; catching drivers who drive past stopped buses

The first component of the initiative, the Stamford Police Department’s Anti-Distracted Driving Campaign, began this morning. During today's enforcement, the Police Department issued 43 handheld electronic device tickets, 10 red light tickets, and 2 failure to wear seat belt tickets.

Additional components of the initiative will be announced on an ongoing basis. More information can be found at www.StamfordCT.gov/StreetSmart. #stamforddowntown

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