Be aware. Cross with care

Make eye contact with drivers turning right before you step into a crosswalk. Make sure they see you, plan on stopping, and have time to stop. Also, don’t assume that because the car in the lane closest to you has stopped that other cars will stop too.   Click here for information on multiple threat crashes.

Don’t be dead right

Pedestrians do have the right of way at marked and unmarked crosswalks; but be careful, some drivers might not know that rule or always follow it. Being right won’t keep you from being hit.

The fine print

Pedestrians only have the right of way when drivers can reasonably stop. Drivers can’t read your mind. At 20 mph, the total stopping distance needed is 69 feet; at 30 mph it’s 123 feet and at 40 pm it’s 189 feet.  Slippery roads increase the distances needed to stop.  At night, without additional street lighting, drivers may be only able to see as far as their headlights –160 feet. Wear light colors and/or reflective material to increase your visibility.

They’re there for a reason

Always use sidewalks when they are available.  If not, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

Use your eyes and ears

Listen for engine sounds and look for reverse lights around parked cars, driveways and alleys.

Slow and steady wins the race

Don’t make any quick moves while walking.  Make it easier for drivers by being predictable.

Obey traffic control devices

  • Red Light, Steady Hand, or “Don’t Walk” – do not enter the intersection.
  • Yellow Light, Flashing Hand or “Don’t Walk” – do not enter, but people already in the intersection may finish crossing.
  • Green Light, Walking Person or “Walk” – enter when it is safe.  Look left, right, and left again.

Distracted Walking

Distracted walking can be deadly:

  • UNPLUG headphones when crossing the street.
  • HANG UP your cell phone until you are out of the intersection.
  • TEXTING CAN WAIT until you know you are safe.
  • LOOK UP! Make eye contact with the approaching driver and make sure the driver sees you!

Tips courtesy of the “Speed and Pedestrian Safety Management on North Virginia and Sierra Streets” project by The Davidson Academy of Nevada and UNR Police Services.

Why Walk?

Walking is great for you, our community and the environment.

Personal Benefits

Walking is one of the healthiest things you can do to:

  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes, certain types of cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Build muscle and increase bone strength and fitness levels.
  • Maintain a healthy weight or promote weight loss.
  • Helps with mental health, too!  It helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

For substantial health benefits, adults need 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensive exercise per week or a combination of the  two. Walking can provide either moderate or vigorous exercise.  For more information visit the Get Healthy Washoe website.It’s Free!  Replace some of your trips by car with walking trips and put money back into your pocket.  About 40% of all trips Americans make are less than two miles in length, about a 30-minute walk.  Estimates of the true cost of driving run between .51 cents and $1.36 per mile, depending on how many factors are considered.  Start walking more and your savings will add up fast.

Community Benefits

  • Reduces traffic congestion and wear and tear on our roads.
  • Drivers lose approximately 40 hours per commuter each year stuck in traffic jams.
  • Road maintenance costs run between $25,000 to $500,000 per mile depending on the facility and how much work is required.
  • Improves air quality
  • It takes 240 trees to offset the carbon monoxide emitted by an average American car each year.
  • Every mile walked keeps about 1 lb of carbon dioxide, a major cause of global warming out of the air.

Walk Buddies

Walking doesn’t require a partner, but having someone to walk with can make it more fun and keep you motivated to walk on a regular basis.  It can also increase the safety.  Evidence suggests that as the number of people who walk increases, the streets become safer for pedestrians.  Just be sure to pay attention to the Street Smart guidelines and not get too distracted by your companions.The RTC SMART TRIPS  program includes a web-based trip matching program that uses advanced technology to make finding  walking  buddies  easy, convenient and accurate.   Enter your traveling preferences and receive the best potential matches back in a matter of seconds.You can create and save multiple trip profiles for both recurring and one-time trips and special events, and you can select different travel mode preferences for each trip which will be used to filter your matches.  So you can choose to walk, bike, drive, carpool or take the bus and it will help finding a partner.The website contains a Commute Calendar.  Record the trips you make by any alternate mode and see a running total of the dollars you are saving and the pollutants you’re reducing by making smart travel choices. No need to do the math. We’ll do it for you.The improvements to the trip matching program were made possible through the grant from the Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety as part of the Street Smart project.  Additional Resources  Links to other info:Strategic Highway Safety PlanReno Sparks Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan  Sponsor Sites: Get Healthy Washoe; RTC; UNR School of Community Health Sciences; Safe Kids Washoe County; Nevada Office of Traffic Safety  Now get going and be Street Smart.