Since 2001, Active Transportation Alliance has developed and delivered the City of Chicago’s Safe Routes Ambassadors and Bicycling Ambassadors programs. This work is in the process of transferring over to Walk Bike Go.
The ambassadors program promotes safety for all road users – people on foot, on bike, and behind the wheel – while also encouraging more walking and bicycling among Chicagoans.
During the school year, the ambassadors focus on education and outreach to schools under the moniker of Safe Routes Ambassadors (SRAs), leading highly engaging and interactive classroom presentations and outdoor workshops for elementary and high school students on pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Safe Routes Ambassadors also attend community events, parent meetings, teacher trainings, and health fairs to reach the broader school and community audience.
From May through September, the ambassadors switch focus and operate as Chicago’s Bicycling Ambassadors.
The ambassador team travels all over the city (always by bike!), speaking directly with Chicagoans about bicycling safely.
The ambassadors also partner with the Chicago Police Department to conduct enforcement activities that engage road users about unsafe behaviors targeting locations, resulting in both warnings and citations when laws are violated.
In 2013, Chicago’s Safe Routes and Bicycling Ambassadors:
• Attended 631 public and private events;
• Directly contacted over 70,000 individuals;
• Partnered with police on 102 targeted enforcement events;
• Executed 178 school events; and
• Completed 1,600 helmet fits.
Tasks under this project include planning and preparing for upcoming seasons (contacting sponsors, assessing equipment and product needs, inventorying publications, devising ambassador recruitment schedule); hiring, training, scheduling and deploying ambassadors to events; collecting detailed data on each and every event; producing reports; and consulting with the client on best practices and innovation.