October is National Pedestrian safety Month. SGF Yields and the Rountree and Woodland Heights Neighborhood Associations will host lantern walks in their neighborhoods Oct. 2 (Rountree) and Oct. 16 (Woodland Heights) to promote safe walking habits and remind drivers to watch for pedestrians and yield at crosswalks.
“The lantern walks came about as a result of Rountree and Woodland Heights’ participation in the SGF Yields Citizen Action Group, a group of folks who provide support and input on pedestrian and bicycle safety efforts in Springfield,” says SGF Yields Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “They also recommend locations for crosswalk enforcement and sometimes attend yield checks to help encourage positive driver behavior.”
The walks will begin at sunset, around 7 p.m. At press time, the routes were still being determined. Visit sgfneighborhoodnews.com or contact your neighborhood association president for the latest details.
“We encourage neighborhood schools, after-school programs and families to craft lanterns at home to use on the walks. Neighbors are encouraged to decorate their porches and lawns with lampions as well,” says Buettgen-Quinn.
Lanterns can be easily made with recycled soda bottles, paper plates and vellum or tissue paper and safely powered by glow sticks.
Families can join the walks at any point along the approximately two-mile circular routes to show off their lanterns. This prevents crowding at the starting and ending points. Along the way, they can learn about safe street crossings and get their pictures taken to enter their lanterns into a competition.
While this year’s walks will be designed to be contact-less, we hope that neighborhood lantern events will grow to become an early October tradition in our community, Buettgen-Quinn says.