Spring Forward, Share Our Streets, and Be a PAL

March 5, 2013

clock spring forward

Daylight Savings Time (DST) starts in the wee hours of Sunday, March 10. For many, the additional daylight hours are a welcome sign of spring and summer.   The “spring ahead” time change also means more of us will be out enjoying the longer days and warmer temperatures. For all of these reasons, now is the perfect time to remind everyone to share our streets safely, whether on two feet, two wheels or four wheels!

To emphasize the importance of sharing the streets safely and courteously no matter what mode you’re using, Arlington County’s Car-Free Diet, Bike Arlington and WalkArlington launched a campaign in 2012 to remind everyone to be a PAL on our streets. 

Of course, before you can be a PAL, you need to know what PAL means!PAL logo

The  ‘P’ stands for Predictable, as in don’t do anything unexpected.  The  ‘A’ stands for Alert, as in watch out for others doing unpredictable things. And the ‘L’ stands for Lawful, as in always follow the laws that apply to your mode – whether driving, biking, or walking. Put these three letters together and you get “PAL,” and with that acronym, a message that applies to all modes:  Be A Pal – Predictable, Alert, and Lawful.

To help share this message, the Car-Free Diet, BikeArlington and WalkArlington have put together a PAL Tool Kit, with logos, graphics, and other tools that businesses, community organizations, schools, and other local entities can customize for their own use and disseminate via an array of traditional and electronic channels. Take a look at the tools and share with your networks so we can all share our streets safely and courteously.

Finally, with the start of the new year, there are plans in the works to expand PAL beyond what’s been done so far (tips for drivers, cyclists, and walkers in different scenarios;  various print materials; and the PAL Toolkit), thanks to County Board Chair J. Walter Tejada’s pledge to focus on bicycle and pedestrian safety throughout his term as Chairman. In fact, he’s already unveiled a bilingual PAL tagline: Share Our Streets, Be a PAL – Compartamos Nuestras Calles, Seamos Amables as well as Spanish-language materials and web resources.

So whether you live, work or play--and whether you drive, bike, or walk--in Arlington, be a PAL, in any language.  To learn more about these tips, visit commuterpage.com/Be a PAL.

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