Rock Spring will be the focus of a new traffic safety campaign called "Neighborhood 25", starting in early November. This public awareness campaign is designed to remind motorists to slow down in neighborhoods where children play and walk to school. Rock Spring was one of three Arlington County neighborhoods selected to pilot the program because of its high traffic speeds and because it is located near an elementary school. Four street segments in each neighborhood were identified for research purposes. In Rock Spring they will be:
Baseline traffic volume and speed data were collected in early fall, prior to the program’s launch. After the initial data collection period, volunteers living on targeted streets will post “Keep Kids Alive – Drive 25” yard signs near the street for seven to 14 days. The Arlington Police and Sheriff’s Departments will also place speed trailers and other electronic displays in the neighborhoods to let drivers know whether they are speeding. After the campaign period ends, the signs will be removed, and new traffic data will be collected and compared against the baseline data to see whether the awareness campaign had any effect on traffic speeds. If the campaign is successful, it will be moved to three more neighborhoods in spring 2011.
Similar awareness campaigns in other states have produced favorable results. In Oceanside, California, the first completed pre/post study citing effectiveness of “Keep Kids Alive – Drive 25” yard signs demonstrated a 16 percent decrease in average speed (6mph). The average speed in Oro Valley, Arizona dropped more than 13 percent after Keep Kids Alive – Drive 25” yard signs were applied to all residential trash cans in a neighborhood of 1000 homes. The average speed dropped from 29 mph to less than 25 mph.
The Neighborhood 25 initiative ties in with Arlington County’s Street Smart awareness and enforcement campaign, sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). The campaign was launched in 2002 in an effort to change driver and pedestrian behavior in the region. Over the years Street Smart has grown into a multi-faceted safety campaign educating motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and the general public about safely sharing the roads.