Set the Pace – San Elijo Hills Foundation Safety Campaign
We all love our community here in San Elijo Hills. However, one of our greatest concerns is safety – especially on our roads. Between the downhill slopes going out of our community that cause drivers to pick up speed, a town center designed to encourage walking, and three schools all on one street, San Elijo Rd. is a challenge to say the least. And, a scary one.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by a driver who runs a red light or speeds through the community, we hope you will join our effort to “Set the Pace in SEH”.
There are lots of concerns throughout the community about the speeding we all witness through the town square, the safety of students and pedestrians both before and after school and, of course, the addition of another school right at the top of our hill and the impacts that will have on traffic and safety.
In February, the Sheriff’s Department sent representatives out to San Elijo Hills to meet with residents and discuss traffic safety. It was a great opportunity to hear from the Sheriff’s Department and to ask questions.
But, it was also frustrating because you feel so helpless about what can be done to ensure people both inside and outside of SEH understand the importance of our speed limits in a community with so many children and so many who enjoy outdoor activities like walking, jogging, biking, etc.
One resident, Amy Falco, was struck by something she read after the event,
“A comment after February’s traffic meeting suggesting ‘…residents should drive the speed limit to effectively block speeders and slow down the traffic,’ got me thinking about pace cars. When the pace car comes out on a race track, no one passes them; they lead others at a pre-determined safe speed. So, what if we all became pace cars? I mocked up an idea for a window cling and shared it on the SHEs of SEH Facebook page.”
The idea sparked a lot of discussion and comments. After all, as much as we want to blame all of our traffic issues on people who are ‘passing through’ our community, residents really do set the pace. And, the more of us who adhere to the speed limit and pay attention to the road, the more other drivers are likely do the same.
Mark Rasmussen, a SEH resident who sits on the San Elijo Hills Foundation board, heard about the idea from his wife who is part of the SHEs group and he thought, “What a great idea! Why not try it?”
The primary objective of the San Elijo Hills Foundation is to serve as a collective voice for residents of SEH and to enhance community life. Establishing a community-wide safety awareness campaign using the Pace Car concept could be just the kind of thing we need to bring our community closer together, to raise awareness and, most importantly, to improve safety on our roads.
Mark outlined a program and then rallied the various participants to make it happen. Amy who happens to be a Graphic Designer (www.falcocreative.com) volunteered her time to create the artwork needed, identify the printer, and create the collateral.
SHARE+San Elijo volunteered to help kick off the campaign with a press release, articles, and help spreading the word. And, the San Elijo Hills Foundation stepped up to cover the cost of the stickers, banners and to coordinate volunteers to get people signed-up with the program and distribute the stickers.
Become a Pace Car
The San Elijo Hills Foundation is encouraging as many people as possible to participate in the campaign. By signing the “Pace Car Pledge” (available at www.sanelijohills.org), you are agreeing to set a good example in our community. You are also acting as a ‘moving billboard’ about safety in SEH.
Our hope is that when anyone sees this sticker, they check their speed and make any necessary adjustments. It’s all about awareness. The more cars we have driving the speed limit throughout our community, the better the pace will be.
Will you join us?
It’s pretty simple. All you have to do is sign the pledge, place the Window Cling sticker on your window, and be the example you want others to be.
Go to www.sanelijohills.org and take the pledge to receive your sticker. You can also stop by the San Elijo Hills Foundation booth at the Movie Night on June 12 to sign a pledge form and pick up your stickers and ask any questions.
“I’m thrilled the idea stuck. I hope to see lots of ‘Pace Cars’ on San Elijo Road in the future. I think role modeling new behaviors is one of the best ways to bring about change, and something desperately needs to change to make our streets safer.”
Visit www.sanelijohills.org for more information.