New Pedestrian Safety Initiative WalkSmartNC Launches Thursday Morning


The Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) will launch a new pedestrian safety initiative, WalkSmartNC, Thursday morning in collaboration with the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and several state and local agencies.

The goal of WalkSmartNC is to reduce injuries involving drivers and pedestrians, which have been on the rise in Downtown Raleigh and across North Carolina. It will use feedback from the Downtown Raleigh Pedestrian Safety Study, which cover a 60-block area and will officially open to public engagement on Thursday. The more people who participate, the more the campaign can focus on addressing specific needs. Through an online survey, smartphone app and interactive map, data will be collected through Friday, Nov. 8.

The study is being conducted under the direction of the Department of Transportation. Findings will inform a pilot awareness campaign and best practices guide that may be used by other safety-minded communities and organizations.

Media is welcome to observe the outreach campaign and talk with WalkSmartNC leaders between 6:30-8:30 a.m. Thursday at high incident locations. The following representatives will engage with state employees entering state parking decks or lots as well as pedestrians by providing a flyer to encourage their participation in the Downtown Raleigh Pedestrian Safety Study.

Locations with key participants include (see State Parking Map):

  1. Entrance into Deck 64 on Salisbury Street
    • Mark Ezzell, Director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program
    • Michael Burgher, State Parking Operations Manager, Department of Administration
  2. Entrance into Deck 75 from McDowell Street
    • *Tia Chapman, Department of Public Safety employee who was hit by a driver near here
    • Scarlette Gardner, Director of OSHR’s Division of Safety, Health and Workers’ Compensation
  3. Intersection of Jones Street and North Salisbury Street
    • Barbara Gibson, State Human Resources Director
    • Heather Banta, State Health and Safety Manager, Office of State Human Resources

*Tia Chapman, a Department of Public Safety employee, was hit by a car on her sixth day of work in November 2018. Chapman was walking back to work after picking up her state identification badge and was struck while using a marked crosswalk. The driver fled and was never identified.

Additionally, state agency safety officials and other employees will hand out flyers to state employees and others in the Downtown State Government Complex at these locations:

  • Parking Deck 64 (Peace Street entrance)
  • Parking Deck 75/76 (Both entrances from Salisbury Street)
  • Parking Deck 77 (Entrance from McDowell Street and entrance from Edenton Street)
  • Parking Deck 17 (Entrance from Jones Street)
  • Parking Lot 20  (Entrance from Person Street and entrance from Jones Street)
  • Parking Lot 3 (Entrance from North Street and entrance from Polk Street)

Note to media:  Please ensure that vehicles are parked safely to avoid blocking pedestrian movement or create traffic congestion. For information regarding Thursday morning events, or to talk with participants at another time, contact OSHR Communications Director Jill Warren Lucas at 919-807-4807 (cell: 919-218-0044) or



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