October has been designated as National Pedestrian Safety Month by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration.
In 2021, Springfield celebrated October's focus on our most vulnerable road users by holding a Lantern Walk. Organized thought the city's pedestrian safety program SGF Yields, the City partnered with two neighborhoods to encourage safe walking habits and raise crosswalk awareness among drivers, while building community connections through the walk. Neighbors, schools and families were encouraged to build and decorate luminaries ahead of time. On the first Saturday in October, starting at sunset, neighbors strolled with their illuminated lanterns along the designated route. Along the way, there were multiple stations where children learned about safe walking tips. Drivers learned about crosswalk safety and parents were encouraged to practice safe street crossings with their children during the walk. Residents along the route made the autumn walk especially beautiful by placing lights along the sidewalks and decorating their porches and applauding the children for their beautiful lanterns.
Our vision for Springfield is that each first Saturday in October, Springfield families will walk through their neighborhood with lanterns, using the time to connect with neighbors and practice pedestrians safety along the way.