Throughout January, we’ve been asking bicyclists, walkers, and drivers alike to share their new year’s resolutions to #BEaPAL.
Are you thinking about how to improve your own transportation behavior to make our roads, trails, and sidewalks safer? Consider becoming an ambassador like our friend, Leeann.
What’s it like to become a PAL Ambassador?
Meet Leeann Sinpatanasakul, whose amazing work and passion for her community make her a great PAL Ambassador.
How did you get in involved as an Arlington PAL Ambassador? What do you like about being a part of this program?
I became involved in the PAL ambassador program after meeting the coordinator, Ashley Blue, at a community event where she was tabling. What got me interested was that it wasn’t just for bicyclists—it was for drivers and pedestrians, too. I hope more residents will join our efforts and see PAL as something for more than just cyclists. After all, at some point we’re all pedestrians when we travel.
I like everything about the program! I like being involved and making a difference with our events, and I like that the program has encouraged me to be more civically engaged. It’s because of the program that I’ve been involved in Arlington’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
What does the PAL message mean to you? What do you think the program means to the community?
To me, PAL
, which stands for “predictable, alert, lawful,” means that we all have a role to play in making Arlington a safer, more enjoyable place to live. PAL tries to educate residents on how to be a safe driver, cyclist, or pedestrian. In the future, I hope that more members of the community will learn about the PAL message and take it to heart.
What are your PAL resolutions for 2018? How will you be a more Predictable, Alert, and Lawful road and sidewalk user?
My resolution for 2018 is to be kinder and more courteous to other bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. While driving, this means giving at least three feet of space between myself and a person cycling and slowing down when passing safely. While walking, this means being visible and predictable to drivers, especially at night with low visibility. We share Arlington’s transportation infrastructure with our neighbors. It’s important to remember to be courteous to them in the shared community space.
What’s your #BEaPAL resolution for 2018?
Join our Outreach Party
next week to share yours and collect ideas from the public!
Can’t make it to the party, don’t worry. Share your resolutions with us in other ways:
Happy PAL-oween from your friendly neighborhood Arlington PAL (Predictable, Alert, Lawful) Ambassadors!
On October 31st, we’ll be out on N. Jackson Street near Virginia Square among trick-or-treaters to help everyone have fun and walk, bike, or drive safely during their night of spooky fun.
Join us, won’t you?
And keep reading for some tips that you can share for anyone going out on Halloween:
Drive and bike SLOWLY through your neighborhood and be extra aware of pedestrians.
Kids can be unpredictable humans, especially when they’re surrounded by the excitement of tricks and treats. There will be many more people of all ages walking around on Halloween than your typical weekday evening, so be sure to take extra care. Worst thing that can happen is that you’re delayed by an adorable parade of minions and goblins crossing the street. If you’re on your bike, make sure to let people walking and trick or treating know you’re around by calling your passes, ringing a bell or wishing them a Happy Halloween!
Walkers and bikers: lighten up!
Ashley and Annmarie sporting their #BEaPAL reflective vests during the Mardi Gras parade
While the onus is on drivers to take care around more vulnerable road users, like people walking, biking and trick or treating, there are things you can do to improve your visibility at night. Reflective accents can be added to costumes to help you be seen. Carrying glow sticks or flashlights can be helpful as they not only help others see you, but help you see in the dark as well.
For bicyclists, Arlington County requires that bicycles ridden at night have one white light at the front and a red reflector at the rear. A blinking red rear light and bonus reflective goodies, like vests or small stickers, can be even more helpful.
Luckily, the PAL Ambassadors will be there handing out bike lights, reflective vests and fun goodies that night to help keep your Halloween lit!
Everyone: be lawful at intersections
This goes for everyone! When walkers wait for the crosswalk signal, bikers stop at the stop sign or light and drivers always yield to pedestrians, we all get to the most important part of the night with less stress: Getting home to devour all of the candy!
Hello PALs! I’m so excited to be the new PAL Ambassador program coordinator. Spring is in the air and as we all know, Arlingtonians will be out and about. Let’s go remind them to be Predictable, Alert and Lawful!
While I’ve been biking since I was a kid, I really embraced it as a new way to explore in Alexandria. Biking made me feel so much more connected to the world around me than I had before. I started biking everywhere – the grocery store, friend’s places…I couldn’t get enough!
The most enriching part of my newfound love was becoming a part of such a fun, supportive community of cyclists. As I started attending Women & Bicycles
events and local community rides, I really found a sense of belonging in my new city.
I then moved to Arlington where I began getting involved with BikeArlington as a volunteer and regular community ride participant. I met the lovely Annmarie Hansen after a taco-themed ride where we bonded over our love of both biking and dancing. She then told me all about the PAL Ambassador program, and I soon became a regular PAL – attending pizza parties, block parties, and even pulling the trailer around town!
As a year-long PAL volunteer, I experienced first-hand the positive impact that Annmarie and the PAL Ambassadors have had on the Arlington community. I’m thrilled to contribute my own enthusiasm to the program and continue to build on our message to help people stay safe on our sidewalks and streets.
To become an Arlington PAL Ambassador, sign up here!