Since 2001, the Chicago Department of Transportation has promoted safe cycling and walking through the City of Chicago’s SAFE Ambassadors. SAFE stands for Streets Are For Everybody, and the Ambassadors’ goals are encouraging and educating cyclists and pedestrians, reducing traffic crashes by working with all road users, and making Chicago a safer place for active transportation.
The SAFE Ambassadors travel all over the city educating people of all ages and backgrounds about pedestrian and bicycling safety. The Ambassadors offer presentations, safety literature and bicycling activities at parks, schools, on-street events and other locations.
The Ambassadors work in Chicago’s public and private schools, leading educational programs about walking and bicycling safety. They tailor presentations for 2nd grade, 5th grade, and high school driver’s education students and are available to speak with PTA, staff/faculty and other groups as well. The Junior Ambassadors summer program trains the next generation of SAFE Ambassadors by working with the Chicago Park District.
The Ambassadors also offer dynamic SAFE Seniors programming. These workshops provide tools for seniors to navigate 311, reach out to elected officials, access transportation resources, and select safe routes through their neighborhoods.
Finally, the Ambassadors act as a street team for Divvy, Chicago’s bike-share program, during high-usage events and at new station locations.
The Ambassador programs are funded through CDOT and the Illinois Department of Transportation, with the funding year running from October through September.
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