City of Salisbury Partners with Salisbury University to Launch Youth Program for Transportation Safety

city of Salisbury, MD logo

Salisbury, MD – The City of Salisbury has partnered with Salisbury University to train and equip youth ambassadors in the Salisbury Area. These Ambassadors will be primarily part-time and temporary City staff. Outreach to youth will range from dedicated training sessions to guided “Bike buses” and other programs with proven track records.

This project will consist of developing, implementing, and evaluating a student transportation safety program that teaches safe walking, biking, scooting, and other forms of micro-mobility. Additionally, part-time and temporary City staff ambassadors will be responsible for training high school students who will, in turn, serve as safety ambassadors to their high school peers and middle school students. The City can also hire/pay one high school student over the summer to conduct similar outreach in a disadvantaged high school community via a summer youth work program. Utilizing students close in age to their audience but old enough to be role models offers a safe, supportive environment for students to learn, connect, and collaborate with one another.

Programming will focus on safe transportation skills and include safe riding techniques, bike and scooter maintenance, and practical hands-on learning sessions. Walking school buses and biking buses (guided and escorted rides) will be utilized to demonstrate how to navigate safely from home to school. These walking school buses consist of a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. The City intends to start these as structured routes with meeting points, a timetable, and a regularly rotated schedule of trained volunteers with the intent of transitioning them over to the schools and volunteers to manage in the long term.

The City also intends to establish bike buses, in which adults supervise children riding their bikes to school. Parents often cite safety issues as one of the primary reasons they are reluctant to allow their children to walk to school. Providing adult supervision may help reduce those worries for families who live within walking or bicycling distance to school.

We will cap the program off with a major back-to-school event in the Fall of 2024 focused primarily on elementary and middle school youth. The exact mix of ages will depend on which school principals are willing to participate in the program.

Transportation Manager Jon Wilson stated, ‘With this opportunity from the Governors Highway Safety Association and the National Road Safety Foundation, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office, we will be able to directly educate the youth. We will help ensure their safety on the implemented and growing cycle network so they can navigate their city safely.’ To learn more about this program, you can visit: