Go Take A Hike on National #TakeAHike Day!

Hiking is a great outdoor activity delivering benefits beyond scenic and fun. Unlike regular walking, hiking involves much more. Here are some safety tips to cover before you go out for your hike.

  1. Check the weather. Leading up to and a few hours before your hike, check the weather. The weather, especially this time of year, isn’t always predictable. It’s better to be aware and prepared instead of being surprised while on your hike.
  2. Pack the essentials. Nothing is worse than being on your hike and not being prepared for emergency situations. Some key essentials to have with you at all times are a map/compass, sunscreen, extra clothing, cell phone, water, and food.
  3. Wear the right clothing. Painful feet can ruin any hike. Invest in high-quality hiking shoes and thick socks. Wearing layers is the best way to be prepared. You can always take them off and put them back on when needed.
  4. Know where you’re going. Before heading on your hike, make sure that you and whoever else is going are aware of where you are going. Showing up for hiking and not knowing where to go can lead to an unsuccessful hike. Go over the trail and/or trails that you will be covering that day, that way you can be safe and enjoy the experience.

Not sure where to go?  Here are some of our staff’s favorite places to Hike!

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR)

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year.

It is a high-profile global event to remember the many millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families, and communities – millions added each year to countless millions already suffering: a truly tremendous cumulative toll.

This Day has also become an important tool for governments and all those whose work involves crash prevention or response to the aftermath of crashes since it offers the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous scale and impact of road deaths and injuries, call for an end to the often trivial and inappropriate response to road death and injury and advocate for urgent concerted action to stop the carnage.

On World Day we too pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police, and medical professionals, who deal daily with the traumatic aftermath of road crashes.

 

Source: https://worlddayofremembrance.org/#info

Halloween Safety Tips

The ghosts, monsters and other creatures walking the streets on Oct. 31 aren’t the most frightful thing about Halloween. Here’s a scary fact: Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for children walking on roadways across the country.

Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other night of the year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that children are four times more likely to be hit by a vehicle on Halloween. That makes following safe pedestrian and driver practices all the more important as children set out to trick or treat this year.

For Pedestrians

• Make sure costumes don’t impair your child’s ability to walk or see. KidsHealth.org warns against wearing masks that can limit visibility.

• Before crossing look left, right, and then left again.

• Use sidewalks. When there are no sidewalks, walk-facing traffic.

• Be visible. The Safe Kids Worldwide campaign suggests adding reflective tape to costumes or having children carry a light or glow stick. A survey by the group found that only 18 percent of parents have their children use safety lighting on Halloween.

• Cross at corners and intersections and use marked crosswalks when possible.

For Drivers

• Obey the speed limit. AAA suggests driving 5 mph below the posted speed limit on Halloween.

• Stop for pedestrians. New Jersey law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in cross-walks. Violations of the law carry a $200 fine and two points on your license.

• Don’t drive distracted. New Jersey prohibits talking and texting while driving. Fines range from $200 for first-time offenders to as much as $800 for repeat offenders.

 

Everyone is a Pedestrian – October is Pedestrian Safety Month

More than 6 in 10 people walk for transportation, exercise, relaxation, or other activities. The benefits of walking extend beyond personal and physical, to environmental benefits that can lead to healthier, quieter, cleaner, and safer streets. Walking can also improve local economies and enhance social and community engagement, leading to more vibrant, resilient, and livable spaces.

Unfortunately, in 2019 there were 6,205 pedestrians killed and 76,000 injured in traffic crashes. On average, a pedestrian was killed every 85 minutes and injured every 7 minutes in 2019. Please use these materials to increase awareness about how we can combat pedestrian crashes in our communities.

To learn more or to implement a pedestrian safety program, please contact our offices at programs@kmm.org

 

 

Shared from NHTSA

Car Free Day ~ Reimagined!

This year, along with Greater Mercer TMA, we are celebrating Car Free Day Reimagined.  In response to COVID-19, many of us have already made changes to our daily commutes.  More folks are walking and biking and many are working on a hybrid schedule.  So this year, we celebrate Car Free and all the changes commuters have made this year.

Over the past 18 months and as a result of going #CarFree, we have seen an increased awareness of walking and cycling infrastructure across both Middlesex & Mercer Counties.  We also experienced better air quality and a high focus on our health and well-being.  Best of all, we find commuters are exploring and supporting their local businesses as a result of the commute change.

As we move ahead, we hope that commuters will maintain a part of their “new commute” methods.  We have witnessed that even the smallest change can make a significant impact.  So this week, we encourage everyone to share how they are commuting to work.

🚙Carpool or Vanpool – snap a photo with your partners!
🚍Take an NJ TRANSIT bus or train – snap a photo of your favorite spot along the commute!
🚲Riding your bike or walking to work or school – share with us how many miles you biked or walked!
💻Are you still working from home? Share with us a photo of your workspace or what you like most about working from home!
You’ve Reimagined your city car-free! 🌳♥️🌎  Let’s keep that going strong.
Email photos to cfowler@kmm.org or tag us #goCarFreeNJ on social media.  Also, take the pledge!

Remote and Hybrid Work Schedules – Are they right for your industry?

Remote work, hybrid schedules, and flexible office hours are becoming standard practices in the workplace.  Each can be unique to the office environment or industry.   To help ensure success across your organization, let’s start with the basics:

Remote Work – Remote work is a type of working arrangement that allows an employee to work from a remote location outside of corporate offices.

Hybrid Schedules – Hybrid schedules combine both remote, in person, and even flex hours.

Flex Hours – Flex hours are an arrangement that allows an employee to alter the starting and/or end time of her/his workday. Employees still work the same number of scheduled hours as they would under a traditional schedule.

 

Once you determine which type of work arrangement is suitable for your office environment, here are some points to consider:

Evaluate your Hardware: If employees are working remotely or hybrid, they will need access to company files and programs.  Laptops, wifi connections, and other accessories may be needed to allow employees to work productively and effectively.

Establish Schedules:  Whether remote, hybrid or working flexible hours, each employee’s schedule should be defined. Use a shared calendar to indicate everyone’s schedule. Also, set a firm day and time for weekly staff meetings.  This allows everyone to convene together at a designated time each week.  This makes planning meetings and schedules easier and a great way to stay abreast of what everyone is working on.

Take Advantage of Technology:  Video tools, CRM databases, and project management programs make it easier for team members to collaborate on projects and tasks regardless of their location.

Keep Communication Open: Maintaining company culture is key to the business’s success.  Be proactive and organize events for both in-office and remote work staff.  Employees appreciate a manager who is a clear communicator and offers clear direction.

 

Here is a list of additional resources from The Society for Human Resource Management:

Policy and Procedure

Managing Flexible Schedules

Creating a Program Right for your Company

August is National Back to School Month

Although many school districts begin in September, we celebrate National Back to School Month as a way to prepare for the coming school year.

Visit our Safe Routes to School resource page to learn what you can do and how KMM can help.

Walk and Bike to School Events

Walk and bike events, like International Walk to School Day in October, are a great way to introduce an SRTS program and get families excited about walking to school. KMM works with organizers to plan the event, map a suitable route and provide support materials.

Walk Safety Assembly

Crossing the street, traffic signals, crosswalks, and more are covered in this 45-minute interactive program ideal for first and second graders. The presentation uses slides and short videos. Giveaways include bookmarks, stickers, and glow-in-the-dark bracelets

Bike Safety Presentation

KMM presents a 20-minute program on bike safety including helmet use and fitting, basic traffic rules, and parts of the bicycle. Ideal for grades 4-6.

Bike Rodeo

This bike skills course helps students learn the basics of safe bicycling on a fun off-road course. Rodeos can be run during school, at an after-school program, at a summer camp, or during a community festival. KMM will plan your bike rodeo, layout a safety course, direct the event, and train volunteer

Walking School Bus

A walking school bus is a group of students walking together to school on a regular basis. Parents often take turns “driving” the bus, walking with the students, and providing supervision. KMM will help plan a route, assist in developing policies and procedures and provide a safety orientation to volunteers.

School Travel Plan

KMM works with schools and towns to create a plan to improve the walk or bike to school – this may include street fixes, educational programs, and police enforcement. This “school travel plan” is a blueprint for making improvements over time – and enables towns and schools to apply for supporting grants. KMM will prepare the plan with the participation of the Board of Education, municipality, parents, and community leaders.

A Walk in the Park – Week 4

Week 4 Relaxation Week 

“Stop and smell the roses,” isn’t really about roses.  It’s about taking time to relax and appreciate the world around us.  Enjoy a leisurely walk along the bay at Raritan Bay Park or stroll the boardwalk at Old Bridge Waterfront Park.

And don’t forget the Middlesex Greenway, with a 10-foot wide, paved trail suitable for walking, biking, and jogging:

Raritan Bay Park

Old Bridge Water Front Park

We’d love to post your photos,  send them to programs@kmm.org

A Walk in the Park – Week 3

Week 3 Family Outing Week

Middlesex County parks are family-friendly.   Johnson Park in Piscataway boasts a pirate playground, a restored 18th-century village, and, along with Merrill and Thompson Parks, an animal haven. Fishing is permitted in many of the parks.  Be sure to check for licensing regulations.  Of course, there are picnicking, ball fields and so much more.  Pack up the family and enjoy a day in the park.

For more information about Animal Havens:  Thompson Park, Merrill Park, Johnson Park.

For information about East Jersey Old Town Village: East Jersey Old Town Village

For information about fishing in Middlesex County Parks: http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/About/ParksRecreation/Pages/PR/Fishing.aspx

A Walk in the Park – Week Two

Week 2  Nature Week 

Meander through undisturbed diverse habitats of birds, wildflowers, and wildlife at The Plainsboro Preserve.  The Preserve contains over five (5) miles of trails, the Rush Holt Education Center, and even an indoor treehouse.

Click here for a trail guide: https://njaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Trail-Map-2018-Plainsboro-no-hours.pdf

And in case you missed last’s week Walk in the Park kick-off webinar, you can catch it on our Facebook Page.

This month, as part of our Walk in the Park program, we encourage you to share the photos you snap with us.  We will share them on our social media accounts!  Please send them to: programs@kmm.org  or tag them #walkinthepark and we will share them!