Guam – The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Chamorro District is helping to make Guam a safer place for our foreign visitors. Pavement markings will be applied on to the sidewalks in Tumon which will caution our visitors about on-coming traffic.
In coordination with the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), Department of Public Works, Guam Visitors Bureau, Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association, Boy Scout Kai Murrell and volunteers from Troop 38, have been painting pictograms on the sidewalks to warn foreigners that vehicular traffic will be coming from the left rather than the opposite direction of traffic that they are accustomed to overseas. Corporate community volunteers such as Parsons, Ariel and Co., and Express Signs have provided support in the engineering, design and fabrication of stencils that are used to apply the caution symbols onto the sidewalk in designated crosswalk areas.
Murrell stated, “My Scoutmaster, Mr. Peter Linn, helped me with the initial idea to help promote pedestrian safety. Many drivers on Guam have been surprised when a tourist suddenly steps out onto the roadway, not realizing that the cars are coming from the opposite direction.” Some accidents are avoided by the quick reaction of our drivers but unfortunately many accidents continue to occur with regularity. “Our goal is to promote awareness among our tourist population to LOOK LEFT before walking onto the street so that they may have a safe vacation and hopefully return to Guam again and again.”
The challenges associated with the Eagle Scout Service Project for Kai Murrell included ensuring an easy to understand design for all tourist regardless of their native language as well as to ensure the markings are not a distraction for drivers while following established guidelines for use around roadways. Guam will continue to see the development of the caution markings on the sidewalks along San Vitores Road and if approved will also include some of the major intersections in other high traffic tourist areas on other major thoroughfares around the island.
Acting Administrator for DPW’s Federal Aid Highway Program, Joaquin Blaz is pleased to see the efforts and ingenuity of Boy Scout Troop 38, “Pedestrian safety is always paramount and through this partnership we are showing our visitors that we are cognizant of our cultural barriers while still addressing their safety.” Blaz applauds the hard work of Murrell and his fellow scouts through this initiative and looks forward to continued collaboration to ensure the safety of our pedestrians and motorists.
According to Murrell, “We are excited about the initial results of our efforts based on an informal survey of the tourists at the intersections that have been completed so far. They have indicated the caution markings are clear and a helpful reminder. Hopefully, this effort will help to save lives and heartache that affects everyone when an unfortunate accident occurs. I am grateful for all of the volunteers who have tirelessly helped me to achieve this goal and hope that my legacy with the Boy Scouts of America will include regular maintenance of these markings as a reminder for all future tourists to enjoy Guam and stay safe.”