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Watch for Me NC in Jacksonville/Camp Lejeune

  • Watch for Me NC participant since: 2015
  • Population: 70,000
  • Lead agency: City of Jacksonville


Jacksonville is one of the largest cities in Eastern North Carolina. It is also the county seat of Onslow County and the site of Camp Lejeune, the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast. Camp Lejune is home to around 47,000 marines and sailors. A high percentage of work trips, around 10%, in Jacksonville are made on foot. This speaks to the importance of pedestrian safety in the city.


As the lead agency for the Watch for Me NC program, the City of Jacksonville partnered with the Jacksonville Police Department (JPD), Jacksonville Transit, the Jacksonville Recreation and Parks Department, the Jacksonville Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Onslow County, Onslow County Schools, Onslow United Transit System, and the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune. The City of Jacksonville also partnered with Onslow Memorial Hospital, Coastal Carolina Community College, and a local cycling club called Down East Cyclists.

Education and Enforcement Activities Conducted

Jacksonville has used a variety of means to get the word out about the Watch for Me NC program. Jacksonville’s partners have attended numerous events throughout the year including Transportation Public meetings. Banners were posted along roadways and the city participated in safety events such as National Night Out, Old Navy Safety Day, Home Depot Safety Day, and a Fire Prevention Week Kick-Off event. Many of these events were made possible with help from the Jacksonville Police Department and the Jacksonville Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. At the Old Navy event, attendants were engaged with trivia questions with answers that were located on the rack cards available at the table. Correct answers earned an armband. The city received excellent feedback from residents at this event.

The city also took the Watch for Me NC message to Walk to School Day events at two schools, a City Wellness Event, and Safe Kid Meetings. Materials distributed included rack cards, brochures, posters, bumper stickers, bike lights, and armbands. Finally, Jacksonville Public Safety has utilized social media to make announcements about pedestrian and bicycle safety initiatives.

Jacksonville has conducted enforcement operations and observation periods during which warnings and citations are issued. To increase awareness among vulnerable road users, the Jacksonville Police Department held a special needs crosswalk class that included practical application. Moving forward, the city plans to increase school outreach and introduce “caught being good” tickets to recognize travelers’ safe behaviors.

Key Outcomes

Overall the public response to the Watch for Me NC program has been positive. Outreach activities have, at times, generated more participation than expected. Jacksonville plans to continue involvement with the Watch for Me NC program with the hopes of working more with schools in the area and surrounding communities.

Lessons Learned

It is important to keep up regular communications with program partners so that they see the Watch for Me NC program as a central part of their work. Another lesson is to learn from other cities’ experiences with the program – they are valuable sources of information and support.


Thanks to Stephanie Kutz with the Jacksonville Planning Department for her work on the Watch for Me NC program and the information presented in this profile.