Sunday, May 2, 2010

This Week on Foot

This week began with a pedestrian-oriented complaint from the Natural Resources Defence Council on its Switchboard Blog.  Writer Kain Benfield laments, "I wish AIA didn’t define ‘green’ so narrowly." He notes that the recently announced top 10 green projects for 2010 might be environmentally friendly on the inside, but since many of them are located in unwalkable communities, it's a bit misleading to call them "green."

I guess someone was listening, because just a few days later LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System Launches as Benchmark for Green Neighborhood Design. The new rating system gives points for factors such as walkable design and "transportation efficiency."

New Yorkers were reminded just how important those factors are this week, when there was an Increase Call for Pedestrian Safety After Transportation Advocated Killed by Cab. The death of neighborhood activist Harry Wieder led others in the community to call on the NYPD to provide better access to data on pedestrian safety and traffic management in the city.

Perhaps pedestrians in Illinois will have an easier time than New Yorkers, where in that state a New law requires stopping for pedestrians, not yielding.

Or we could all just move to Europe, where Garmin takes a pedestrian-friendly phone overseas. Here in the US Garmin products focus on providing users driving directions, but in Europe and Asia users "tend to rely more on mass transit" (understatement) so a ped-friendly wayfinder is more marketable.

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