Thursday, August 18, 2011

This Week on Foot

This week is full of the *shocking* news that walking is dangerous! There's a City study: Chicago pedestrians in crosswalks are in cross hairs, while On Wide Florida Roads, Running for Dear Life. Here in California, Accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists escalate, Alameda police say, and a Woman Dies One Month After Being Hit By Cyclist In San Francisco.

That last story leads to some debate over the relationship between cyclists and pedestrians. If You Want Real Bike need to consider both pedestrians and cyclists (as well as any other users), and make the lanes safe for all. Of course, some just think that Awkward, These Pedestrian Wars Are.

Perhaps so, but they can also be lucrative--at least for one B.C. pedestrian hit in crosswalk awarded $1.1 million (finally, some justice in the pedestrian world!). Perhaps we need more settlements like this, to underscore the financial dangers of ignoring pedestrians' needs. 

Fortunately, many jurisdictions are being proactive about the issue. In North Bend Oregon, they're Creating safer roads for pedestrians to cross , while North Myrtle Beach taking action to make sure pedestrians stay safe, and across the globe Belfast pedestrian access to be prioritised. Closer to home there are Flags Up for Pedestrian Safety in Santa Barbara, San Carlos to spend $2.7 to improve pedestrian and bike safety in town's east side, and Sunset Magazine Breaks Ground On the Sunset Smart Homes, Silicon Valley's Greenest Mixed-Use Development (with a focus on walkability).

Meanwhile, in Florida we note that Rural areas' lack of sidewalks fuel obesity. But in Minneapolis they're wondering, Is walking really exercise?

Hopefully so, since NY Gov Will Sign Complete Streets Law this week, and in Lake Charles, Louisiana More McNeese students taking advantage of new crosswalks. All things to consider when we're Planning the future of cities.

Oh, and if you'd like to get involved in that planning? Volunteers needed for annual count of bicyclists and pedestrians in Washington next month.

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