Friday, September 14, 2012

This week on foot

photo: Seattle PI

This week we learn that 11 Seattle intersections bad for pedestrians, but fortunately Seattle neighborhoods look for ways to increase walkability like this West Seattle traffic alert: Pedestrian upgrades for 35th/Alaska. Elsewhere in the country a Spate of Minnesota of pedestrian deaths prompts warnings, and  ‘Urban intervention’ tests downtown pedestrian space in Colorado, and  Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week Kicks Off in Virginia.

Closer to home Thousand Oaks tackles traffic safety and they're Unraveling Ped & Bike Tension In Santa Monica, while Pedestrians killed in Walnut Creek, SF and LA by distracted drivers.  They're struggling with Pedestrian Unfriendliness on La Brea, Old LA Maps at Art Walk, and there was a Pedestrian killed in Hollywood hit-and-run crash--but at least in Santa Barbara there are some Practical Pedestrian Pathways.

 Outside the US there's a message for Pedestrians: Zebra crossings not safe in Finland. At least Walkability takes off in Pembrokeshire National Park in Wales...

Speaking of which, here are some Concrete Ideas for Promoting Walkability. If that's not enough for you, UCLA offers city planners manual for creating parklets, living streets. Dallas seems to be using some of those ideas, as For Four Days This Month, Knox Will Become Dallas' First "Complete Street". Also Glen Ridge passes Complete Streets policy--seems like everyone is learning about Making Neighborhood Streets “Skinny” and Safe.

There's a lot of buzz this week about a new study from Leinberger: Walkable Urbanism Is the Future, and DC Is the Model. Some reviewers note that while "Walkable urban" places enjoy economic success, but face social equity challenges, while others wonder about a Walkable Tyson's Corner? Over VDOT's dead streetscape. But at the end of the day it's a positive Study: Shift to walkable urban places is good news for economy -- which is good, because If You Want Walkable Development, You Must Show That It Pays.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Safe Kids Infographic

From Safe Kids USA, a nice infographic about children walking--and the dangers they face.

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Walk Friendly Communities Announced

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has announced the latest cities to receive the Walk Friendly Communities title. Walk Friendly Communities are recognized for their work to create safe, walkable environments. And here they are:

Gold Level

Silver Level

Bronze Level

From the website:

"We are very excited to add nine to the Walk Friendly Communities roster," said Carl Sundstrom, WFC program manager. "These communities represent a true cross-section of America, ranging from the nation's capital to the small town of Essex Junction, Vt., population 9,300. The variety shows how much this program continues to growcities and towns of all sizes and types can create vibrant and walkable places."
There are now 33 Walk Friendly Communities across the nation. To date, Seattle, Wash., is the only Platinum-level Walk Friendly Community.
The program will begin accepting applications for the next round on Nov. 1, 2012, with the deadline for submission on Dec. 15, 2012. Interested communities are encouraged to visit to learn more about the program and review the community assessment tool.

Friday, September 7, 2012

This Week on Foot

This week we're entertained by this PSA rap about Richmond pedestrian crossing, and by The Best Way to Deal With Crosswalk-Blocking Drivers Ever (aside from pedestrian stings, like the one this week where Thousand Oaks violators get stung in crosswalk stakeouts).

And why are those stings so important? Because Child Pedestrian Deaths Spike During After-School Hours. Because Lack of pedestrian signals poses threat to commuters. Because Safe Kids Worldwide, FedEx Study finds teens at greatest risk for pedestrian injuries. Because WCape road deaths: half pedestrians.

Yet while according to this Report: In D.C. Area, Developers Flock to ‘Walkable Urban’ (leading some to as is The Next Major Real Estate Cycle: Walkable Urbanism?), and Wesley welcomes pedestrian plaza we still have a long way to go in places like New York where an Astoria pedestrian plaza pits merchants against residents.

Elsewhere in the country pedestrian planning is being received more positively, as Chicago unveils 1st pedestrian safety plan and Ann Arbor ranked safest in state for pedestrians; city wants to keep it that way. In that case, Pedestrians, cyclists alike should share road, safety precautions. Speaking of safety precautions, We asked you: Should police ticket drivers for crosswalk violations? (Most people think so).

Finally this week, Canadians note that VANCOUVER WOULD BE COOLER IF #188: We Could Walk It As Diversely As Berkeley and we wonder What makes a great city street? Consider these examples.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Walk. Bike. Move. Live. Sept. 19.

San Diegans: Join like-minded advocates as WalkSanDiego hosts a Mayoral debate. Here are the details from WSD.

Date:          September 19, 2012
Time:          7:00 PM
Location:   University of San Diego, Shiley Theatre

Come hear mayoral candidates Carl DeMaio and Bob Filner in the only debate focused on enhancing and improving quality of life through how we live, work, play and move around in America's Finest City.  Learn the views and opinions of San Diego's 2012 mayoral candidates on community issues that impact you:
  • Improving Transportation Choices (walk, bike, transit, car share, carpool, etc.)
  • Urban Growth and Development (how to improve our communities while accommodating growth?)
  • Locating new employment opportunities (can we commute less?)
  • Livable Communities (creating neighborhoods where people come first, not cars!) 
A networking reception with light refreshments will take place immediately following the one hour debate.
Getting to the Debate:

For transit information: Trolley/Shuttle Info (Bus Route 44 stops right in front of USD)
Complimentary bike valet will be on-site

Get your tickets today at

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cool Ped Stuff #23: City Pulse

The latest (bad pun) brainchild of Brain Drain, CityPulse is a network of "beacons" that light up the street literally and figuratively. The fancy lights detects and reports street-level activity in real time, provides information about nearby businesses and tourist attractions, and, as Brain Drain puts it, "offers a new platform for human interactions and entrepreneurship."

From the website:

By spurring pedestrian navigation and citywide connectivity, CityPulse stands to make a huge impact. This place-making program offers a multi-level intervention that stimulates growth in small and new business, facilitates access to community resources and information, and provides a public venue for emerging trends and creativity in the cityscape.

Yet one more way technology is changing the way we move through the pedestrian environment.