Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

We're looking forward to taking our little bee out for her second Halloween tonight (and to stealing--er, sorting--her candy). If you're up to the same this evening, remember that Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for pedestrians--especially little goblins and ladybugs--so be vigilant as you navigate the streets out there.

Wondering where to take your werewolves to howl? Check out Zillow's 2012 list of the best cities (and neighborhoods) for trick-or-treating, which incorporates WalkScore's ranking as part of the criteria its uses in compiling the list.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012 Great Streets

photo courtesy of the bailey post

The American Planning Association (APA) has announced its 2012 list of Great Streets across the country. What is a Great Street, you ask? The APA considers three main characteristics in its evaluation of streets:
  1. Street Form and Composition - Does the street accommodate multiple users? Does it encourage social interaction?
  2. Street Character and Personality - Does the street reflect the local culture? Is it an interesting place to be?
  3. Street Environment and Sustainable Practices - Does the street use green infrastructure? Does it promote sustainability?
This year, the streets that demonstrate all those characteristics are (not in California): 
  • Duval Street in Key West, Florida
  • Ward Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Main Street in Bozeman, Montana
  • Wall Street in Kingston, New York
  • Fifth Avenue in New York, New York
  • Broadway in Saratoga Springs, New York
  • Shaker Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Grant Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia
  • Broad Street in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Gay Street in Knoxville, Tennessee
You can view pictures and details about the streets on the APA's website here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

And one more

Engineering for Walking and Bicycling: How Is It Changing? How Is Davis Involved?
Oct. 26, 2012 1:30 - 3:00 Pacific Time

Rock Miller of Stantec Consulting will present an overview of his professional career in transportation with highlights on many of the significant walking and bicycling projects he has worked on. Miller's work has helped Santa Monica to be designated as a Walk Friendly City and for Long Beach to become a Bicycle Friendly Community. He just returned after leading a delegation of ITE leaders on a tour of bicycle facilities in the Netherlands. This delegation will prepare a report on how to adapt promising European design approaches to U.S. cities. This work will be incorporated into his presentation.

Miller will also indicate how a growing number of Davis grads of the 1970's and 1980's are now combining their early bicycle transportation experiences with their current positions to help guide the transformation of the U.S. into a more walk- and bike-friendly country.

Register here.

Upcoming webinars

Get Inspired: Ideas to Refresh, Re-energize, and Reframe Safe Routes to School
10/23/12, 10:00-11:00 Pacific Time

Join Mark Fenton, a widely recognized and vocal advocate for the importance of walking and bicycling in communities, for a big picture look at the current state of Safe Routes to School. What have we achieved? Where are we headed? How can we get there? And how does SRTS fit into the larger healthy communities movement?

Mark will share his perspective on what he has observed in the world of SRTS, specifically discussing how key partner groups see SRTS and what we should be prioritizing moving forward. This webinar will leave you inspired, energized and ready to take your SRTS work to the next level.

Mark Fenton is a national public health, planning, and transportation consultant, and an adjunct associate professor at Tufts University in Boston.

Register here.

FHWA Webinar on Transportation and Health
10/23/12, 11:00-12:30 Pacific Time

This webinar will discuss planning research initiatives planned or underway that are related to transportation and health. Speakers include representatives from FHWA, the John A. VOLPE National Transportation Systems Center, the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Puget Sound Regional Council, the San Diego Association of Governments, and Sacramento Area Council of Governments. They will address research underway and highlight case studies and best practices for taking a holistic approach to health in the transportation planning process.

Register here.

Walking in San Francisco: How SF Safety and Walkability Compare to Best Practices
11/16/12 12:00-1:00 Pacific Time

San Francisco has received recognition as one of the most walkable cities in the U.S., but also has high levels of pedestrian injuries and fatalities per capita. This talk will cover San Francisco's innovative Pedestrian Strategy and compare it to trend setters such as New York City and London.

Register here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

This week on foot

Photo credit: Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune

In a surprising twist, this week we learn that More parks don't mean more walking. At least according to one study. At least there's no question that more safety can lead to more walking, which is why
Arizona road-safety focus switches to pedestrians. And it's not just Arizona-- there was a Statewide pedestrian safety campaign launched in North Carolina, Hamilton can improve pedestrian safety with more 'complete streets' and the oddly-named DARN, Keller Williams and ADA complete walkability study for downtown Asheville. I guess Washington D.C. is ahead of the curve with Foggy Bottom: One Of D.C.'s First 'WalkUP' Neighborhoods.

Elsewhere in the country State Transportation Officials Doing More To Keep Train Fatalities, Suicides Down, and it's a battle of Parking versus pedestrian in Willoughby district, while a new Stevenage giant cycle lane creates pedestrian confusion in the UK.

Meanwhile, we're wondering: Pedestrian crossing signs in Windber: help or hindrance? I guess they're not wondering in New Jersey, where Eight communities in Hunterdon County will receive 'Stop for Pedestrians' signs.

It's bridges, not signs, that have some people raising their eyebrows here in LA, where Critics question $20M pedestrian bridge at Lankershim Boulevard. Oh well, at least they're Thinking outside the box on a walk through Paw Paw

 Finally this week, check out the IG of the Day: Walking Communities.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cool Ped Stuff #25: BestWALK

Walk audits just got a little easier (for San Diegans, at least) with the new BestWALK app from WalkSanDiego. From WSD:

Why don’t we walk? One of the primary reasons is that our streets (and therefore our neighborhoods, communities, and quite literally, our lives) are designed around the automobile. BestWALK was designed to help us take back the street. Join friends and walkers of all ages to use the BestWALK smart phone app and rate what it’s like to walk in your community. Your efforts will create a regional Walk Scorecard rating walkability in our neighborhoods and cities and contribute to a map of improvements for future funding.

WalkSanDiego has downloaded a street network into the BestWALK phone app that allows the user to document how easy and pleasant it is to walk and cross the streets of cities throughout San Diego County.

We have a network of 4,000 streets waiting to be rated! Ratings are provided for both intersections and street segments. The data you enter not only produces a rating, it also populates a map of improvements needed around the region. The more information we have on walkability around the San Diego region, the better equipped we are to advocate for improvements. With your help, we can advocate for specific improvements.

Dowload it today and help WSD reach their goal of 30,321 ratings--and also check our their new blog on the blogroll.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Walk to School Day!

Every October for the past 15 years, kids around the world ditched their (parents') cars and jumped on the walking school bus to celebrate International Walk to School Day. Last year there were over 4,000 registered schools participating, and this year over 400 schools in California have events planned.

Rates of children walking or biking to school have decreased steadily over the past four decades, from nearly 50 percent in 1969 to a paltry 13 percent in 2009. Not surprisingly, parents cite concerns over safety as the key reason they don't allow their kids to walk to school, which is why programs like Safe Routes to School are so important. Get the full list of schools and info about how you can join in here.

Happy walking!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Cool Ped Stuff #24: Rode Dog

Rode Dog is a new anti-distracted-driving app that's the brainchild of a...child. Well, at 11 she might take issue with that characterization, but it's still an impressive accomplishment for someone who's still years away from driving herself. Victoria Walker won an AT&T hackathon--and $20,000-- to develop the app, which will allow users to hijack the phones of members of their "packs" (i.e. family and friends) when they text and drive, using the devices to "bark" incessently at the texters until they put down the phone and concentrate on driving.

No word yet on whether it can be used to curb other annoying behaviors. Can we work on something that will let me use my phone to zap the people who cut me off in traffic because they're talking on their phone?