Thursday, November 5, 2009

This week on foot

It's been a rough week for pedestrians.

In Scotland, vehicles just can't seem to keep their tires out of the town of Thurso's pedestrian zone. Drivers abusing pedestrian area

Then, in Austria a Pensioner dies after avoiding zebra crossing. Note the not-so-subtle laying of blame on the pedestrian, who carelessly crossed a full five meters away from the designated crosswalk. No mention of the driver who carelessly hit her.

It just goes to show, Even on a sidewalk, pedestrians must be wary--or at least they should be according to the Texas jury that refused to award damges to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle while walking on the sidewalk because he admitted he "hadn't been paying attention to the cars around him." Which would make sense. Because he was on the sidewalk.

And if you think Texas is a tough place for pedestsrians, consider Ohio, where we learn of Youngstown's plans to demolish pesky pedestrian bridge. Maybe that will get rid of those pesky pedestrians.

Of course, bicyclists in LA are getting their share of jabs also:
Bicycle ire from cyclists, motorists and pedestrians. And then there's cycling on the sidewalk...

At least London has something to cheer about. London Pedestrians Cross at New Japanese-style "Scramble Crossing"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

LA 2.0 - December 5, GOOD Think Space

Do your friends and family refuse to listen to your latest pontification about the sad state of our city's streets? Want to spend some time with a bunch of people who don't suddenly remember other important things they have to do when you mention the words "smart growth"? Check out the upcoming think tank sponsored by GOOD Magazine, Sheridan/Hawkes, and the Public Studio.

The plan is to spend an afternoon inter-disciplinary collaboration, emerging with "a list of the top five catalytic strategies to improve the physical urban environment of Los Angeles." All the juicy details are available here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Piano Stairs

Setting aside the somewhat suspicious fact that this project is sponsored by a car company, I like the "theory" that making walking fun will encourage more people to do it. Of course, that's the entire premise of walkability: creating pleasant pedestrian environments makes people want to walk. Obviously we aren't going to integrate musical instruments into every sidewalk (or could we?), but we can provide street furniture, trees, art, and other elements that lend foot travel panache instead of tedium.

Pedestrian injured in Oak View

A pedestrian was seriously injured in a crash on Sunday evening in the Oak View community, the Ventura County Star reports. The 32-year-old victim was crossing North Ventura Avenue outside of a marked crosswalk when he was hit.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This week on foot

Powell gets ready to incorporate 'pedestrian scale' guidelines
Controversy over a proposed big-box retailer leads a Missouri suburb to adopt clearer requirements for pedestrian-friendly development.

Montgomery aims to improve pedestrian safety in parking lots
Startled by the number of pedestrian crashes in parking lots, a D.C.-area county works to improve parking lot safety.

Residents fight crossing closure
Residents of the UK city Wareham argue that eliminating the main pedestrian crossing over the town's rail line would split the community in half. Safety officials argue that keeping it in place would hurt pedestrians even more.

Experts have few answers about spike in train-pedestrian fatalities
Across the ocean, US officials struggle with similar problems.

K-rails are affecting pedestrians, kids
Glendale parents complain that barriers put in place to protect homes from mudslide damage interfere with walking routes to local schools.

Salute all cars kids. It's a rule in China
But at least their children don't have to salute every passing car.