Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cool Ped Stuff # 7: Photovoice

I love this project, sponsored by Safe Kids Worldwide, that handed cameras to kids in seven differnt countries and asked them to document the pedestrian environment in their neighborhood. Many of the problems that children identified in Photovoice: Children's Perspectives on Road Traffic Safety were addressed in subsequent roadway improvement projects, leading to safer walking for kids worldwide. What a great lesson for children about the power of pedestrian advocacy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This week on Foot

What is going on with the trains this week? An Amtrak train kills female pedestrian in Wash., a Train hits, kills pedestrian in Indy, a Second person fatally hit by Southern California train--yikes! No wonder the folks in south Los Angeles were concered after the Expo Line gets OK for street-level crossing next to Dorsey High.

Maybe we should all head over to Chicago, where an NU forum targets pedestrian-train accidents. Or perhaps we could learn something from the folks across the Atlantic, where trains and walkers are both more prevalent. Of course, the Europeans have their own troubles. In Paris, the NY Times forecasts a Watery Future for the City of Light. A battle is brewing over the expressways bordering the River Seine, and it's not clear yet if the future belongs to cars or to pedestrians and bicycles.

Things are looking a little better for walkers in the UK, where London trials Pedestrian Countdown technology. And back on this side of the ocean, the folks who brought you WalkScore ponder the idea of Measuring neighborhood diversity and liveliness with ‘JaneScore’ (named for planner extraordinaire Jane Jacobs). Hmm. My neighborhood has a high WalkScore, but I'm not so sure it would do as well by Jane's standards...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's PEATON MAN!

Yes, the Pedestrians' Super Hero ( "Peaton" is "pedestrian" in Spanish) has taken an extra long walk from Ecuador to Spain to help promote pedestrian rights in Sevilla, and our friends at Peatones de Sevilla (Sevilla Pedestrians) have put together this short film about his efforts. For the non-Spanish speakers, I've thrown in a translation after the jump.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Upcoming Walking Events

A SRTS webinar, a passel of community walks, and an opportunity (or seven) for you to shape the future of transportation policy in California...

Safe Routes to School Webinar Sponsored by America Walks
June 29th 10:00 am

Join us for a webinar to learn about three recent grant recipients of the National Center for Safe Routes to School mini-grant program. An overview of the program will be presented and representatives of the receipient schools will discuss how the mini-grant helped their programs. Register at http://www.americawalks.org/

Community Walks Sponsored by Walk San Diego
The walks are open to everyone; they are free to WalkSanDiego members, with a suggested $5 donation for non-members. For further information, contact Dave Schumacher or visit http://www.walksandiego.org/.

Saturday, June 26, 9:00 a.m - Kensington I Walk (meet in front of the Kensington Library, 4121 Adams Ave)

Join us for a two mile walk through the core area of Kensington, focusing on the commercial area and some of the surrounding residential neighborhoods, with highlights of its history and architecture. Walk will conclude by 10:20am in time for folks to attend the Kensington Clean Energy Festival taking place between 10:30am and 2:30pm. This is the first of two walks in Kensington.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This Week on Foot

The week started out with sad news about a Pedestrian Killed in Cahuenga Pass Collision.

But, before we get too discouraged about the dismal state of walking out there, we can take heart at this news: Nissan LEAF equipped with warning sounds for pedestrians. At least there will be one less silent-but-deadly hybrid prowling the streets out there.

Still, no matter how noisy the vehicle, most drivers could still use a few lessons in Crossing Courtesy, as this article on dangerous pedestrian conditions in the Philippines points out.

Of course, teaching courtesy in the Phillippines might be easier than Trying to Breathe Life Into a Canyon of Concrete. Nonetheless, that's what the Alliance for Downtown New York are trying to do.

Perhaps they'll have better luck with the task than Michigan, where city planners wonder, Is Kalamazoo cool enough to hold onto its college graduates? Maybe, but only if they can lure then in by creating a vibrate, walkable city for them to call home.

And for those Kalamazoo grads trying to figure out just how walkable their potential new home might be, Real estate listings add 'walk scores' for neighborhood desirability. Just one more sign of how the pedestrian environment can influence housing choices.