Friday, October 29, 2010

This Week on Foot

The big pedestrian story this week in Los Angeles is that of 3 youths held in Eastside school bus crash that killed a pedestrian and injured numerous students--but sadly Ventura County is holding its own with pedestrian mishaps, where Boy, 11, hit by car, critically injured in Oxnard and Pedestrian identified in apparent T.O. hit-and-run death.

All these crashes got SoapBox LA thinking about The Politics of Crosswalks , while across the internet Infrastructurists ponders The Rise of the Walkable City.

Perhaps the real fix for the (lack of) pedestrian safety is self-driving vehicles. Not to be outdone by Google's recent efforts, in China 4 vans travel 8,000 miles without drivers and with few incidents (they weren't quite able to handle Moscow's traffic jams, which doesn't bode well for LA).

Meanwhile, one US court rules four-year-old cyclist can be sued after colliding with pedestrian, while another Judge blocks Venice boardwalk permit system, agreeing with the argument that the system violates free speech rights. But it's pedestrian rights that folks in India are worred about, where sidewalk Encroachments spell doom on roads.

With all the battling over who gets to use the public space, is it any wonder that in New York a Pedestrian-Only Ramp Proposed For Ferry Terminal?

Finally, as the holiday weekend nears, transportation authorities across the country are warning folks of the pedestrian safety risks associated with trick-or-treating. The Tennessee Highway Patrol notes that Halloween most dangerous day of year for pedestrian injuries, deaths among young children  and the Ohio DOT points out that  Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes Double Before Halloween.

Here in California things are relatively safer, as the Number of Californians Hit by Cars Jumps 25% On Halloween, but if you ask me that's still a pretty scary statistic. If you're hunting for the safest spots for candy gathering, you might start with the top-ranked neighborhoods on Zillows Trick or Treating Index (see yesterday's post). But no matter what you get up to on foot this weekend, be careful. Remember, It's always a walk on the wild side for pedestrians.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Best LA Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating

Real estate website extraordinaire Zillow has released it's list of the top five neighborhoods for gleaning candy from strangers this year. Neighborhoods were ranked using the semi-scientific
Zillow Trick-or-Treat Housing Index, which considers the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), population density, Walk Score and local crime data for each locale.

Zillow weights each variable equally, so an area's walk score only counts for 25 percent of the total index--which probably explains how Beverly Hills made this list (try strolling down the BH stretch of Sunset and tell me that neighborhood is safe for walking). Still, I'm glad to see a site like Zillow recognizing the importance of walking, even if it's only for one night a year.

And without further ado, top neighborhoods are:
1. Beverly Hills
2. Venice
3. Hancock Park
4. Studio City
5. Westchester

So what do you think? Are other places in LA are better haunts for little ghouls and goblins?

Oh, and in case you're out of town for the holiday, you can check out the Zillow blog for the best trick-or-treating spots in all of its Top 20 Trick or Treat Cities.

There's irony in here somewhere...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cool Ped Stuff #10: Bloggers

And you thought I was the only one crazy enough to spend my spare time writing about pedestrians. No indeed, there's quite a confederation of us out there. I've listed some of these in my blogroll, but I think all of them are worth checking out (with the help of google translate, if necessary).

In English:
TBD on Foot (Washington, DC)
Pedestrianist (San Francisco, CA)
Twin City Sidewalks (Minneapolis/St. Paul. MN)
Walk Around Portland (Portland, ME)
Coeur d'Alene Pedestrian & Bicycle Blog (Coeur d'Alene, ID)
WalkBikeJersey Blog

In Spanish:
Pedestre "Pedestrian" (Mexico City, Mexico)
Diario de un Peaton "Everday Life of a Pedestrian" (Madrid, Spain)

Monday, October 25, 2010

SCAG Ped Planning Goes 2.0

For those of you who dream of writing a Regional Transportation Plan (or is that just me?), SCAG has finally given you a chance with its new Bike Ped Wiki. Just create a user profile, sign in, and you're free to add your own thoughts, edits, pictures, and any other content you can come up with to the wiki, which will ultimately be incorporated into the official plan next summer. The kind folks at SCAG have populated the pages with some content to get you started, but the rest is up to you.