Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Great LA Walk

And for the umpteenth year in a row, I will be out of town for the Great LA Walk--but if you're in LA this Saturday, you should take a stroll down Wilshire with a few hundred of your new best friends. Get the details here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cool Ped Stuff #11: Mockumentaries

Behold, the Plight of the North American Bipeds

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This Week on Foot

As Angelenos continue to discuss the low penalties for drivers who injure or kill pedestrians, elsewhere in the country the pedestrian deaths go on. In Minnesota a Grand Avenue pedestrian death appears to be 'tragic accident', while in Michigan a Pedestrian who died could've had a ride. Both of these crashes happened after dark, which is why the folks in Oregon remind us that with the change in daylight savings time (and in the season), Dark, slick roads set the stage to endanger pedestrians.

Outside the US things aren't so bright for pedestrians either. In Wales there is a Business man’s objection to Rhos on Sea pedestrian crossing because it takes up his parking spaces, and the Vancouver Sun reminds us that Pedestrian-train collisions take their toll on operators, too.

Of course, we can admit that sometimes drivers aren't at fault. In Denver Boulder police ticket pedestrian struck by car after the pedestrian crossed against a light (while drunk). I understand the ticket, though the broken leg probably sends a stronger message.

Elsewhere in the country, cities are taking action to protect pedestrians. There are New pedestrian street markings in Chicago , a High-intensity activated crosswalk for pedestrian safety installed on Huron Street in Ann Arbor, and in Montana Cyclists, walkers cruise through new Main Street tunnel.

Other places are looking at pedestrian issues as well. Connecticut's Walk/Bike Summit Forum Examines How 'Complete Streets' Will Aid Cyclists, Walkers, and a new Ventura video illustrates planning for connection, walkability, quality. If the photo simulations the video shows ever come true, I might just consider sticking around this county...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When the Punishment Doesn't Fit the Crime

Damien Newton over at Streetsblog LA beat me to this blog post (that's what happens when you only get to blog part time) about the recent spate of pedestrian fatalities in the valley. First there was high school student Conor Lynch, who was killed crossing Woodman Ave. Then there was Emely Aleman, killed crossing Laurel Canyon Boulevard. And the penalty for the drivers of the vehicles who killed these two? A misdemeanor, with a maximum one year sentence.

Does this strike anyone else as a little lenient?

To be clear, neither driver has been accused of anything beyond "merely" hitting a pedestrian--no DUIs, hit-and-runs, or otherwise driving recklessly. So, while a civil court may determine that a stiff fine is in order, local and state law limit the criminal charges that these drivers can face.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Other Favorite Pocket Park

I've been meaning to blog about this park in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood for ages. It's been around for 10 years or so, but I doubt many people walking down India Street would realize it's there--which is maybe what I like the most about it. Here's the view from the sidewalk:

I'm sure most people passing by assume that this leads to a private building entrance or someone's office, and in part they would be right; the park is actually a "quasi public" space meant to serve as open space for some adajacent apartments, as well as a park for general use.

It's not too inviting at first, but go a few feet further and suddenly you're presented with this:
 And this!
I think it's these kind of surprises that make walking such a great mode of transportation. There's a sense of discovery that you just won't ever get with a car (because you go to fast to take in the finer details of a neighborhood) or even transit (with its set routes and rigid schedules). And in the interest of promoting that kind of exploration, I'm not going to tell you exactly where this park is. You'll just have to take a walk and find it for yourself.