Friday, April 29, 2011

This week on foot

It has been such a busy week for pedestrians, I hardly know where to begin. Let's start with bridges: In New York, the Mother Of All Pedestrian Bridges To Connect Brooklyn Parks, while down south Old pedestrian bridge to be removed in Louisiana and up north Foxborough Selectmen Support Pedestrian Bridge.

Closer to home (for me, anyway) Glendale clears path for pedalers and pedestrians, while in Northern California folks consider  Oakland's pedestrian dangers. As we know, one of those dangers is distracted driving, which is why it's encouraging to hear that Motorists who text or talk on hand-held phones face stiffer penalties under Senate measure.

And the California Senate isn't the only group thinking about pedestrian safety this week. Under Pressure, AASHTO Withdraws Objection to Stronger Bike-Ped Rules , while in Baltimore Citizen fights Fells Point pedestrian changes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PBIC Recognizes Walk Friendly Communities

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has announced the its 2011 Walk Friendly Communities, and I'm pleased to see that my hometown of Seattle tops the list as the only city with a "Platinum" designation. The new program, sponsored by the PBIC, the Federal Highway Administration, and FedEx, recognizes communities that stand out in their commitment to pedestrian safety, access, and comfort. According to program manager Carl Sundstron, "The WFC designation recognizes communities that help set the bar in fostering and accommodating walking." Here's the full list of designees:

Platinum Level

Gold Level

Silver Level


Don't see your community on the list? Online applications for next year's program are available May 1.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A new twist on the marked crosswalk debate

You run across some odd stuff when you're wandering around the internet in search of pedestrian info. Take this Special Report from Project Consumer Justice, a site that describes it's purpose as to "honestly report on consumer, legal and political issues important to the American civil justice system."

The article details a $12 million settlement in a San Mateo lawsuit over a ped-vehicle crash that left a 17-year-old woman in a permanent vegetative state. The victim was struck while crossing at a marked crosswalk on a six-lane roadway. During the trial, lawyers for the victim cited Caltrans "dirty little secret" about "when marked crosswalks can be more dangerous for pedestrians." As evidence, they pointed to the infamous 1972 Herms Crosswalk Study, explaining how it proved that marked crosswalks gave pedestrians a "false sense of security."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

One more walking event

On May 13, the American Planning Association's California Planning Foundation will be offering two day-long Sustainability Walking Tours, one in Sacramento and one in Santa Monica.

Downtown Sacrament Shining Places Tour
  • Railyards mixed use project
  • Elliott Building
  • 1801 mixed use project
  • Downtown Ally Activation project
Downtown Santa Monica Sustainability Tour
  • SMURFF (urban runoff facility)
  • 502 Colorado Court (solar senior housing)
  • Main Library (LEED certified)
  • Award-winning Santa Monica General Plan
  • Public Safety Building & Civic Auditorium
  • Global Green & bioswale tour
$135 Non APA member
$100 APAP members
$35 Planning students

Registration and additional information available online here.

Upcoming Walking Events

A few activites to keep you busy over the next month:

The Road to Health: Improving Community Wellbeing Through Transportation
From safe routes to school and accessible public transit, to impacting your regional transportation plan, our convening will provide insight into creating more sustainable, healthy, and active communities. Featuring presentations from TransForm and local advocates, the convening will include:
  • An overview of the impact of transportation on community health
  • Presentations on local advocacyefforts to ensure cleaner air, safer streets, and accessible services
  • Opportunities to advocate on local, statewide, and federal policy efforts to influence transportation policy and planning

Los Angeles – April 27, 2011
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
The California Endowment
1000 North Alameda Street
San Diego – May 4, 2011
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Sherman Heights Community Center
2258 Island Avenue

Registration is $25 for General Public, $10 for CPEHN Network Members. Register online here.

May 2 - Online Pedestrian Survey
Join California WALKS and America Walks in collecting valuable data on who walks and why we walk!  America Walks is sponsoring an online survey among its members and affiliated organizations to understand what characterizes avid walkers and what distinguishes them from those less inclined to walk. The survey is not lengthy, is easy to fill out, and is designed to provide information usable in developing actionable steps to promote walking in the United States.
Check out the survey here.