Monday, May 9, 2011

America Walks Wants Your Opinion

America Walks has created a survey to help gather better information about walking habits throughout the country. The survey is open until June 3--but why not do it now? Here are all the details from America Walks:

Help America Walks and its partner organizations learn more about who walks, and why we walk. This survey will take only 5 minutes to complete and results are anonymous.

The National Walking Survey will help walking advocates understand what motivates avid walkers and what prevents others from walking more. The difference between those who are "avid walkers" and the more "reluctant walkers" is not well studied. How effective is encouragement from relatives, health professionals, employers, others? What can we learn about the messages that actually get someone afoot and those that don't? When someone has a choice of walking or not, is a dog or human companion the motivator to take the trip on foot? How crucial are factors like destinations within walking distance, pleasant and safe surroundings? Or is the difference between those who walk more and less a matter of available time or other demographics? The National Walking Survey is a start in answering these crucial questions. Take the survey; share the National Walking Survey!

When the data is analyzed, America Walks will publish what we've learned so all walking advocates can be more targeted in their work to promote walking in America.

Friday, May 6, 2011

This Week on Foot

It's been quite the positive week here in the world of walking, with lots of new projects and plans to address some of our most challenging pedestrian problems. Starting here in the Southern California region, a New Livable Streets Group Rises in Alhambra, in ENCINITAS: Pedestrian rail tunnel plans OK'd and nearby a New fence beautifies Chollas Creek, enhances walkability.

Meanwhile in Santa Monica they're trying to address pedestrian Safety at farmers market: Heavy-duty nets to protect pedestrians at Santa Monica Farmers Market, and Construction to Begin on Pedestrian-Friendly Alley in Hollywood.

Further north, a Bay Area Plan Would Turn Fisherman's Wharf Into a Pedestrian's Paradise, and in San Jose the New Bethel Island Bridge Wider, More Pedestrian Friendly, while in Sacramento Congresswoman Matsui Introduces Safe and Complete Streets Legislation .

Elsewhere in the country, South Portland wants pedestrian freeway crossing in urban renewal plan (good timing, since this week the Oregon Senate OKs pedestrian safety bill but first debates the Beatles and pork chops). And Oregon isn't the only place thinking about pedestrian design. AARP Vermont commits $30,000 to fund community design work, and in the DC area Operation Safe Streets cracks down on county drivers. (And a good thing they are, because we're reminded this week of the constant danger pedestrians face by the sad story of a 6-year-old girl killed in South L.A. hit-and-run; driver sought ). Overall, it's clear that US Mayors Want More Bicycle and Pedestrian Investments, as does everyone else in the country.

And it's not just the US that's contemplating ped problems this week. In Australia a Safety message goes out to pedestrians, while in the UK a New system blamed as two pedestrians hit within days--making it all the more important that The Libertarian School of Street Design Takes London. Finally, as we learn from this piece in the India Journal: Jaywalking, It's a Menace...Seriously. Hmm. Guess they didn't get the memo yet in India that streets are for people, not just cars...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jane's Walk This Weekend

Jane's Walk is a series of free neighborhood walking tours that helps put people in touch with their environment and with each other, by bridging social and geographic gaps and creating a space for cities to discover themselves. Unfortunately, Los Angeles is not hosting a walk this year--but if you live in one of these apparently-much-more-awesome cities, you too can invoke the spirit of Jane Jacob while getting to know your city better on foot.

Click on the name of the city for more info:

Anchorage, AK
Austin, TX
Baton Rouge, LA
Brunswick, ME
Boston, MA
Chattanooga, TN
Heber Valley, UT
Houston, TX
Jackson, MS
Kansas City, MO
Mesa, AZ
New York City, NY
New Orleans, LA
Oakland, CAOrange, NJPhiladelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
Santa Fe, NM
Scranton, PA
Tempe, AZ
Waterbury, CT

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS)

Data geeks can get their fix from this cool new tool from our friends at that "other" transportation school up north, UC Berkeley. Researchers at the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) have developed TIMS to provide data and mapping analysis tools and information for traffic safety related research, policy and planning.

You can find and map info on crash rates, causes, victims, and more using data complied from state and federal crash databases. Much of the data is California-centric, but you can get some info on crashes elsewhere in the US.

Users must register for a free account to access the system, available online here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cool Ped Stuff #14: Green (Tree) Crossings

China might have the fastest-growing market for cars, but that also makes it the fastest-growing market for pedestrian advocacy. Enter this awesome crosswalk design/advocacy campaign: