Friday, July 8, 2011

Cool Ped Stuff #16: People Powered Photo Contest

For all you pedestrisn photographers out there, a fun contest from tge Alliance For Biking and Walking:
The People Powered Movement Photo Contest addresses a critical need for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations. Bicycle and pedestrian advocates need high-quality images of biking and walking to make their campaigns and communications both professional and engaging. Our nationwide contest builds our online Photo Library, which provides hundreds of images for Alliance members to download and use at no cost. Support grassroots advocacy by submitting your best biking and walking photos for use in the Alliance’s photo library. Enter the 2011 People Powered Movement Photo Contest!

You could win:
The contest runs through October 31, 2011.
  • Online photo submissions will be accepted from August 1 to September 30.
  • Public voting will open October 1 and close October 31.
  • Winners will be announced in early 2012.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

This Week on Foot

It's shaping up to be a good week in the world of pedestrian safety. Here in the LA region, Metrolink proposals target pedestrian safety at downtown Burbank station. Meanwhile, there's One Complete Street at Atlanta Streets Alive, and even oil-lovin' Texans think that Dallas-Fort Worth should join global pedestrian trend. Under proposed legislation in New York,  Road projects would have to consider sidewalks and bike lanes, while on the national stage Electric, Hybrid Cars to Be Required to Sound Pedestrian Alerts.

Outside the US, there's good news as well. In Canada there are Cops targeting bad bicyclists, mean motorists, while (taking a page from other Latin American countries) Mimes Turn Silent Force For Traffic Safety in Honduras. And even though Zurich streets among Europe’s most congested, that's not stopping the city from continuing to favor pedestrians over cars. London's former mayor argues that city should follow suit, citing 2012 London Olympics 'Games Lanes deaths risk' if pedestrian crossing are removed for the games. 

But don't worry, I won't leave you without a little bad news to balance things out. First, there's an Alarming increase in pedestrian deaths in Bakersfield. And elsewhere we're reminded that Dated sidewalks often pose problems for pedestrians. If only that was the worst of our problems... 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The 10 Most Convenient US Cities

The Street recently released its list of the 10 most convenient cities in the US-- and by "convenient," they don't mean an abundance of free parking. In their words, "a convenient city is both walkable and easily accessible by public transportation, with jobs, schools, hospitals, groceries, entertainment and other amenities all within striking distance." Using from APTA, Zillow, and WalkScore, they identified cities where--in a least many neighborhoods-- you can leave the car behind and still accomplish many of your day-to-day tasks.

There aren't any big surprises on the list (except maybe Milwaukee), although I'm sure there are naysayers who would argue that LA shouldn't be in the top ten. As someone who resides in the so-called epitome of urban sprawl (an LA suburb), but can still walk to the grocery store, optometrist,  drugstore, bank, pet store, yoga studio, and numerous restaurants, I disagree. Without further ado, the top ten:
  • Boston
  • New York
  • Denver
  • Portland
  • Chicago
  • Washington, DC
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Milwaukee
  • Los Angeles

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Upcoming Walking Events

A plethora of ways for you to get involved in the pedestrian community this summer and fall:

Transportation Research Board
91st Annual Meeting
January 22-26, 2012
Call for Papers: Modelling pedestrians and motorized traffic

Societal issues present and future (aging, public health, developmentof new transportation modes) require a better knowledge of pedestrian travelsand behaviours as well as their interactions with the environment. To carry outthis work, simulation tools are playing an increasingly important role.In order to improve our knowledge, the pedestrian committee and the traffic flow theory committee are seeking papers for the 2012 TRB Annual Meeting.

Details are available here.

July 7, 2011 - 11:00 AM PDT
Webinar: Engineering Strategies

Examining a variety of engineering strategies, this presentation will provide participants with knowledge of the different types of improvements that have been shown to enhance safety forpedestrians. Specifically, instructors will present information about sidewalks, street crossings, intersection design, signals, transitconnections and road diets. Following the presentation, participants will be able to describe effective engineering strategies and understand how to integrate them into their pedestrian safety action plans. Sponsored by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety andthe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. AICP CM Credits: 1.5

Register here.

July 20, 2011 - 11:00 AM PDT
Webinar: Promising Practices and Solutions in Accessible Transportation: Signals for Pedestrians who are Blind - Overview of Current Issues and Available Training

As part of ESPA’s Promising Practices and Solutions in Accessible Transportation (PPSAT) series, Project ACTION and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will present a webinar Signals for Pedestrians Who are BlindOverview of Current Issues and Available Training. This webinar will provide an overview of accessible pedestrian signals (APS), how they are used by people who are blind, current standards governing their use, and how webinar attendees can host a free APS workshop offered through TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). NCHRP has initiated a project to develop guidelines and training materials for implementation of APS. A former APS workshop host and a former workshop participant will be featured to share their experiences.

Register  by July 15 here.

July 23, 2011
WalkSanDiego Community Walk

Mt Soledad/Back Roads of La Jolla
Free -WalkSanDiego members, suggested $5.00 Non-Member donation
RSVP and additional information: Dave Schumacher

August 6, 2011
WalkSanDiego Community Walk

Coronado Historic Walk
Free -WalkSanDiego members, suggested $5.00 Non-Member donation
RSVP and additional information: Dave Schumacher

August 21, 2011
WalkSanDiego Community Walk

Special Sunday Walk Through Balboa Park Trails
Free -WalkSanDiego members, suggested $5.00 Non-Member donation
RSVP and additional information: Dave Schumacher

WalkSanDiego Fall Walking Tour Weekend in Los Angeles

WalkSanDiego is looking into organizing a fall weekend walking tour to explore some of these hidden gems that showcase the real LA ---including old staircases that were scenes in old Laurel and Hardy/Three Stoogies movies, narrow/twisty streets in historic neighborhoods, unusual bridges, and a walk up to the Griffith Observatory and Hollywood sign!

Walks each day would 8-10 miles in length, but at a relaxed pace with plenty of stops at coffee bars in the morning, enjoyable lunch spots, and ice cream/gelato shops in the afternoon. If you are potentially interested in joining WSD, please contact Dave Schumacher.

September 11-14, 2011
California APA Conference

The California Chapter presents Mission: Possible, a statewide conference that provides networking and educational opportunities for its members. These popular conferences attract planning professionals from throughout California, the United States, and around the world.

Additional information available here.
February 2-4, 2012
New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

Sun, Surf, and Smart Growth: The 11th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference will be held in San Diego, CA.

Additional information available here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This week on foot

This week, further evidence that people are crazy out there. First, in Florida St. Andrews resident demands pedestrians yield to golfers (or rather golf carts) instead of the other way around. And closer to home, UCLA students criticize parking enforcement changes in Westwood that prevent them from parking in crosswalks. Now, as a former UCLA student myself I understand the parking problem in Westwood--but that's no excuse for blocking pedestrian access. It makes you wonder, Can LA Afford to Neglect Its Bike and Pedestrian Infrastructure?

Meanwhile, Bike Lanes, Crosswalks, Pedestrian Signals Coming to Dahab Crash Corner in Culver City and New Signage to Guide Pedestrians in Four Neighborhoods in New York. But elsewhere in that city a Dangerous Queens Intersection Has Pedestrians Worried. Perhaps its fortunate then, that a 
Traffic Safety Boards target distracted drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Of course, that comes a little to late for one pedestrian in Washington, where an Officer’s text message ruled a factor in pedestrian fatality. At least in Tennessee a new "Due Care" law strengthens protections for Tennessee bicyclists, pedestrians

Further abroad, things are also looking positive this week. In Portugal Downtown Vilamoura improvements for greater pedestrian safety, and its a Smooth walk for south Mumbai pedestrians. In Canada Cops tell cyclists to stay off sidewalks, while European Cities Choose Walkability Over Traffic Flow. But watch out if you're in New Zealand, where Bus lanes blamed for pedestrian toll.

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!