Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pedestrian/Bicycle Data Collection and Prioritization Survey

The National Cooperative Highway Research Program and Transportation Research Board would like your help in understanding pedestrian and bicycle prioritization strategies. Please give them a hand by completing a brief survey, available online here.

More info on the project and survey from NCHRP and TRB:

This survey asks about methodologies for collecting and analyzing bicycle and pedestrian data and prioritizing pedestrian and bicycle projects. We seek input from federal agencies, states, MPOs, counties, local jurisdictions of all sizes, transit agencies, colleges and universities, school districts, and public works and utililties departments. We also seek input from private sector transportation professionals, academics, non-profits, activists, and others. EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE A METHODOLOGY, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! We will use this information to develop recommended methodologies for transportation agencies to evaluate and prioritize improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists along existing roads.

This survey should take about 20 minutes to complete (but I finished it more quickly than that, so you probably can too!). Surveys should be submitted by Friday, November 4, 2011.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Best Trick-or-Treat for your Feet

Real estate site Zillow has once again released its annual list of the best US cities for trick-or-treating. Using data on walkability, population density, crime, and home value, Zillow ranks the top 20 cities for candy gathering, along with the best neighborhoods for little ghouls in each city. (Here in LA, that would be Westwood, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Bel Air, and Venice.)

  1.  San Francisco
  2. Boston
  3. Honolulu
  4. Seattle
  5. Chicago
  6. San Jose
  7. Washington
  8. Los Angeles
  9. Philadelphia
  10. Portland
  11. Minneapolis
  12. Pittsburgh
  13. San Diego
  14. Cleveland
  15. Miami
  16. Denver
  17. Milwaukee
  18. Virginia Beach
  19. Baltimore
  20. Albuquerque 

Friday, October 21, 2011

This Week on Foot

This week the Transportation Enhancements Program Beats Back Another Assault from the Senate, but we're still in the midst of The War On Kids, the Elderly, and Other People Who Walk--and their pets, like in TEMECULA: Pedestrian, 81, and dog killed Sunday.

And it's not just in California that folks are worried: 2011 pedestrian deaths causing concern in Arizona, and Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise in Reno. It kind of makes you want to avoid the well-intentioned advice of Transportationist, who suggests you Walk don't run across crosswalks to emphasize the point that roads aren't just for vehicles.

Fortunately in Jakarta they aren't as wimpy as me, where Pedestrians fight for their right to sidewalks. And congratulations are in order for our friends in India, where Model footpaths planned on five roads thanks to their advocacy efforts.

Back here in LA, the City considers making homeowners responsible for sidewalk repairs and legally liable for mishaps, which of course outrages Daily News readers here in the Valley. Fortunately in some places they're more enthusiastic about pedestrian improvements, like in Texas where according to a Dallas council member: Time to act on Complete Streets. Similarly, San Mateo plans to make city streets safer for pedestrians, but funding questions linger.

Funding is also a question for a small city in Canada, where a Pedestrian overpass over roundabout would be pricey. At least it wouldn't be a Bridge to nowhere: Pedestrian bridge linking students to classrooms in southwest Loveland closed. Maybe a better idea is just to add a pedestrian path, like in Pennsylvania where Fahy Bridge to get pedestrian lane next to unsafe sidewalks.

Perhaps New York should try the same thing for some of its neighborhoods, as this week we learned that Midtown is NY's most dangerous for pedestrians. And you thought it was just New Yorkers' bad attitudes that were scary...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tell Your Story

The National Complete Streets Coalition is looking for real-life stories about the importance of complete streets in your community, and successes you've had in implementing them. In particular, they're looking for examples that demonstrate how
  • Complete Streets policies are necessary to accommodate existing users
  • Complete Streets can be achieved within existing budgets.
  • Complete Streets can lead to new transportation funding opportunities.
  • Complete Streets add lasting value.
Follow the directions here to share a few sentences, a quote or photograph about your experiences with complete streets.

Friday, October 14, 2011

This Week on Foot

It's a mixed bag in the pedestrian world this week. Pedestrian, bicyclist deaths down in Minn. but it's not so sunny in the town of Hampton Roads, Virginia, where Pedestrian deaths rise to level not seen in 4 years. And then, we're plagued by stories like this one of a Pedestrian hit, injured near hospital, driver takes off, police say in Charlotte, NC.

At least Ann Arbor officials say they're listening to concerns about pedestrian safety ordinance, and in Ithaca, NY the City to expand roadways for pedestrian commute. Closer to home, we learn of Arceo Walk, Small Investment, Big Changes in El Monte --but at the same time, there was a Pedestrian struck, killed on Santa Monica Fwy, a Pedestrian injured in suspected hit-and-run in Ventura, and the 15 year-old pedestrian, killed in Santa Barbara, has been identified.

Meanwhile, rail safety organization Operation Lifesaver Launches "Bad Move" Pedestrian Safety PSA With Online Contest. While I'm sure it's well-intentioned, I can't entirely get on board (so to speak) with a PSA that tells the tale of "a young couple who choose a dangerous place to walk," when so often the problem is that a safe route isn't a choice--I'd rather see a PSA that explains why a Pedestrian-friendly city should be priority for all.

Elsewhere in the world, Inconsistent signals puzzle pedestrians in Montreal--which is perhaps a better state of affairs than in Kingspark where a Pedestrian Crossing Sign Vanishes Days After Installed. At least they've kept their signs in Philadelphia, although it's a little half-hearted to say that Pedestrian yield signs aimed at voluntary compliance.

Next, in a stating of the obvious, Drivers and pedestrians blamed for mishaps in Fredricton, Canada. Perhaps in response to half of that problem. TRW Demonstrates Advanced Pedestrian Detection System With Automatic Emergency Braking.

Finally, we learn of A pedestrians only road for Ahmedabad, and wonder about Suburban sprawl: A Ponzi scheme? Perhaps, but as naysayers point out, Walkability is great, but having a Walmart nearby is better. Good thing there are still folks around to remind us Why walkability is important.