Monday, November 7, 2011

Research and Resources

Wow, there is a whole bunch of great stuff out there these days for pedestrian advocates.
Model Design Manual for Living Streets
Courtesy of the County of LA, this new manual has been generating a lot of buzz in the Complete Streets world. More info from the authors:
"The Model Street Design Manual was created during a 2-day writing charrette, which brought together national experts in living streets concepts. This effort was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. This manual focuses on all users and all modes, seeking to achieve balanced street design that accommodates cars while ensuring that pedestrians, cyclists and transit users can travel safely and comfortably. This manual also incorporates features to make streets lively, beautiful, economically vibrant as well as environmentally sustainable."

American Council of the Blind Pedestrian Safety Handbook
The third edition of the Council's Pedestrian Safety Handbook, the new online version of the handbook is envisioned as a "living document" that can be updated on an ongoing basis to address evolving vehicle technology and roadway design feathers.

Pedestrian Countermeasure Policy Best Practice Report
A discussion of relevant policies related to medians, refuge islands, walkways and shoulders from several states throughout the US.
State Best Practice Policy for Shoulders and Walkways
A brief summary of three state departments of transportation (New York State Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation) that have implemented policies and plans that promote the inclusion of paved shoulders and walkways.
State Best Practice Policy for Medians
A short description of three agencies that have implemented policies and plans that promote the inclusion of raised medians: the New York State Department of Transportation, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and the Florida Department of Transportation.
Safe Routes to School: Helping Communities Save Lives and Dollars
A comprehensive discussion of the SRTS program, along with specific data covering a variety of areas (e.g. traffic congestion, busing costs, physical activity) to help advocates make the case for SRTS.
Street Network Types and Road Safety: A Study of 24 California Cities
This study uses data from over 130,000 crashes in 24 cities to evaluate whether or not street network types affect roadway safety. The results show a correlation between roadway safety and both street network density and connectivity, with the highest risk of fatal or severe crashes occurring with very low street network density, and safety outcomes improving as intersection density increases.

Predicting Walkability
This research provides new methodologies for predicting the quality of the walking environment from the perspective of the user using operational and physical variables. The formulas were derived by combining the perception data gathered from participants in the community street reviews with measurements of the walking environment.

The Street Level Built Environment and Physical Activity and Walking: Results of a Predictive Validity Study for the Irvine Minnesota Inventory
The Irvine Minnesota Inventory (IMI) was designed to measure environmental features that may be associated with physical activity and particularly walking. This study assesses how well the IMI predicts physical activity and walking behavior and develops shortened, validated audit tools.

The authors find that while this inventory provides reliable measurement of urban design features, only some of these features present associations with increased or decreased walking. Characteristics of the sidewalk infrastructure, street crossings and traffic speeds, and land use are more strongly associated with walking for travel, while factors that measure aesthetics are typically less strongly associated with walking for travel.

Crossing Solutions at Roundabouts and Channelized Turn Lanes for Pedestrians with Disabilities
This report explores concerns over the accessibility of two complex intersection forms for pedestrians who are blind: intersections with channelized right turn lanes and modern roundabouts with one-lane and two-lane approaches. Based on the findings of this research project, significant impediments to the accessibility of these sites exist for pedestrians who are blind, but some crossing solutions can increase the accessibility in terms of improving safety and reducing delay.
Assessing the perceived safety risk from quiet electric and hybrid vehicles to vision-impaired pedestrians
This study investigates the accident risk posed by electric and hybrid vehicles and compares it with that for equivalent vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines to determine whether electric/hybrid vehicles are audibly more difficult to detect. This report presents the findings from the study, based upon a review of accident statistics, a programme of practical measurements to compare the noise of electric/hybrid and internal combustion engine vehicles, and a small-scale subjective assessment of the noise from these vehicles involving visually impaired participants.

Reducing Pedestrian Delay at Traffic Signals
This research, which was carried out between 2007 and 2010 in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, used techniques such as pedestrian attitude surveys, micro-simulation modelling and a literature review of international best practice to identify methods of reducing pedestrian delay at signalized intersections in these cities.

Distracted Driving: What Research Shows and What States Can Do
This report reviews and summarizes distracted driving research available as of January 2011 to inform states and other organizations as they consider distracted driving countermeasures. It concentrates on distractions produced by cell phones, text messaging, and other electronic devices brought into the vehicle. It also considers other distractions that drivers choose to engage in, such as eating and drinking, personal grooming, reading, and talking to passengers.

Effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London, 1986-2006: controlled interrupted time series analysis
This report quantifies the effect of the introduction of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road collisions, injuries, and fatalities in London based on analysis of geographically coded police data on road casualties between 1986-2006.

Friday, November 4, 2011

This Week on Foot

This week we ask, is it the End of the road for the zebra? Perhaps there are safer alternatives out there for pedestrian crossings, and it's time to move on from the stripes. Colorado seems to think so, where they're wondering about the Aspen airport pedestrian crossing: Over or under?

Either option would have been better for the Pedestrian Struck & Killed While Crossing Ventura Freeway. Fortunately, things turned out better in Michigan, where according to an Ann Arbor resident: Collision at pedestrian crosswalk 'could have been tragic'.

Of course, some believe it's all the fault of the pedestrian, like this Devil’s Advocate: Careless pedestrians put themselves at risk by ignoring traffic safety laws, but we know the bigger problem is the Utter disregard for pedestrians' right, don't we?

At least in some places there's a little regard for the pedestrian, like in Ashland, Oregon where Pedestrian-friendly ideas approved, Salt Lake City where Transportation policy to consider needs of cyclists, pedestrians and more, or in Mississippi where there's a Pedestrian trail project planned for downtown Jackson. Hopefully these ideas catch on at higher levels as well, and just in case there's some hesitation here are 3 Reasons Congress Shouldn’t Abandon Cyclists And Pedestrians. My fingers are crossed that Congress acknowledges the value of  Wheels & Heels: Pedestrian-Friendly Streets Good for Business.

Some cyclists definitely see that value, such as this Bicycling group wants pedestrian mall on Pacific: Panels to weigh proposal for two-way traffic Thursday. Guess they understand that "Urbanism is Sustainable".

Speaking of sustainability, ever wonder What does trick-or-treating tell us about sustainable living? Maybe it's the same lesson we learn about Making cities healthier (and livelier) with a 'walking school bus' and vitality makeover. (Hint: Sustainable Communities focus on livability, walkability).

Finally, with winter snows upon (some of) us, it's good to know that in the PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP: Residents will have to shovel sidewalks after 1 inch of snowfall

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Walking Events

A few activities to keep you busy this month....

November 2
Update on the Proposed Rule for Accessible Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way
12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Scott Windley, Accessibility Specialist with the U.S. Access Board, will deliver detailed information about the proposed rule regarding Accessible Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way, including pedestrian accessible routes, curb ramps and blended transitions, street crossings, on-street parking, street furniture, and more. The comment period for the proposed rule-making is open through November 23. Attend this webinar to learn what you should incorporate into your plans in order to comply with ADA.

Site license fee: $75 (free for APBP members)
APBP has applied to the AICP for 1.5 Certification Maintenance credits. 

Register here. For more information, contact Debra Goeks (or 262-228-7025).

November 12
WalkSanDiego Community Walk: Walk to Cabrillo Lighthouse
9:00 am

Meet at parking lot at Catalina Blvd and Electron Drive (across from Point Loma Credit Union)

Let's take a beautiful fall walk along the Point Loma peninsula, visiting the historic Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Cabrillo National Monument. Some fascinating history along the way of little known facts/trivia about the two sites. About 6 miles round trip with gently rolling hills (one-way shuttle option available – please contact Dave if interested).

Bring $3 for entrance fee to Cabrillo monument.

November 18
WalkSanDiego Visioning San Diego lunch forum: Creating a Walkable Downtown: Oceanside’s Mission Avenue Redesign
12:00 pm

Hear how a road diet and back-in parking along Mission Avenue will enhance bicycle and pedestrian activity and link public transit to downtown amenities. Speakers: David DiPierro, Oceanside Traffic Engineer and Kathy Baker, Oceanside Redevelopment Manager

Location: Encinitas City Hall, 505 S. Vulcan Avenue, Poinsettia Room

RSVP here by Tuesday, November 15th
$5.00 in advance, $7.00 at the door

November 19
The Great LA Walk

Participants will meet downtown at City Hall (facing Temple St.) at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, and proceed to walk the approximately 19-mile journey to the Pacific Ocean.
For the Great Los Angeles Walk 2011, we're going to trek through the neighborhood that symbolizes L.A.'s most famous export -- Hollywood. Think Musso & Frank's; Grauman's Egyptian and Chinese Theatres; the Walk of Fame; the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; Capitol Records Building; the Pantages; Hollywood and Vine; and much more. 

In case you're new to what we do, here's the rundown: We walk just to walk. No money, no agenda. The Great Los Angeles Walk is a completely free event; as a matter of fact, it operates without any budget whatsoever. Participants handle their own meals along the way, via local businesses and food trucks.

More info available online here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Become a Ghost This Halloween

It's one of the three deadliest nights of the year for pedestrians (the others fall around Christmas and New Year's Eve), particularly for young walkers: deaths among pedestrians between 5 and 14 years are four times higher on Halloween than other nights of the year. If you're trick-or-treating--or driving--make sure to take special care tonight.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This Week on Foot

This week they're thinking a lot about pedestrian safety in Chicago, where Mannequins help kick off pedestrian safety blitz and Red light cameras reduce speeding. Similarly there are Pedestrian crossing improvements considered for Plymouth Road and Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, and further east the NJDOT to install sidewalks in shopping district and AARP NJ Urges Rep. LoBiondo to Work for Safer Streets. Even as far away as Japan Cops want bikes off sidewalks / Pedestrian safety the aim of crackdown on bicycle road rules

But the cops have other ideas in Austin, where the appropriately-named PEST (Pedestrian Enforcement Safety Team) is going after walking violations as  Police teams scan streets more closely.
Could this be part of a War on pedestrians? Jaywalking tickets rise in Seattle as well, although admittedly pedestrians can sometimes be their own worst enemy, like the Drunken pedestrians faulted in Santa Rosa crashes.

However, the pedestrian certainly wasn't to blame when a Driver hanging up her cellphone admits killing young pedestrian in St. Paul, or a Pedestrian killed in Santa Monica hit-and-run. And it's no wonder that East Palo Alto residents demand more pedestrian safety after 6-year-old’s death.

Speaking of young pedestrians, Angelenos are wondering this week: Is Westwood the Best Neighborhood for Trick-or-Treating in L.A.? Zillow thinks so, but some people (like Curbed readers) aren't so sure...