Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's International Walk to School Day!

Happy International Walk to School Day!

This year there are over 600 schools participating in California alone, encouraging students to walk and bike with fun incentives like prizes and music. Walk to School Day is a great way to get your school community excited about active transportation, increase physical activity for both parents and kids, and even address some of the traffic craziness that drop-off/pick-up entails. There are lots of good resources available here to help you plan an event.

If you didn't walk this morning (technically we biked, which is ok too), it's not too late to walk on the way home. Happy walking!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cool Ped Stuff #30

The most fun you can having waiting for a light to change, and it might even discourage pedestrians from crossing against the light. (Or we could time signals so pedestrians don't have to wait so long, but that's another post).

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Mixed Bag for PB Pedestrians

Last weekend our neighborhood got a little more pedestrian-friendly, courtesy of this awesome new crosswalk art in front of the local middle school. Not only does the street painting add some loveliness to a distinctly boring stretch of roadway, it will hopefully improve visibility and crossing safety for students who use this route to walk to and from school (or at least to and from their parents' waiting cars). Kudos to beautifulPB for their work on this project.

But just when it looked like we might actually be starting to take active transportation seriously in Pacific Beach, this happens:

Those signs (they also block the bike lane on a nearby street) are in place as part of a festival at a local park on the beach. While no doubt there are locals who would be interested in walking or biking to the festival, they won't be doing it here, particularly not if they need to push a stroller or use a wheelchair.

The best part? In what surely wasn't intended to be an ironic move, the signs are there to inform drivers that they can't stop and block vehicle traffic. Yep, blocking the sidewalk and bike lanes is totally fine, but it's so critical that no one slows down cars (heavens!) that there has to be a sign every ten feet telling drivers to keep moving.

Friday, May 23, 2014

San Diego Waterfront Park Gets it Sort of Right

Yesterday we visited downtown San Diego's new Waterfront Park, highly touted for its futuristic playground equipment...

...not to mention its kid-friendly water feature (which I should point out is much more popular on a sunny day, though the clouds and cold--for us-- weather didn't deter my toddler).

Less kid-friendly are the pedestrian connections to the waterfront path that would otherwise connect the new park with existing parks and tourist attractions along North Harbor Drive. While the path is probably less than 100 feet from the edge of the park, here's how you're supposed to get there:

Welcoming to the pedestrian, isn't it? I especially appreciate that while you can almost make out the curb cut at the far end of the "crosswalk," you would have to navigate around three sets of raised curbs to get to it.

Oh, but first you also have to deal with this:

That would be a free right that encourages drivers to swoop through the crosswalk with little regard for a pedestrian hoping to get across the street. (Sure there's the nominal yield sign in place, but nothing about this design would lead a driver to actually yield--much less pay attention to--a pedestrian at the curb).

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cool Ped Stuff #29 : Kids, Poop and CO2

With two kids under three years old, the unfortunate fact is that poop plays a disproportionate role in my life.

Happily, that's not the only reason that Worse Than Poop, a new film idea from mother-son collaborators Vanessa and Elliot Warheit, resonates with me. The movie is intended to teach kids about the pollution problems created by too much driving. Toward that end, it will use animation and a pretty gross (read: kid-friendly) metaphor to help viewers visualize the true output of carbon dioxide that we create when we drive. The film will also highlight all the other fun, cool ways to get around besides driving, which would make it a great tie-in to a Safe Routes to School program or other community efforts to get kids walking and biking more.

However, this is all contingent on the full 3-5 minute show actually being made. The Warheits have a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project that ends on May 31. They're about $6,000 short of their goal--totally reachable if you help contribute now. Read more about Worse Than Poop and see fun photos of Elliot's transportation exploits here.