Weekly Walk Around the News

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Posted by Zoe Harris and Drew DeVitis

 

Local

 

The Snohomish County Centennial Trail launched an impressive new website that highlights the trail’s history. The twenty-nine mile trail runs from the City of Snohomish to the north of Bryant and follows abandoned rail lines. Snohomish County recently approved a purchase of more rail corridor that could stretch all the way to King County.

 

On Saturday evening in Wallingford, Zach and Ashley Adair, a young couple in their twenties, were struck while crossing Stone Way N at N 41st Street. This dangerous intersection has been a problem for years. In 2005, a 12 year old Hamilton International Middle School student was hit by a driver who swerved around cars that had stopped so that the boy might cross.

 

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is organizing a memorial walk this Saturday, January 18 for James St. Clair, who was struck and killed while crossing 35th Ave SW in West Seattle on December 30. Since 2006, there have been five fatalities and many serious injuries to children, adults and the elderly who have crossed this fast-moving street.

 

In lighter news, pantless passengers boarded Sound Transit light rail last Sunday for the annual no pants on light rail ride.

 

National

 

To celebrate the success of Open Streets, the Alliance for Biking and Walking teamed up with Streetfilms to create a video charting The Rise of Open Streets.

 

Submissions for Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place 2014 must be submitted by January 31st. Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place will take place in Pittsburgh, PA from September 8th though the 11th. The event is a conference on walking, bicycling, and placemaking and draws over 1000 planners, engineers, architects, public health professionals, educators, and advocates.

 

Barbara McCann, an architect of the Complete Streets movement was named the new director of the Office of Safety, Energy and Environment in the federal Department of Transportation. McCann helped popularize the term ‘complete streets’ while working at America Bikes and started the National Complete Streets Coalition in 2005.

 

A recent article in Salon stated that the “notoriously car-centric” Los Angeles “is reinventing its smoggy identity” and is experiencing a renaissance in walking and biking.

 

This week the supreme court heard the case of Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust et al., v. United States, which challenges the right of the United States to convert a federally-granted right-of-way into a rail-trail. The outcome could impact rail-trails in Washington State, specifically the John Wayne Pioneer (Iron Horse) Trail. A decision is expected in June.

 

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the implementation of his “Vision Zero” plan to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city, with a particular focus on pedestrian fatalities. This comes at a time when traffic accidents are the leading cause of injury-related death among New Yorkers younger than 14, and the second-leading cause of injury-related deaths among New York’s seniors.

 

International

 

Drivers spend an average of fifteen minutes searching for a parking space in the City of Westminster, one of London’s local councils. To cut down on this traffic the city will start embedding the first of 3,000 sensors into the streets, becoming the world’s first major city to adopt “smart parking.”

 

Women who walk at least three hours every week were shown to be 43 percent less likely to suffer a stroke than women who walk less or not at all, according to new research from Spain. Interestingly, there was not a similar reduction seen for men based on the frequency of walking.

 

If you come across any interesting news or stories about walking, please send a link to zoe@feetfirst.org.

 

Photos courtesy of the Seattle Times

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