WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Drew DeVitis

 

Local

 

Seattle celebrated National Night Out on Tuesday with several entertaining block parties across the city. Night Out shows how residents and city government can work together to create a safer, more connected Seattle community.

 

The Rainier Beach Empowerment Coalition held the Rainier Beach Back2School Bash on Saturday, and hundreds of residents, many of whom were children, gathered at The Plaza at Rainier Avenue and Henderson Street to get inspired about their education, and to learn about the resources in their neighborhood. At the event, Feet First unveiled a draft neighborhood map of Rainier Beach and Columbia City.

 

Seattle’s first Street Scrabble Tournament will be held in the First Hill neighborhood on this coming Tuesday, August 12 from 4-7 p.m. Scrabble enthusiasts will play using a handcrafted, life-sized board at the intersection of University Street, East Union Street and Boylston Avenue, which will be closed for the event.

 

National

 

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In a rare study of how street network design affects public health, researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Connecticut have discovered that older, more compact cities promote more walking and biking and are generally healthier than many newer cities.

 

Recent research by Yahoo Labs has shown how route planning directions for happiness might work. Using crowdsourced impressions of streets, Flickr information, and survey responses, it looks for a balance between people’s positive impressions to urban settings and getting them to a destination in a reasonable amount of time.

 

In downtown Dallas, hitting the pedestrian walk button may make you feel better, but it won’t get you across the street any faster. Dallas, along with many other cities, such as New York and Boston, have gone to pre-timed lights or similar systems that they say ensure a safer and more consistent traffic flow at crosswalks.

 

International

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Singapore has installed nearly 250 sensors at pedestrian intersections to give people with disabilities and those over 60 an extra 3 to 13 seconds to walk across the street, depending on the size of the crossing. All eligible residents need to do is apply for a special version of Singapore’s public transit card to give them access to the Green Man Plus crosswalk system.

 

São Paulo, Brazil the largest city in Latin America, has prioritized curbing car culture and making streets more pedestrian friendly. The city’s new strategic master plan, created through the largest participatory planning process in the history of São Paulo, focuses on people-oriented development and improved public and non-motorized transport.

 

 

If you come across any interesting pedestrian news or stories, please send a link to drew.devitis@gmail.com.

 

Photos courtesy of Walk On In Bellevue and Zaobao

 

 

 

 

 

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