Weekly Walk Around the News 10/19/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of October 19, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Kerry Dirk

October 19, 2012

 

Local

Parklets, or public spaces that move street parking to create a place for pedestrians to sit and hang out, may be coming to Capitol Hill. These spaces have recently become a popular feature in cities such as Vancouver, San Francisco, and New York City, and they may help to increase business for local shops and restaurants.  

Zillow ranked Seattle as the fourth best city in which to trick-or-treat this year.  The “top” neighborhoods within Seattle are Loyal Heights, Phinney Ridge, Wallingford, Madison Park, and Roosevelt.  One of the data variables used in the study was the Walk Score of the area, in addition to crime data, population density, and home values.  Zillow hopes to help trick-or-treaters find the most candy with the least walking and safety risks.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is offering Mini-Grants of up to $1000 for schools and community groups who want to start programs that focus on creating safe routes to school. All state-approved, K-12 schools within the City of Seattle can apply, and the money can be spent over the course of two years. Applications are due by November 2.

Walking in Seattle looks at the differences in pedestrian safety between Seattle and Austin.  The two cities, which are often compared for their bike and pedestrian cultures, are both seeking to improve pedestrian safety and to create more walkable areas. 

Make sure to check out the calendar of walking events created by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.  

The Yesler Terrace New Urban Community was recently approved by the city council. The community will be significantly reshaped, with plans for 4500 units of housing, 900,000 square feet of office, and 65,000 square feet of services.  The goal of this project is to create a sustainable and walkable community for both the residents who already live there and the ones to come.

The Undrive-a-thon is currently underway!  Sponsored in part by Feet First, Undrive-a-thon challenges everyone to reduce car use in October, to support the undriving participants who have already made pledges, and to consider joining them for the rest of the month.

 

National 

Chicago now lays claim to the greenest street in America.  The $14 million project, which was unveiled on October 9, is a commercial road made of photocatalytic cement.  The material, about one-quarter of which is recycled, sucks in nitrogen oxide gases from the surrounding air.  

A registered dietician talks about her goal to promote the development of “complete streets,” or streets that can accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, and individuals with special mobility needs. 

Sign up for a free webinar that looks at how the issue of health can be built into Safe Routes to School programs.  The webinar will take place Thursday, Nov 1, from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM PST and will feature speakers representing a variety of organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Annoyed by pedestrians who do not use sidewalks correctly?  Now you can hand them a Pedestrian Penalty Card.  The somewhat silly penalty cards, which can be downloaded online for a dollar, identify common pedestrian “offenses” such as standing on the wrong side of the escalator.  

Orlando has recently been deemed the most dangerous city for pedestrians, including University of Central Florida students.  In 2011, Tranportation for America found that there were 557 pedestrian deaths between 2000 and 2009 in Orlando and Kissimmee.

 

International

12 cities in the UK are working with the World Health Organization to become age-friendly. The goal of these cities is to create physical and social spaces with adequate housing, transportation, and other services needed to help older residents to live independently. 

 

 

If you come across any interesting pedestrian news or stories, please send a link to info@feetfirst.org.
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