Weekly Walk Around the News 10/5/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of October 5, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Kerry Dirk

October 5, 2012

 

Local

The survey of pedestrians and bicycle riders, which I discussed previously, is now underway in 35 Washington cities.  The results should be available early next year. 

John Hempelmann, a partner at a Seattle-based law firm in Pioneer Square, talks in a brief video here by Smart Growth America about helping developers to build walkable neighborhoods.  

King County Metro recently released its new system map, which is split into five overlapping components.

 Two pedestrians were recently killed in the Seattle area.  A woman died afterbeing struck by a car near Longview, and a 79-year-old man was killed on October 1 in Kent. 

 

National 

A recent study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that the rate at which Los Angeles drivers kill pedestrians and bicyclists is much higher than the national average. For instance, one-third of all traffic fatalities involved pedestrians, which is triple the national average of 11.4%.   

Chicago recently released its new pedestrian plan, which includes 250 recommendations for both long- and short-term improvements. For example, the plan calls for pedestrian countdown timers at crossing and crosswalks that are better marked. 

The Duluth Share the Road campaign was recently launched. The campaign, which expands the existing campaign aimed at bicycle safety that began in 2003, now also focuses on pedestrian safety.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation notes that because drivers are at fault only half of the time, the campaign needs to be aimed at both drivers and walkers. 

A subcommittee of the Indiana Borough Planning Commission is currently trying to find ways to increase walking and biking opportunities for residents. Indiana Borough, which is located western Pennsylvania, can currently boast that a third of its residents walk to work.  A recent walking tour by subcommittee members was a first step for the Commission, as the members could look for narrow sidewalks, challenging intersections, and other potential walking or biking challenges.

 

International

A recent article in the Seattle Times illustrates the scary challenges for tourists in Hanoi, Vietnam. Hanoi’s streets are described as “roaring rivers of rubber and steel,” and many visitors seek advice from locals on staying safe as a pedestrian. Around 4 million motorcycles are registered in the city and are the main mode of transportation for residents.  

The number of road deaths in Great Britain is increasing, including a 12% rise in pedestrian deaths in 2011. 233 pedestrians were killed from collisions with single cars, while 65 died from incidents involving two or more vehicles. 

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that Japanese older adults who own and walk dogs have overall increased physical activity

 

 

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