Weekly Walk Around the News 11/11/2011

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of November 11, 2011.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Helen Lundell

November 11, 2011

 

Local

Proposition 1, designed to direct $204 million to transit, sidewalks and bicycle improvements, was rejected by 60% of Seattle voters in Tuesday’s election. The Seattle Times (among many other commentators) speculated on the reasons for its defeat, citing criticisms that the proposed resource allocation would have failed to provide funding for bridges. However, this defeat is likely to represent the beginning of renewed efforts from proponents of Proposition 1 to improve transportation options in Seattle. 

 

National

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has released an updated community assessment tool for the Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) program. The revised assessment tool can be downloaded here.

Using Walkscore, you can now search for apartments by multiple commute times i.e. if your kids get the bus to school and you cycle to work, you can find an apartment that optimizes commute times for both parties. You can also search for locations ‘near transit’ options.

A study led by authors form the Harvard School of Public health has, broadly, affirmed the value of “Walk Score.” They found that, as the logic behind Walk Score might propose, adults who move to a denser, mixed-use neighborhood increase their levels of walking for both recreation and transportation, decrease their automobile travel, and increase their use of public transportation.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut estimate that off-street parking in New Haven has nearly quadrupled since 1951. They argue that making room for parking has reduced space allocated to the sorts of facilities that create a vibrant community. These criticisms of the city’s lay-out stand in stark contrast to the days when the city was hailed as the “Model City” during the urban renewal era, for adapting so comprehensively to the new age of the automobile.

By examining the area around the “Little Miami Scenic Trail”- a 12 mile trail running through an urban area of Cincinnati, researchers at Cincinnati University have found that trails can positively affect property values in the vicinity.

Just for fun…according to the LA Times, Ralph Lauren, Missoni and Kate Spade (notorious couture fashion designers) are releasing a new line of bicycles.

 

International

David Kindig commented on a recently published report which indicates that moving from a high poverty neighborhood to a more affluent one showed substantial improvement in obesity rates and blood sugar levels. He argues that one factor (among many) contributing to this result may be the neighborhood environments surrounding people’s homes, comprising parks, sidewalks and perceptions of safety.

 

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

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