Weekly Walk Around the News 12/16/2011

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of December 16, 2011.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Helen Lundell

December 16, 2011

 

Local

Tolls will commence on the State 520 Bridge on December 29th; crossing the bridge will be free for buses and public vanpools. Thanks to Commute Seattle for reminding us.

Crosscut commented on Seattle police consistently privileging car drivers over pedestrians in cross-walk transgressions. They cited some brow-raising statistics: more than two thirds of Seattle pedestrians killed or fatally injured by vehicles were on crosswalks or sidewalks, and Seattle police issue 6 jaywalking tickets for every 1 ‘failure to yield’ citation.

There’s a new bicycle and pedestrian detour in place on East Marginal Way South between South Atlantic and South Massachusetts street (which is being repaved- the detour is just on the opposite side of the street), and they’re gearing up for detours north of South King Street.

Seattle Department of Transportation is promoting its (punchily titled) “Center City Holiday Pedestrian Safety Campaign,” which encourages walkers and drivers to pledge to be cautious and aware while navigating our bustling downtown during the holiday season.

 

National

Researchers have found a consistently significant association between gas prices and bus and train use in their study of 33 cities. They concluded that raising gas prices does appear to have some effect on use of public transportation.

According to Transportation for America, The Senate Commerce Committee has established policy goals for the federal transportation program, the “Surface Transportation and Freight Policy Act of 2011.” These goals include: “addressing congestion, improving access to multiple travel options, supporting domestic manufacturing and reducing impacts on the environment and public health.”

The National Center for Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) is releasing resources on “Getting Results,” a three-part series highlighting SRTS programs across the country that have 1) Reduced traffic 2) Changed driver behavior to the benefit of pedestrian and cyclist safety and 3) Increased student participation in walking and bicycling.

West Sacramento has completed the Tower Bridge Gateway, a $13 million dollar project to turn a section of State Route 275 into “a landscaped boulevard with sidewalks and bike lanes,” connecting new areas of the city, according to The Sacramento Bee.

D.C. Streets blog disputed the oft-recited argument that Complete Streets are just too expensive.

Multiple sources, including the LA times, reported on the fact that US road deaths seem to have have fallen, while pedestrian deaths have risen.

NYC.gov has posted the recording of its webinar discussing the arguments for healthy design from a real estate perspective: “Creating Healthier Communities Through Design: The Benefits of  Active  Design  for Business & Real Estate  Development.”

The Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting will be taking place in Washington DC from January 22nd-26th 2012.

 

International

Take a look at Eltis’ report on Belgium’s “My short trips” program which aims to encourage people to travel more of their short (under 5km) trips by foot of bike for one month. They publicize the cause each year, and provide interactive tools allowing participants to see their walked/cycled trips in terms of money saved, emissions reduced and calories burned.

 

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

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