Weekly Walk Around the News 12/2/2011

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of December 2, 2011.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Helen Lundell

December 2, 2011

 

Local

In a previous edition of this blog I noted that the HUD is axing their “Sustainable Communities grants” whose aims include the promotion of mixed-use development linking land-use and transportation decisions, for 2012. New Urban Network reported that, this week, the 2011 funding recipients were announced. Congratulations to the City of Seattle, which was awarded just under $3,000,000, and Thurston Regional Planning Council, with $764,000.

There’s still time to sign the petition to make JayWalking legal in situations where it doesn’t obstruct traffic.

 

National

Informed Transport Decisions have taken data on every road fatality in the US between 2001 and 2009, and created a powerful, interactive mapping tool to explore the data. Unsettling, but well worth a look.

House and Senate negotiators have agreed to provide $120 million in 2012 year for HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program (nearly double last year’s budget). As described by the HUD: “Choice Neighborhoods grants transforms distressed neighborhoods and public and assisted projects into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods by linking housing improvements with appropriate services, schools, public assets, transportation, and access to jobs.”

The Environmental Protection Agency reported that the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities and the USDA has just released a report entitled “Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities,” with which the Obama Administration hopes to make federal programs work better for rural communities. One of the goals of the report is to promote better connections between rural communities with more environmentally friendly transportation.

Despite having to tackle huge deficits next year, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency commissioners discarded the idea of charging “Muni” (bus) riders 25 cents for transfers. Instead, they’ve explored options including charging business $1000 for each parking space in courtesy lots, and extending parking meter operations into the night.

The RTC trail blog celebrated the opening of the River Mountain Loop Trail  in Southern Nevada, a 38-mile rail-trail looping around the River Mountains and connecting Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Henderson and Lake Las Vegas.

This week, the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) and PBIC  (Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center) led a webinar on the Safety and Operations of the Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon and Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon.  If this is an issue you’re interested in, the webinar is available in their archives.

The ever-improving “Walk Score” now allows you to search for your ideal apartment by Neighborhood (as well as Walk Score, proximity to transit and/or commute address).

International

Check out the Structural Awards 2011 Shortlist for best pedestrian bridges across the world.

 

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

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