Weekly Walk Around the News 12/23/2011

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of December 23, 2011.

Weekly Walk Around the News

Posted by Helen Lundell

December 23, 2011

 

Local

A number of sources have heralded the arrival of a third wave of “TIGER” transportation grants, geared towards funding transportation projects simultaneously addressing economic, environmental and travel issues. One local project received a major award: The South Link:Sea-Tac airport to South 200th Street project, receiving $10 million. This will contribute to the completion of the Seattle regional light rail system extension.

Northlink developers presented their plans for the design of the new stations, which will feature art, elevators, bicycle parking and bus connections. Northlink is 4.3-mile light rail extension to include stations in the University District (Brooklyn), Roosevelt and Northgate neighborhoods.

National

Thousand of people are killed on America’s roadways each year. And so, The National Complete Streets Coalition had reason to celebrate when the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed a federal transportation authorization bill including a measure for to ensure that all users of a road are kept safe this week.

Transportation for America reported that on January 1st 2012, the pre-tax benefit for parking car parking will become $240, now nearly double the amount of pre-tax benefit for those who take transit. This serves as a clear incentive for people to stay in their cars.

On a more positive note, Transportation for America also reported that Senator Brown has iintroduced the “Local Flexibility for Transit Assistance Act,” which will allow local transit agencies to be more flexible in allocating federal funding. They could now choose for example, to use the money to avoid fare increases and thus maintain quality public transportation.

Active Living Research has created a new research synthesis entitled “Do All Children Have Places To be Physically Active?” The key results they describe are:

  1. Racial and ethnic minority and lower-income children are more likely to be overweight or obese.
  2. Communities with predominantly racial and ethnic minority and lower-income residents lack features that support walking.
  3. Lower-income groups and racial and ethnic minorities have limited access to well-maintained or safe parks.
  4. Lower-income groups and racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in areas with higher crime rates and more physical and social disorder.

They have also produced a set of slides for researchers, policy makers and advocates describing the influence of the built and social environment on physical activity and health.

The ninth Active Living Research Annual Conference will be held March 12-14, 2012 at the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown San Diego, CA. The conference theme is Disparities in Environments and Policies that Support Active Living.

This week the National Center for Safe Routes to School announced 26 recipients of $1000 grants for projects designed to promote walking and cycling to school. The projects include mentor programs for walking safety, teaching students how to repair their own bicycles training for volunteers to watch over children traveling to school.

 

 

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