Weekly Walk Around the News 1/25/2013

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of January 25, 2013; Seattle voters think favorably of bicyclists, a new App for viewing place-to-place route options, the most walkable cities in Canada, and stray dogs in Romania as role models for pedestrians.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Kerry Dirk

January 25, 2013

 

Local

A new poll of Seattle voters found that 79% have a favorable opinion of cyclists, and most residents support removing traffic lanes to build bicycle lanes. Despite the anti-biking rhetoric that often persists, less than one-third of Seattle residents are anti-bicycle advocates. 

An open house on the Center City Connector Transit Study will be held Wednesday, February 6, from 5:30-7:30 pm at Seattle City Hall. The study is looking at ways to connect Center City neighborhoods and link South Lake Union and First Hill Streetcars through downtown. 

The Seattle Planning Commission is now looking for candidates to serve renewable, three-year terms. Three positions are available this year and begin in April. See the website for details on how to apply. Applications are due February 25.

 

National 

The number of pedestrians killed in Chicago in 2012 was 48, the highest since 2008. In addition to distracted driving, mild weather last winter, which increased the number of drivers and pedestrians on the roads, may have been a contributing factor. 

The concept of “rightsizing” a street means designing a street to meet the needs of the surrounding community. This includes adding bike lanes, pedestrian islands, and new traffic signal timing, for example. 

After more than 900 pedestrian crashes last year, police in D.C. are targeting one of the busiest intersections to remind everyone to obey the laws. Rather than handing out fines, they are passing out flyers that show what people should and should not do in an intersection. 

A new application, Side-by-Side Router, now provides you the option of viewing all possible routes by car, bike, foot, or transit. Unlike Google Maps, which only shows one option at a time, Side-by-Side Router allows you to compare the routes, including travel times and distances for each choice.

A behavioral psychologist argues that place matters in terms of motivating people to increase their physical activity. Perhaps it is not surprising to learn that people who live in walkable cities are more active, which has been shown through comparison studies between cities that are designed well for pedestrians and cities that are not. 

Walk Score has ranked Canada’s most walkable cities, with Vancouver receiving the highest Score of 78. Other cities making the top five include Toronto, Montreal, Mississauga, and Ottawa.

Do you meet the walking goal of 10,000 steps per day? Even going for a daily run might not be enough to hit this target, as one person found while tracking his steps with a fitness gadget. 

Several new smartphone apps now allow users to help a cause simply by exercising. For example, Charity Miles awards 25 cents per mile to walkers and runners, which can be donated to a choice of nonprofits.

A look at five places throughout the world provides us with five principles of people and place. For example, place making should “account for authentic, visible evolution.”

 

International

A new project in Bangladesh is focused on creating the city’s first transit map. Locals are using a bus tracker and survey app to record routes, detail conditions, and interview passengers as they ride buses throughout the city.

Stray dogs in Romania who cross the street in pedestrian crossings are being used by traffic police to encourage pedestrians to show the same discipline. More than 40,000 stray dogs live in Bucharest. 

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

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