Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of June 3, 2011
Weekly Walk Around the News
Posted by Derrick Van KirkJune 3, 2011
Only seven percent of traffic deaths in Kitsap County during the past decade were pedestrians, according to this article in the Kitsap Sun. Although this is better than the national rate of twelve percent, a spokesperson from WSDOT still thinks there is pedestrian safety work to be done.
Installation of the new crosswalk beneath the pedestrian overpass at Aurora and 130th has begun. According to a note from the Mayor, residents should expect pedestrian detours and are asked to use the signalized crossings at Aurora and 125th and 135th as alternative routes during construction.
On Saturday June 4th at 7:15pm, the film A Different Path will make its film festival big screen debut at Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival (STIFF) 2011. This film is a story about the lives of several individual as they struggle to live in an automobile dominated society. It will be shown on one night only and can be seen at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave between Pike and Pine.
The need for Complete Streets policies received some national publicity in this NPR story from last week.
This is an interesting story about David Schwebel, a professor of psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who analyzes pedestrian behavior. In a study to better understand how pedestrians who are distracted by music or cell phone use fair when crossing the street, he found that many people in his experiment would have been hit by cars if they were really crossing the street.
According to this article, the housing crisis and high gas prices have given New Urbanism (smaller homes, narrower and tree-lined streets, commuters on bikes, and corner grocery stores) a new opportunity to become the norm. In a similar article from the National Geographic Daily News, there is a growing trend in the United States to retrofit suburban America into walkable, mixed use neighborhoods, resulting in suburban downtowns with street grids and a more comfortable feel. This article is also accompanied by a fantastic Tedx video featuring Georgia Tech’s Ellen-Dunham Jones giving many examples of the retrofitting of suburban communities across the United States. And finally, according to this article from Grist, urban density that includes large numbers of smart, skilled people, leads to a strong economy.
America Walks, the leader of a national coalition of local advocacy groups dedicated to promoting walkable communities, has joined forces with the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) to improve intersection safety for pedestrians, bikers, and motorists throughout the United States.
Although Toronto is considered the most dangerous city in Canada to be a pedestrian or a cyclist, residents celebrate “Pedestrian Sundays” downtown Toronto’s Kensington Market. Check out the pictures here.
This YouTube video gives a nice presentation of a walking audit in Kathmandu and Colombo. It really is a great example of the kind of work Jen Cole and Gia Clark do at elementary schools throughout King County to improve the walking experience for students.
If you come across any interesting pedestrian news or stories, please send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo of shoes courtesy of Flickr user blond avenger under the Creative Commons license.