Weekly Walk Around the News

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of May 27, 2011.

Weekly Walk Around the News 

Posted by Derrick Van Kirk May 27, 2011

Local

Although this was mentioned last week, a few more articles regarding the Waterfront Seattle presentation given by architect James Corner and his Field Operations team last Thursday night can be found here, here, and here.  If you missed the presentation, you can also watch it here

At our Capitol Hill Walk and Talk event last Tuesday, Feet First was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Regence Foundation.  As our blogger Megan Risley mentioned in her post earlier this week, this grant will fund a campaign in Southeast Seattle to incorporate walking into transportation, recreation, and community needs.

According to the Renton Patch, King County and the City of Renton are working together to improve pedestrian and bicyclist access and safety.

And, finally!  The Washington Department of Transportation has produced a map for people who go by foot or bike around the viaduct construction from Holgate to King. While not the best walking or cycling route to begin with, the construction mitigation signage has left little to be desired. This map will certainly will help.  

National

A group of Senators lead by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced S.1056, the Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011 which is intended direct states and regions to adopt policies to provide for the needs of all users of the transportation system, including people of all ages and abilities who are walking, bicycling, and taking the bus.  As noted earlier this month, Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Steven La Tourette (R-OH) introduced a similar bill H.R. 1780, the Bipartisan Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011.  Both pieces of legislation are hopefully a step towards helping state and local governments consider all users when designing transportation infrastructure.

Transportation for America released Dangerous by Design 2011 which examines how many roadways in America are designed with little or no consideration for people on foot, in wheel chairs or on bicycles.  This year’s edition also includes an interactive map.  When you plug in an address, you will have access to all pedestrian fatalities within 60 miles since 2001 to 2009 complete with the year of the fatality and the age and ethnicity of the victim.

According to the DC Streets Blog, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in particular, dedicated bicycle and pedestrian funding will still have a place in the federal transportation bill being debated in Congress right now.  A large part of the debate centers around funding for existing biking and walking programs such as Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School.

This is an interesting editorial regarding the use of roundabouts and traffic circles as a replacement for signaled intersections.  According to the author, although crash rates are reduced for cars, one French study found that crashes involving mopeds and bicycles increased by 60 percent prompting separated bicycle accommodations outside the circle.

 

International

Included in the Transportation 2040 plan released by the city of Vancouver, BC this week, is a plan to promote a walkable downtown with a “pedestrians first policy” aimed at creating wider sidewalks to mitigate pedestrian congestion.

Is this the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world?  Kaid Benfield of the National Resources Defense Council blog has a fascinating note about an intersection in Tokyo where 2,500 pedestrians cross with each rush-hour signal change.  The pictures are incredible!

 

Shibuya Crosswalk in Tokyo 

 

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

 

Photo of shoes courtesy of Flickr user blond avenger under the Creative Commons license.

Photo of crosswalk courtesy of Flickr user LeeLeFever under the Creative Commons license.

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