Weekly Walk Around the News

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of May 13, 2011.

Weekly Walk Around the News  

Posted by Derrick Van Kirk May 13, 2011

 

Local

The City of Bellingham held a workshop this past Wednesday where Dan Burden, co-founder and director of the Port Townsend based nonprofit Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, presented options to enhance connections between the city and the waterfront through the use of trails and sidewalks.

In the City of Seattle, can you legally cross the street once the orange hand is flashing?

 

National

In this report from the League of American Bicyclists, US Mayors want more control over federal transportation funds.  According to a survey released by The United States Conference of Mayors, if mayors had more control over federal transportation funds, spending on bicycle and pedestrian projects would be near the top of their lists.  Our own Megan Risley gave the Feet First perspective of this story in her blog post this week.

 As the demand for living space in more walkable settings increases, a new attitude towards walkability and new urbanism is beginning to take shape in some parts of the country.

Two University of Oregon students have used their geographic information system (GIS) training to create a web application of the walkability of downtown Salem, OR.  Interestingly, they rated each street for safety by including all of the ways people can walk – along street crossings, on informal walking paths, past driveways, and through parks.    

Last week, Reps Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) introduced the Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011 to the US House of Representatives.  This bill would direct states and regions to adopt policies that provide for the needs of all users of transportation systems.

According to the DC Streetsblog, one reason why so many states make dubious decisions to prioritize highway expansion over transit expansion and walkable streets, has to do with a lack of complete data regarding the economic value of transportation systems in their respective communities.

San Francisco is truly is a fabulous place to take a walk.  In fact, just a few years ago, my brother, my spouse and I had an opportunity to experience San Francisco by foot. 

The Honolulu City Council is considering a bill that would ban the use of cell phones and other electronic devices by pedestrians who are in the act of crossing the street.

 

International

A German company has developed a “stereo camera system” that they believe will help cut down on the number of people getting hit by cars.

In New Delhi, this comprehensive plan to get the most out of existing traffic infrastructure not only calls for traffic enhancements, it also includes pedestrians in the design template.

  

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

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

 

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