Weekly Walk Around the News 1/6/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of January 6, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Helen Lundell

January 6, 2012

National

AARP and The National Conference of State Legislatures have jointly released a new report entitled:”Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices.” The report highlights the importance of land use policies, transportation and pedestrian safety for the elderly. Take a look at the report summary for the headlines.

The National Transportation Safety Board has called for a total ban on the use of portable electronic devices while driving, potentially improving pedestrian safety.

The conference for “Promoting Intergenerational and Environmental Health Across the Lifespan” will take place in New York City, Jun 7-8 2012, and will look at “…the many levels of the built, food, chemical, psychosocial, and socioeconomic environments, and the practices and policies that promote or impede health at all ages.”

The deadline for Environmental Justice Small Grants Program (awarding up to $25,000) is coming up at the end of February. The aim of the grants is to help communities working collaboratively towards solving local environmental and public health issues. 

Thanks to “Equityblog” for these extracts from their guide to next year’s budget:

  • New Starts will receive nearly $2 billion to expand public transportation systems across the country, an increase of over $300 million from last year.
  • Prevention and Public Health Fund will receive the full $1 billion authorized through the Affordable Care Act, including $280 million for Community Transformation Grants, which support community-level chronic disease prevention and the promotion of health and wellness. This is a $135 million increase from 2011.
  • Promise Neighborhoods will receive $60 million to support communities of opportunity centered around strong schools, based on the principles of the Harlem Children’s Zone. That’s up from $30 million in 2011, and $10 million in 2010.
  • The Sustainable Communities Initiative, which helps communities plan for their future economies and implement major infrastructure investments, will receive $2.6 million for operations–but will not receive funding for the grant program.
  • The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) will receive $500 million to create multi-use transportation hubs.

The Rails to Trails Conservancy reported that Missouri is going to have 11 trail projects supported by funding through the Recreational Trails Program. One of these, discussed in greater depth in this article, is their Riverfront Heritage trail which connects some of the city’s hubs; the river, the historical downtown as well as parks and shopping areas.

Safe Routes to School will be holding a webinar on the problem of traffic congestion, taking an in depth look at two programs that have managed o reduce congestion and traffic on their school routes. The Webinar will be held Tuesday, January 21st 1pm-2pm.

Better Cities and Towns (formerly New Urban Network) offered an insightful article comparing older city blocks, geared towards pedestrians and, new-auto-centric, blocks.

Treehugger reported on Eugenia Morpurgo, a Netherlands designer who has come up with “Repair It Yourself shoe.” These are canvas shoes that are easy to take apart and repair with the simple tool kit they come with, as well as reversible souls to double the number of miles you can walk in them.

 

International

In case you missed it, the “Decade of Action for Road Safety” was launched in May 2011. The purpose of this is to encourage governments to focus on producing plans and targets to reduce the numbers of deaths of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on our roads.

 

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

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