Weekly Walk Around the News

 

Posted by Kerry Dirk

February 15, 2013

 

Local

Seattle is currently 6th on the list of the top 10 car sharing cities, with 489 car shares. The top car share neighborhoods include Capitol Hill, Downtown, and the University District.

 

A comparison of crosswalks in Seattle and Barcelona illustrates how public rights of ways can vastly differ. The walking streets in Barcelona merge with the surrounding activity, whereas pedestrians in Seattle walk in separate spaces.

 

Sound Transit will soon begin their Ballard transit expansion study to determine whether Ballard is a candidate for light rail, streetcar, or high capacity transit. An open house will take place Wednesday, February 20 at Hale’s Ales in Fremont from 5:30-7 pm.

 

female pedestrian was killed by a southbound Sounder commuter train on Wednesday evening.

 

National 

A writer in Portland determined that he could beat the Portland Streetcar to his destination by walking. Joseph Rose covered 1.7 miles while the streetcar traveled 3.7 miles, arriving at his destination 58 seconds before the streetcar.

 

A recent study found that long, slow walks, and standing instead of sitting when possible, may be more effective than short, high intensity runs at reducing insulin levels and lowering triglycerides.

 

A map created by a high-speed rail activist illustrates what a high-speed trail network could look like in the United States. The map creator also addresses several myths about high-speed rail, such as arguments that it is too costly or only useful for short distances. Contrast the potential map with this visual representation of Amtrak’s current network.

 

A program in New Jersey is launching a pedestrian flag program that will allow pedestrians to wave a brightly colored flag to avoid getting hit by cars as they cross the street. Flags will be provided on each side of the crosswalk.

 

Walk Score recently compiled a list of the Top 10 Health Benefits of Walking.  Weight loss, a boost in mental health, and a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure are just some of the potential benefits.

 

Business and community leaders came together to create a long-term vision for their city, Rochester, NY, making it the sixth most livable city in the US.

 

After receiving complaints in Pinellas County, Florida from people commenting that transit buses often appear to be empty, the Florida transit agency created a video explaining why buses are empty at certain times throughout the day.

 

Though it may come as no surprise the cars and vibrant cities are in many ways incompatible, researchers who looked at a dozen historically dense, small cities around the country found that cities with higher rates of driving have fewer people. Further, the amount of land designated for parking is a key indicator of the level at which automobiles have impacted the surrounding environment, with twice as much land committed to parking in cities with higher rates of car use.

 

International

 

The second UN global Road Safety Week will take place May 6-12 of this year.  The theme, Pedestrian Safety, will draw attention to the need for greater protection of pedestrians worldwide.

 

Ghana has seen a rise in pedestrian fatalities, with pedestrians currently having the highest risk of death on the road. The lack of pavements may be to blame, as most have been taken over by shop owners.

 

Could pedestrian-only areas actually be damaging to businesses?  Owners of businesses in Welsh town argue that a ban on cars and vans may be keeping away potential consumers.

 

The Department of Transport in the UK recently cut TV ads that for six decades taught children how to cross roads safely.

 

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

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