Weekly Walk Around the News

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of February 8, 2013; An improved section of the Burke-Gilman Trail through UW, a study showing a link between walking/biking to school and concentration, and a look at gender imbalances in public transportation.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Kerry Dirk

February 8, 2013

 

Local

The 2-mile section of the Burke-Gilman Trail that runs through the University of Washington will see improvements soon, as the Seattle campus plans to spend $19 million to widen the trail and create separate biking and walking lanes

Homeowners in East Ballard may be eligible for free street rain gardens.  The East Ballard Greenstreet project team will choose properties alone one block and work with residents and other volunteers to construct rain gardens. 

The new Car2Go, which recently debuted in Seattle, may not be as helpful as residents hoped.  One driver found that all of West Seattle and Southeast Seattle are not included in the company’s “home area,” making Car2Go often impossible to use in combination with transit.  

Seattle was recently ranked on a list of the 10 best U.S. cities for urban forests.  The panel that chose the cities from among fifty considered criteria such as overall forest health and accessibility to the public.

A new 12-foot wide multi-use trail will soon be added to the Washington Park Arboretum and connect Madison Street to the south with Foster Island Road to the north.

vehicle struck a crossing guard in the crosswalk outside of Salmon Bay School on Monday.  The guard is now home from the hospital.

 

National 

A study by Stanford University found a hidden gender imbalance in public transportation. Women were found to ride transit systems much more than previously thought, but many metro transit systems fail to accommodate the transport needs of women. For instance, women “chain-trip” more than men, meaning they make more side trips during their commute, usually for family errands. 

A Danish study found that kids who walk or bike to school perform better on tasks demanding concentration.  The survey looked at almost 20,000 kids between the ages of 5 and 19. 

Traditional American Main Streets have long been in decline, though today Main Street is often used to refer to ordinary people or new walkable commercial strips that mimic Main Streets of the past. 

A recent study found that people often choose cars over mass transit even when it’s not the best objective option. Using a series of intricate decision games, the researchers found that the rate of car use rarely dipped below 55 percent, even when the cost of taking a car was 50% more than taking the metro. 

Tackling the nation’s fiscal instability could put lots of funding for biking and walking in danger this year.  

People who choose to go car-free in Washington, D.C. could save around $10,000 a year. The American Public Transportation Association based the study on all costs associated with car ownership compared to the cost of using public transportation.

 

International

The President of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy recently gave a presentation at the United Nation headquarters about the need to promote sustainable transport, especially in developing cities. 

Interested in a walking vacation? A free 34-page guide, The Walk Away Guide, shows why exploring on foot is the best way to travel. 

Mexico City recently won the 2013 Sustainable Transport Award for its bus system, walking and biking infrastructure, revitalization of public space, and parking program. The award is presented each January to a city for achievements in the preceding year. 

A map of England and Wales highlights the ways that people get to work, either by car, bike, train, or foot.

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

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