Weekly Walk Around the News

 

Posted by Kerry Dirk

 

 

Local

 

Strollers are now allowed on King County Metro buses.  Those riding with strollers are required to unpack the stroller and collapse it if possible after boarding.

 

Many residents choose to ignore “sidewalk closed” signs and navigate into a busy street instead, often because there is no alternate walking lane.  Be sure to read Feet First’s construction policy paper that advocates for the right of pedestrians to have safe, alternative walking routes in those places undergoing construction.

 

A recent study of found that for Washington, public transit is the primary scene of missed connections.

 

The rebuilt north-south Fairview Avenue North will open to two-way traffic on March 9.  The project has improved pedestrian and bicycle access and should relieve congestion on westbound Mercer.

 

car struck two pedestrians in the U District Wednesday evening, leaving one woman in serious condition.

 

 

National 

 

Though red light cameras have long been praised for creating safer conditions for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, the City of San Diego recently decided to eliminate the red light camera program. WalkSanDiego is now calling for the city to find other ways to make roads safer for pedestrians and would like the city to focus especially on the most dangerous intersections.

 

Walk Score just launched a new Travel Time API that allows users to calculate travel times to and from a large number of places.

 

A new app, Walkonomics, is focused on determining the walkability of streets by looking at 8 key research factors.  The designer identified these factors as follows: road safety, ease of crossing the street, quality of sidewalks, hilliness, east of navigation, fear of crime, and both the aesthetic and fun quality of the street.

 

Need ideas for creating your own walking tour? Couchsurfing provides five easy steps and suggests starting in your own neighborhood.

 

What’s the best bus stop ever? Watch the video of what happens when people at a bus stop respond to surrounding advertisements for public transportation.

 

A recent study found that a shared car takes 14 other vehicles off the road.  Those who share cars tend to use them less since they are paying by the hour, but they also tend to walk or ride a bike more frequently.

 

The most pedestrian deaths in the NYC area happen on arterial roads, or roads with two of more lanes in each direction.

 

A webinar entitled “Technical Assessment of State Pedestrian Safety Programs” will take place Thursday, March 14 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am. The webinar will focus on pedestrian safety program activities based on the National Highway Transportation safety Administration’s Guidelines.

 

Sidewalks in Atlanta, Georgia, though on city property, are argued to be the responsibility of the abutting landowner.  As a result, many are in complete disrepair.

 

 

International

 

A 26-year-old political scientist in Mexico City often takes on his alter ego, Peatónito, todefend the rights on pedestrians in public space.  Wearing a mask and cape, Jorge Cáñez and his friends take to the streets and physically block cars that infringe upon pedestrian space in crosswalks.

 

A recent study of British light rail systems suggests that there is little evidence that adding light rails reduces the use of cars.  The researchers looked at four light rail systems built between 1991 and 2001 and found that in addition to increased car ownership in the surrounding area, the share of rail travelers increased as bus use declined.

 

Many neighborhoods in the United Kingdom are participating in Playing Out, an initiative that encourages neighborhoods to open their streets for a period of time and close them to cars.  However, these days only demonstrate the lack of space kids have on a daily basis, since sidewalks are often too narrow or non-existent.

 

 

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

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