Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of March 16, 2012.
WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS
Posted by Helen Lundell
March 16, 2012
The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reported on a survey carried out by the City of Seattle on how and why people go to 6 different Seattle neighborhoods, and what more they want to see. Capitol Hill topped the list of neighborhoods for walking as a mode of transit for residents, closely followed by Admiral. In terms of what people want to see more of, better bus access/increased public transit featured top of the wishlist for Ballard and a second for Capitol Hill.
After some really rather worrying weeks of uncertainty, the U.S. Senate has passed a two-year transportation bill with bipartisan support which, thanks to tireless campaigning, has seen some fantastic improvements for pedestrians and active transportation as a whole. Transportation for America sums up the key reforms of MAP-21:
- establishes national policy goals and performance measures for the federal surface transportation program, such as addressing congestion, improving access to multiple travel options, supporting domestic manufacturing, and reducing impacts on the environment and adjacent communities.
- Consolidates programs and streamlines project delivery, while maintaining existing funding levels.
- Holds states accountable for the safe upkeep of our roads and bridges.
- Maintains local control over a share of funds and ensures access to funding for safer walking and bicycling.
- Includes emergency provisions to allow transit agencies to avoid service cuts and fare hikes.
- Extends the commuter benefit for transit users, commensurate with parking benefits for drivers.
- Helps communities make plans to meet the growing demand for walkable neighborhoods with access to jobs, services and public transportation.
- Ensures that federal funds support streets that are safe and complete for everyone who uses them, whether motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair users, or transit riders.
The Rails to Trails Conservancy also highlighted that MAP-21 has restored the Recreational Trails Program and given greater local access and control over Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to Schools funding.
Better Towns and Cities criticized Apple’s new headquarters this week for sacrificing a whole neighborhood’s walkability for the sake of looking cool.
Take a look at these reports from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute emphasizing the economic value of walkability from and the importance of incorporating environmental justice and social equity into transportation planning.
The Federal Highway Administration updated their Spotlight on Pedestrian Safety program, which is seeking to reduce pedestrian fatalities in worst affected communities. Targeted communities have seen a 12.1% drop in fatalities.
The American Public Health Association has released a fact sheet highlighting the importance of Safe Routes to School for childrens’ health.
National Public Health Week, which this year emphasizes the importance of physical activity with it’s tagline “Join the Movement for a Healthy America” is coming up on April 2nd. There’s never been a better time to get out there, walk, run, bicycle and promote active transportation in your community!
If you come across any interesting pedestrian news or stories, please send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.