Weekly Walk Around the News 3/23/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of March 23, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Helen Lundell

March 23, 2012

 

Local

The Seattle Department of Transportation has big plans for a multimodal hub strategy for the Seattle’s transportation system. Under this plan, King Street Station, Westlake, and Coleman dock will increasingly serve as focal points for multiple forms of transportation around Seattle.

Bellingham, WA built new sidewalk extensions out of toilets (yes, that’s right)….thanks to TreeHugger for this one.

Vote for “Seattle’s Worst Intersection” with the “Walking in Seattle” Blog.

A Wallingford resident has started a letter-writing campaign to install a crosswalk on NE Pacific Street at either Latona Ave or 2nd Ave NE. 

 

National

In the last couple of weeks, advocates for choices in transportation have been celebrating (rightly) their success in fighting back a Senate Transportation bill lacking in dedicated funding for transit, Safe Routes for Schools…(the list goes on). However, Better Towns and Cities warns us not to get too excited about the bill because, while it was nowhere near as bad as it could have been, it ultimately represents a rather bland maintenance of the status quo. There’s a long way to go before we get anywhere near really progressive transportation policies. 

Similarly, PolicyLink voiced doubts about the bill’s potential to influence equity issues for the better.

However, there’s really little time to lose focus on what has been achieved at this point. Transportation for America is calling for us to put pressure on the House to put together a bill as good as the one passed by the Senate, before the March 31st expiration of the transportation program.  Here, they provide a really useful side-by-side comparison of the Senate and the House Bill.

The American Transportation Association reports that 10.4 billion trips were taken by public transport in 2011, the second highest since 1957 (second only to 2008, when gas prices rocketed).

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and EMBARQ have released a report exploring why cities are choosing to tear down their urban highways rather than repair or replace them, and the social and environmental benefits they are reaping as a result. Portland serves as one of their five case studies.

Here are three short videos to introduce people to walkability, road diets, and head out angled parking, from the Martin County Community Redevelopment Agency in Florida.

Want to find an apartment within a 5 minute walk of a coffee shop, grocery store, school…..? Now you can, with even more new functionality from WalkScore.

Could Disneyland really be the ultimate walkable neighborhood? Charles Marohn of Better Towns and Cities discusses.

The New York Times reported on a new scheme being rolled out in San Francisco to charge by demand for parking spaces in busy urban areas, in an attempt to decrease congestion and pollution. While this intuitively seems like a good idea–encouraging people to at least park further from the center, thus promoting walking and other forms of transportation, the Times questions whether it might have a negative impact on social equity.

Where’s My Crosswalk? A compelling, short, and entertaining YouTube video on some LA residents fighting for a crosswalk.

NPlan has released a new guide to setting up “Joint use agreements” which promote physical activity in communities by opening up school facilities for public use.

The Environmental Protection Agency is accepting applications for their National Award for Smart Growth achievement. You can enter the competition in one of three categories: Programs and Policies, Equitable Development, and Main Street and Corridor Revitalization. Deadline for entries is April 6th.

National Public Health Week begins on April 2nd with the theme “A Healthier America Begins today: Join the Movement” and Monday’s activities focus on “A Healthy America begins with active living and healthy eating.” Take a look at their website for all sorts of toolkits and resources.

Take a look at the winners of the Alliance for Bicycle and Walking’s People Powered Movement Photo contest! The winner of the “walking” category is displayed above. 

 

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

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