Weekly Walk Around the News 4/20/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of April 20, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Helen Lundell

April 20, 2012

 

Local

King County Council has been strongly urging the State Legislature to work on local transportation revenue funding option proposals, without which our bus service is in danger of being cut. Unfortunately, this question was not resolved in its most recent session, and so the campaign continues (King County Councilmember Larry Phillips).

Puget Sound Sage has been encouraging Youth Participation in promoting transit justice in the South East Seattle Region, as part of their Equitable Transit Oriented Development (eTOD) project (formed in partnership with the Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coaltion). At an event at the end of March, local youth presented on the problems faced by transit users in SE Seattle. The next project for the Transit Justice team is the Rainier Beach Transit Action Plan. 

The Seattle Department of Transportation is offering guidance on how to pretty up your sidewalk garden without breaking sidewalk obstruction regulations!

The Seattle Department of Transportation is starting work on the NW Market and 45th Street Priority Bus Corridor, designed to improve the 44 bus route!

This month, the First Hill Streetcar project will begin- the street car will ultimately connect Capitol Hill to the International District.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be making street improvements to sections of Terry Ave. North between Mercer St. and Thomas St., a stretch of three blocks for the Terry Avenue North Street Improvement Project. Construction begins on Monday, April 16 and will be completed by Wednesday, June 20.

National

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate Earth Day

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a three-month extension of the existing transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU). This will offer the House and the Senate the chance to debate the final bill. Also, while there had been an amendment brewing which was seeking to undercut funding for Transportation Enhancements which provide funding for trails and walking, it appears to have been quashed by supporters! (Rails to Trails Conservancy)

The month is National Landscape Architecture month. This year they are highlighting the connection between landscape architecture and public health, with their theme “ Public Health and Active Living 2012.”

Grist put together a great recap of the many achievements of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed some of the nation’s greats- Central Park, Prospect Park, the Emerald Necklace in Boston and, of course, the parks of Seattle. They call for us to appreciate the next generation of architects and their designs, like City Garden in St Louis.

Smart Growth America informed us:

“the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its FY 2013 budget for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. The bill would restore $50 million in funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Initiative, and fund the Department of Transportation’s TIGER program at $500 million.”

Bridging the Gap has released 3 new reports summarizing findings from the first year of the Community Obesity Measures Project- which are:

  • Income Disparities in Street Features that Encourage Walking
  • Using Local Land Use Laws to Facilitate Physical Activity
  • Joint Use Agreements: Creating Opportunities for Physical Activity.

Better Towns and Cities reflected on the next generation of Americans overturning the their predecessor’s migration to the sprawling suburbs, and returning to our city centers. They attribute the move, in part, to a shift in aspirations from safety to adventure, isolation to connectivity, inconvenience to convenience, and car dependence to independence.

Time Magazine reported on a group of studies using geographical-data mapping to demonstrate the kids’ health and their neighborhoods.

Take a look at this great little video on the costs of automobile use to society, produced by the Mexican office of the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP).

The WHO has set up the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, As well as providing a platform for information exchange, “WHO provides guidance and promotes the generation of knowledge on how to assess the age-friendliness of a city or community, how to integrate an ageing perspective in urban planning and how to create age-friendly urban environments.”

The National Complete Streets Coalition has released its 2011 annual report highlighting the many successes of the program for the year. In 2011, 125 towns and cities adopted a complete streets policy.

Easter Seal’s Project Action will be hosting a Webinar this month on Transportation Advocacy at the Local Level. Check it out on April 25th, from 11am-12:30pm PST.

nPlan has put together a range of resources emphasizing the importance of school siting for keeping kids active, and the policies that can help communities get it right. The argue that schools should be located near to where children live, so that they can get there by walking, running, biking, skipping….

Dialogue for Health will be holding a web forum on how rural communities can support walking and biking, hosted by 5 leaders in the field. Check it out on Tuesday, April 24th, from 12:30-1:45 PDT.

The Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities will be holding a stakeholder call to discuss recent developments in the OSHC on: Monday, April 23, 2012, for the Sustainable Communities Initiative Update, from 9:00am –  9:45am PDT, at (800) 230-1766, Confirmation Number: 245767.

 

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

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