Weekly Walk Around the News 5/11/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of May 11, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Helen Lundell

May 11, 2012

 

Local

Sound Transit has posted the materials from the Brooklyn Station open house on their website — take a look at the presentation, display boards, and animation.

The Puget Sound Regional Council’s General Assembly will meet on June 7th at the Seattle Westin Hotel, 1900 Fifth Avenue.  Register online here.

The Greenway Trust is hiring a small crew of folks for the summer season to assist with new trail construction on Mailbox Peak. This new 5 mile trail will climb 4,000 feet to the top of Mailbox.  If you’re interested, contact the Greenway Trust.

 

National

The House and the Senate have now begun “Conference” on the Transporation Bill. (This is the stage where they attempt to reconcile their two bills into one, which they both ultimately vote on) Transportation for America believes there are 5 things the bill should do: 

  1. Prioritize repair of roads and bridges, while easing the burden on local communities.
  2. Provide for Local Access to Community-Based Transportation Funding
  3. Allow more local flexibility for public transit funding
  4. Promote transparency and accountability in the planning process
  5. Ensure the public and local officials have a meaningful voice on projects that affect them.

On Thursday May 17th at 11am PST, T4A will be hosting the first in a series of free, online presentations on *Transportation Vote 2012.* The first event will focus on the types of educational activities that 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations can engage in around the election to raise the profile of transportation. Register here.

The EPA has launched a web-based mapping tool to help Federal agencies with environment reviews and project planning, called “NEPAssist.”  It draws on publicly available federal, state and local datasets on environmental, demographic, socio-economic..etc. The idea behind making it available to the public is that it will allow them to be more actively engaged in planning processes. It’s really pretty intuitive…and addictive.

Better Towns and Cities has been putting together “Ped shed” maps (maps showing a 5 minute walk radius of a point of interest or amenity) for their local pubs. I’d love to see a “pub shed” map of Seattle…

TreeHugger reported on the growing interest in “Green roofs.” I was struck by the image above, portraying a space for which the term ‘roof garden’ would be something of an understatement. Realistic? Worth the resources? Not sure. Wow factor? Definitely.

Atlantic Cities commented on the rather shocking stat that road traffic killed more children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the world than malaria, HIV/AIDS or diarrhea (in 2004). I’d be intrigued to learn more about the data upon which this stat was constructed, but the point remains that traffic accidents really are a public health issue.

Public Health Law and Policy has just released a set of resources aimed at persuading building owners and managers to open up stairwells with a view to promoting physical activity. Research consistently shows that sedentary lives are shorter.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Council is opening up its 4th round of applications to be designated as a “Walk Friendly Community.” (Seattle has already been designated as a “Platinum” walk friendly community).

America Bikes has announced the results of a recent survey which found that more than 80% of Americans are in favor of maintaining federal funding for sidewalks or bike lanes! (47% are in favor of increasing) 

The Federal Highway Administration has released the results of the “Nonmotorized transportation pilot program.” This was a systematic set of investments and campaigns, targeted at the needs of 4 different communities, and aimed at increasing nonmotorized transportation. Counts in the four pilots saw an average increase of 49 percent in the number of bicyclists and a 22 percent increase in the number of pedestrians between 2007 and 2010.

 

 

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

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