Weekly Walk Around the News 7/13/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of July 13, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Helen Lundell

July 6, 2012

Local

Phinney and Greenwood will be closing its streets to cars and opening them to pedestrians, artists and fun and game lovers as part of Phinney Summer Streets on Friday, August 10th from 6pm to 10pm. Feet First will be there to host a craft activity and hand out maps and other literature. For a full list of activities, take a look at SDOT’s blog post on the event.

Walking in Seattle’s blogger Troy has been on a trip to Europe, and has brought back some important lessons for Seattle to learn on walkability. This made me a little homesick (loving Seattle though, obviously!).

 

National

Feet First loves a good infographic. Take a look at this one on the cost of a pedestrian fatality in comparison to pedestrian safety improvements…and this one, from Active Living Research, describing the role of communities in promoting physical activity.

This week, Equity Blog’s perspective on the new transportation bill. Similar concerns to others, but from an equity standpoint, they describe a few of the ways the bill falls short:

  • “Lack of Protections from Transit Service Cuts: The bill fails to include a popular provision that would have staved off transit fare increases and service cuts in communities facing high unemployment.
  • Lack of Access to Jobs:  The bill does not provide disadvantaged workers with pathways to employment in the transportation sector.
  • Reduced Bicycling/Walking Funds: The bill could result in a 60-70% reduction in availability of bicycling and walking funds, which could have significant impacts on safety, health, and mobility for many low-income people and communities of color.
  • Lack of Accountability: The bill lacks the power to force state and local decision-makers to choose transportation projects that would bring benefits to distressed communities and low-income neighborhoods.”

Better Cities and Towns explains why “improvements” to a beautiful main street in Great Barrington (MA), which will involve cutting down the pear trees (FHOs- Fixed Hazardous Objects) currently lining the street, is $4.8 million poorly spent!

The National Council of State Legislatures has produced a hugely helpful and interesting document summarizing and analyzing legislation across different states increasing opportunities for physical activity in schools and communities, as well as access to health foods.

Thanks to Colossal Art & Design for highlighting how a new street artist  has turned Chicago Streets into a Monopoly Board. Awesome.

The PBIC and APHA are offering a free webinar on “Using Health Impact Assessments to Connect Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety and Health” on Tuesday July 24th, from 12:30pm- 3pm PDT. You can register here.

ChangeLab Solutions will be hosting a series of webinars on strategies for creating healthy corner stores i.e. health food easily accessible within walking distance in a community! The webinars focus on working with policy makers (July 23rd), Finding funding (August 6th), and providing incentives (August 27th). All webinars are at 10-11:30 am PST.

More from Active Living Research- a fact sheet on “Do all children have places to be active?” and on “Supporting Physical Activity Outside of School Time”…and a book from Russ Lopez (an ALR grantee), entitled “Building American Public Health: Urban Planning, Architecture, and the Quest for Better Public Health in the United States.”

The American Public Health Association has created a new special interest group- the “Physical Activity Special Primary Interest Group.” To learn more about them, get their newsletter and all that jazz. 

 

International

Paris is testing out the bus stop of the future! It offers a book lending library, electric bikes, wifi, snacks, coffee….

And from Grist- incredibe natural bridges over highways…to keep from disrupting natural habitats of roaming wildlife. Feels like there could be some lessons to be learned for natural, walkable communities here…

 

 

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

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