Weekly Walk Around the News 7/6/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of July 6, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Helen Lundell

July 6, 2012

Local

As you know, the Seattle Community,  our elected officials, Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club, and many others have managed to secure a wonderful victory for the future of Northgate Link light rail station (and so Northgate itself!). On June 28th, the Sound Transit Board of Directors approved a motion to:

  • conduct an access study for the station
  • contribute 25% of the cost of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-5.
  • match up to $5 million in City investments in pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

Remember, next week you can be one of the first to see the new concept design for Seattle’s Waterfront.  On Thursday July 12th, from 5:30-8:30, at the Exhibition hall at the Seattle Center.

A town hall meeting to discuss building an NBA and NHL arena in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle will be taking place on Tuesday, July 10th, 7-8pm at North Seattle Community College. Check out the arena proposal here.

The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) is seeking opinions and ideas from residents throughout the state on how to improve transportation at all levels. You don’t need to be a politician, just someone who has a view on transportation in our state. Sign up to the “Voice of Washington State” to join discussion panels on transportation, or be added to a survey panel to make sure your voice is heard (I just signed up)!

“Books on the bus” is a new book group formed by Transportation Choices, King County Metro, King County Library System, and Richard Hugo House. Every quarter, they’ll give participants a book to read while on public transit, and then host an event to talk about it! Sign up here.

SDOT has set up the Walk Bike Ride challenge. Check out the available information, tools, encouragement, and potential prizes you can get for swapping out a couple of your car journeys for walking or cycling!

 

National

Feet First, and many others, were shocked to find that the new federal transportation bill does not include any dedicated funding for walking or Safe Routes to School. Click here for T4America’s take on why the new federal transportation bill is “a clear step backwards” and here for Better Towns and Cities quick tour of other groups’ reactions to the bill.

The New York Times commented on the growing trend in ‘adult playgrounds,’ or outdoor gyms. They promote physical activity, and are also cheap, quiet, and uncontroversial.

Whenever we think about urban design, we inevitably end up talking about block size. But what is a block anyway? Better Towns and Cities discusses.

A Denver Westword blogger wrote about the success of a Denver Better Block project. “Organizers decorated a block with flowers, benches and trees. They redesigned city streets and filled them with live music. They turned empty storefronts into a coffee shop and a gallery. They mapped biking and walking paths throughout the neighborhood, and they painted the streets and their surroundings with art”- all to highlight how life could be different for pedestrians in the neighborhood, with just a little bit of vision (and elbow grease).

The NARC has recently released a summary report of efforts made by metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to integrate public health factors and considerations into their transportation plans.

 

International

Big Think got us thinking about how the areas in which children are allowed to roam freely has dramatically shrunk over the last two generations–effectively destroying outside-childhoods.

News 1130 applauded Vancouver for it’s plans to make two of its major bridges friendlier for walking and cycling, by removing  traffic lanes and inserting tree lined green ways! (see image above)

 

 

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

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