Weekly Walk Around the News

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of July 1, 2011.

Weekly Walk Around the News

Posted by Derrick Van Kirk 

June 24, 2011

 

Local

Months after its expected completion date, the pedestrian bridge at I-90 and Route 900 in Issaquah is expected to open today.  The structure includes a 12-foot wide pedestrian bridge across the westbound interstate on-ramp and a 10-foot wide pedestrian crossing on the state Route 900 overpass.  City planners identified a need for a new pedestrian connector back in 2000 when WSDOT built HOV lanes for state Route 900 using space that was dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists.  

On the Olympic Peninsula, construction of a 126 mile trail for walking and bicycling between the Olympic Mountains and the Straight of Juan de Fuca is nearly half complete. Forty miles of the Olympic Discovery Trail have been completed and are ready for folks to explore this summer.

 

National

In an effort to decrease injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving, walking and cycling, the Traffic Safety Boards in Chemung and Steuben Counties in New York have launched an initiative with the message – “Be Alert, Distraction Kills.”  The main purpose of the initiative is to raise awareness about the dangers of distraction.  Interestingly, this campaign is not only focuses on the dangers associated with distracted drivers but also on the dangers of pedestrians and cyclists as well.

According to the Myrtle Beach police, the best way for pedestrians to stay safe this summer is to stay within the lines of the crosswalk.  If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, he or she does have the right of way and any oncoming traffic must stop.

This inspiring blog post from A Healthier Michigan shares one Detroit family’s secret formula for losing weight and getting into shape – Walking!  Jodi Davis, the author of this post lost 162 pounds in 16 months and has kept the weight of for 10 years.  And like the Strong family, her secret is simply walking and eating healthier.    

 

International

According to Conservation Magazine, two researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan have taken the concept of Walk Score to a new level.  They’ve taken the traditional satellite information used to calculate a walk score and fused it with information about road networks, public facility locations, and building footprints.  The idea is to create software that allows users to calculate an “Eco-friendly Walk Score” that indicates how friendly an area is to people traveling by foot.  Additional tools are aimed at city planners to allow them to evaluate the “greenness of spaces according to planning zone.”  

According to the New York Times, many European cities are making more difficult to travel by car by closing streets to cars or forcing drivers to pay a hefty fee to drive on city streets.  The goal of this “open hostility” towards cars travelers is clear – make car travel difficult and expensive to convince drivers to choose more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

Also from the Times, Alex Marshall, transportation columnist for Governing Magazine and editor of the urban planning newsletter, gives his opinion on the urban hierarchy, which until recently, has been dominated, at least US cities, by the car.

 

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

Photo of shoes courtesy of Flickr user blond avenger under the Creative Commons license. 

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