Weekly Walk Around the News 9/21/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of September 21, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Kerry Dirk

September 21, 2012

 

Local

Today (September 21) is Park(ing) Day, a day where between 9AM and 3PM community members are invited to temporarily make parking spaces into parks. Although the deadline for park applications is closed, you are still invited to plan a walking tour of the various parks.  Join Feet First at 10AM – 2PM in Pioneer Square for a summer lawn party at Occidental Park, Nord Alley, and parking spots on Main Street.  

Remember that October 3 is International Walk to School Day! There are currently 28 registered events in Washington, with 14 total in Seattle. And it’s not too late to get involved! In fact, here’s how to plan the event in 7 days. Feet First is also celebrating International Walk to School Month by inviting you to take the IWALK Challenge

The draft of the 2013-2016 Regional Transportation Improvement Program is now open for public comment. The draft includes recommended projects for the available funds.  Details about the selection process can be found here, and see a list of the top projects by award amount here

If you haven’t already stopped by the Seattle Design Festival (which started Thursday), you still have the weekend to visit. The four day event, with the theme “Engage Your World,” is a unique way to participate in tours, exhibits, activities and more related to the role of design in improving urban life. The festival, which takes place in the South Lake Union neighborhood, is a collaboration of thirteen different nonprofit organizations.

Click here for a complete list of the schedule and route Metro revisions effective September 29.  For those interested in the South Park changes, see Routes 60, 131, 132, and 135, and be sure to check out Feet First’s walking map

By 2030, half of the population of Washington could be obese. Currently ranking 33rd most obese among the states, with 26.5% of residents who are already considered obese, Washington is set to rank 28th by 2030.  

Before Seattle’s review of the 2013-2014 city budget, the City Council Budget committee has launched an online survey asking residents to rank priorities, such as transit services and tax reduction, on city services. 

 

National 

Safe Routes to School Programs work, which may come as no surprise to proponents of this movement. A five-state study involving a collaboration among Washington, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Wisconsin found funding from these programs has reached 1400 schools and 781,000 children. In addition, more children are now biking to school. 

A poll this summer by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that 75% of Americans are frustrated with their lack of transportation options and would prefer to be driving less. In addition, many Americans would like to use public transportation but find it inconvenient to their place of work and/or home. 

The Pedestrian and Biciyle Information Center has released its report on Bike Share Programs. Bike sharing, which allows users to pick up a bike at one self-serve station and return it to any other, is typically used for short distance point-to-point trips. For many people, using a bike share is a way to close the last distance not covered by other types of public transportation. 

Four pedestrians waiting at a bus stop in Las Vegas were killed after a car slammed into the bus stop last week. A recent study found that longer lasting yellow caution lights at intersections could help to prevent accidents. Many accidents occur at intersections when a driver decides to stop at a yellow light to avoid running a red light. Because more than one-fifth of traffic fatalities in the United States occur at intersections, yellow timing must be designed properly.

The Build Environment Assessment Training Institute (BEAT) is now offering a free online training course, Assessing the Built Environment for Physical Activity. The course modules should take about four hours to complete and can help you learn how to assess your surrounding area for physical activity.

 

International

Although China may have once been known for its bike-friendly streets, miles of traffic jams and a decreased level of respect for the biker has become the new norm. Bikers, now banned from the large, busy roads, have taken to the sidewalks, often at the expense of the pedestrians. One writer explains that the car has become the status symbol, although many people still bike because it is their only affordable transportation option.  

A recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that people who lived in less walkable neighborhoods were more likely to develop diabetes. The study, which was completed in Toronto, found that the rate was even higher for new immigrants in a less walkable neighborhood than long-term residents. 

 

 

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