Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of September 28, 2012.
WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS
Posted by Kerry Dirk
September 28, 2012
Solid Ground, a local social service agency, will run a free circulator among downtown, Belltown, and First Hill. The two shuttles will run between 7 am – 4 pm every 30 minutes. Although it doesn’t replace the Ride Free Area, the ciculator, which starts operation October 1, can help to meet the needs of underserved populations.
Walk Score’s free IPhone app was recently beta tested by Feet First, the International Sustainability Institute, and The Alliance for Pioneer Square. The app allows users to share their insight about neighborhoods, such as comments about local restaurants, and to report walkability problems such as dangerous intersections. Walk Score is now asking other users to share thoughts about their own neighborhoods.
Transit riders on southbound 7, 7X, 9, and 42 will now have a viable transfer between Link at Mt. Baker.
A pedestrian was killed on I-5 near Arlington on September 25.
After receiving a nomination from Feet First, The National Center for Safe Routes to School has received a Harvard Bright Ideas in Government award. The award recognizes their effort to support communities in school travel data collection and use to enable children to safely walk and bike to school.
Transportation officials in Minnesota have launched a pedestrian safety campaign, targeting both drivers and pedestrians.
Rather than moving away from cities, as used to be the trend, many Generation Y Millenials and Boomers are moving inward. The ability to walk or bike to multiple destinations has become a deciding factor in where people choose to live. This includes the increase of suburban town centers, which appeal to people who want the feel of small town living.
A walk down the street can help you live longer? A new study in Human Nation found that visual contact with other people, especially older people, can guide your perceptions of how long you think you’ll live, which may affect how long you’ll actually live.
A rising number of pedestrian injuries and deaths among teens has been attributed to texting and walking. Pedestrian injuries of 16-19 year olds increased 25 percent in recent years. SafeKids, the non-profit organization who completed the study, also found that older teens now have twice the death rate of younger kids.
A recent study in American Journal of Public Health found that seniors who have free access to public transportation have improved health. The study, which used data from 2005-2008, found that people with bus passes are more likely to walk regularly and to engage in active travel.
The Department of Transportation is using cleverly designed LOOK logos to urge people to pay more attention to crossing the street. Although these reminders are common in areas like the UK, where there are lots of foreign travelers not used to traffic coming from opposite sides of the road, few such signs exist in the United States. In addition to LOOK signs at crosswalks, they will also be on bus shelters, subway entrances near intersections, and on the backs of buses.
A recent study found that a 10% increase in smart growth amenities results in 20% less driving.
Australia’s Cycling Promotion fund recreated a famous transport photo that depicts the same street space when occupied by cars, bicycles, and a bus. The photo included 69 volunteers, 69 bicycles, 60 cars, and one bus and was designed to highlight space efficiency of alternative forms of transportation. The amount of space needed for 60 cars, for example, is the same space for 16 buses or 600 bikes.
Urban sprawl is in no way decreasing. In fact, a recent study found that by 2030, urbanized land will amount to double what it covered in 2000, rising from 650,000 square kilometers to 1.2 million square kilometers. Researchers expect urban growth to occur the most in China, Mid-Latitudinal Africa, South America, and India.