Weekly Walk Around the News 9/7/2012

Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of September 7, 2012.

WEEKLY WALK AROUND THE NEWS

Posted by Kerry Dirk

September 7, 2012

 

Local

Residents who are interested in slowing traffic in their neighborhood should attend the Traffic Safety Meeting next this Tuesday, September 12 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Lake City Library but is open to residents from all neighborhoods.

We may all be wondering how the downtown area will look as major changes slowly reshape the area. One writer stresses the importance of a thriving and growing downtown and covers many of the upcoming changes, also arguing that a family-friend environment is missing. The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) is working to address this issue and trying to make downtown more family-friendly within the next five years by adding a fenced play area and working toward the creation of a public school.  All of these changes should have a positive influence on walkability for pedestrians.    

Mayor Mike McGinn launched a new road safety campaign that seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities on Seattle’s roads by 2030. The new awareness campaign, Be Super Safe, will aim, for example, to reduce speeding and driver distractions and to create safer roadway designs. 

The fall schedule for Seattle Transit was released this past week.  The new timetables, which take effect on September 30, will no longer include a Ride Free Area in downtown Seattle. 

The Sound Transit 2012 Ridership Report for the second quarter was recently released, showing an 11% year-over-year gain in ridership. 

Linden Avenue N is now closed to southbound traffic N 130th and N 135th streets for approximately the next six months. Bicyclists are to follow the same detours as vehicles but may also use sidewalks.

 

National 

Do you text and walk? If you’re in Fort Lee, N.J., you could end up with a ticket for dangerous walking.

Walking doesn’t have to be boring or unproductive. Every Body Walk, the educational campaign aimed to get American’s moving, provides 14 tips to integrate walking into your day. The tips include suggestions such as the following: make it interesting, make it productive, make it a routine, and make it convenient. 

 

International

As the title of this piece asks, “Are Our Transit Maps Tricking Us?”  This article is an interesting read about the ways in which transit maps are often distorted to balance detail and readability. Yet these distortions are not without consequence: when given a choice between two or more routes, passengers tend to choose the one that looks the shortest, even when the route is actually the longest. 

Need to cross a major road but don’t have a sidewalk? Convince your friends to create a human sidewalk!  A flashmob by a French theater action group created a pedestrian crossing at a major intersection in Paris where there is no pedestrian access to the Arc de Triomphe from any of major intersecting avenues. 

Pedestrians in Bolivia recently celebrated the second annual Day of the Pedestrian and Cyclist, which bans motor vehicles from the streets for a day. 

For those looking to vacation in a walk-friendly city, Rick Steves recommends a visit to Prague, a suggestion with which I completely agree. When visiting this beautiful city last summer for three days, I was able to avoid all forms of transportation other than my own two feet. In addition to Steves’ suggestions, I would also recommend a stroll up Petrin Hill to climb the lookout tower for an unbeatable view of the city. 

 

 

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