Weekly Walk Around the News 12/14/2012

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Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of December 14, 2012.


Posted by Kerry Dirk

December 14, 2012



If you’re reading this and walking, you’re one of many Seattle pedestrians who text, check emails, select music, and talk while crossing busy streets.  A recent study of Seattle pedestrians found that one-third of people crossing the street at high-risk intersections were also using their mobile device. 

The creation of the Eastside Rail Corridor Regional Advisory Council is the final step in efforts to keep the corridor from being divided and sold for private development. The Council will oversee the partner planning process such as implementing and coordinating the rail and trail uses in the corridor.

The Memorandum of Agreement, which focuses on improvement to the Third Avenue corridor, was signed today. King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayer Mike McGinn and downtown Seattle Association President & CEO Kate Joncas all signed the agreement that calls for improvements to transit reliability, pedestrian flow, and attractive streetscape design.

The Seattle City Council is currently debating the South Lake Union Rezone Proposal, which would raise building height limits up to 24 stories in the center of South Lake Union and up to 40 stories in those areas close to downtown. The proposal would also include a comprehensive transportation package to improve neighborhood travel and would provide incentives for building affordable housing. 



A recent study found that drivers who experience mass transit might be more likely to switch to that form of transportation. Researchers found that around 30 percent of car commuters in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts were willing to give up their full-time parking permits for an occasional permit after a brief free-transit trial. 

Experts argue that the rash of recent pedestrian-involved crashes in Baltimore, Maryland may be related to a lack of civility for pedestrians and drivers, as neither pays attention to the laws and environment.  

After Raleigh, North Carolina was ranked the sixth most dangerous metro area for pedestrians in 2009, the city created a Pedestrian Plan to address the issue. They gathered hundreds of survey responses from the community and will soon release their final plan, which will also include an educational component to remind drivers to be more observant and tolerant of pedestrians. 

Walk Score highlights attractive alleys from a variety of cities that offer highly walkable, positive experiences to pedestrians. Included are 12 Philadelphia alleys, Belden Alley in San Francisco, and Nord Alley in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.



A new bridge over a canal in the Netherlands gives pedestrians a wonderful view of the city. The bridge, 40 feet high and shaped like an arch, has also become an attraction in itself. 

In Toronto, nine people were hit by cars within a span of 43 minutes on Monday morning. The lack of visibility at the time, in combination with pedestrians’ dark clothing, was partially blamed for the high number of accidents. 

Although jaywalking is illegal in Beijing, pedestrians often avoid crosswalks and rather look for a gap in the traffic. When the police tried to enforce the law, 19 people were given tickets for jaywalking in just 30 minutes.



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

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