Weekly Walk Around the News 1/27/2012

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Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of January 27, 2012.


Posted by Helen Lundell

January 27, 2012



The University of Washington announced that it has received a $3.5 million grant as leader of a multi-university transportation research consortium PacTrans. The  consortium will focus on investigating safe and sustainable transportation in a range of environments, and will involve exciting projects with significant implications for pedestrians, including:

  • Assessing the effectiveness of statewide bans on driving and texting.”
  • “Using video and traffic-monitoring data to better understand how vehicles, transit, pedestrians and bicyclists travel on arterial streets.”
  • “Conducting a survey to measure the success of various driving-reduction programs.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking has released a report describing the state of pedestrianism and cycling in the US, as well as the policy environment for promoting it. While the report packed full of intriguing statistics comparing all states and the largest 50 cities, some headlines include: Pedestrians account for 10.5% of all trips nationwide. 2.9% of people in the US commute on foot. Seattle ranks 4th of 50 largest cities in biking and walking levels, as well as 4th lowest in fatality rates, but only 33rd in terms of funding allocated to biking and walking.


PBIC has announced that it will be holding a free webinar entitledWalkability for Older Pedestrians: Using a Free NHTSA Workshop that Gets Results on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 10am -11:15am PST. You can learn more or register for this webinar here.

Better Cities and Towns reported that the sorts of urban planning codes that tend to result in more walkable neighborhoods are becoming adopted more widely in the US. These codes require planners to actively consider urban form, including the use of public space and street connectivity, rather than setting simple quantitative limits on factors such as building height and density of land use. 

This week, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation blogged about the government’s growing efforts to support the provision of smart-phone transit information to bus riders.

The National center for Safe Routes to School has released a report identifying commonalities in successful Safe Routes to School programs. These are:

  • Identifying an in-school leader, often the principal, to champion SRTS.
  • Conducting activities that reinforce walking and bicycling, such as frequent walker/biker programs and Walk to School Day events.
  • Generating parent support for SRTS.
  • Establishing policies that support SRTS, such as early dismissal for students who walk or bicycle home from school.


A truly amazing story of children facing anything but a safe route to school; Photoblog reported on a group of children in Indonesia making a perilous crossing of a broken rope suspension bridge each day. The photos of the feat shouldn’t be missed.


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

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