Weekly Walk Around the News 12/7/2012

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


Posted by Kerry Dirk

December 7, 2012



The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board is now seeking new members to help make Seattle more walkable. Those interested in applying should be frequent walkers, Seattle Residents, and not city employees. Members serve a two-year team and meet the second Wednesday of each month from 6 to 8 pm at City Hall on Fifth Avenue. Applications are due by 5 pm on December 17.

The Sound Transit Board hopes to accelerate plans for the development of a Sound Transit 3 package, which would cut the total planning timeline to 4 years rather than 8-12 years. Corridor studies identified for the planning phase include the following: Lynwood-Everett, Overlake-Redmond; South Bellevue-Issaquah, Star Lake/Redondo-Tacoma, Redmond-Kirkland-UW, UW-Ballard-Downtown Seattle, Renton-Burien, and Downtown Seattle-West Seattle-Buren. 

A 79-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by two different cars last Monday on Highway 99.



With the rise of roundabouts in the United States (approximately 2,000), researchers have become interested in pedestrian and bicyclist risk in these unique structures. A study by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which captured more than 6,900 pedestrian crossings and 7,500 bicycle crossings, found drivers at one roundabout yielded only 45 percent of the time, with drivers at another roundabout yielding about 83 percent of the time. 

The Environmental Protection Agency recently recognized seven communities with its 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. The winners are recognized in four categories, including overall excellence, equitable development, main street or corridor revitalization, and programs and policies.  The winners were chosen from among 47 applicants from 25 sates.

Walksteps.org, an online interactive resource for citizens, planners, and engineers, was recently launched. Their mission is to create pedestrian-friendly communities, for which they’ve teamed up with America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Make sure to check out all of their website features, including access to case studies and ways to compile and share tactics.

Travel and Leisure magazine released a list of the Best U.S. Cities for Public Transit and Walkability. Portland, Chicago, Savannah, San Francisco, and New York City top the list.

A current article in Atlantic Cities summarizes Jeff Speck’s new book, Walkable City, which includes ten steps to make cities more walkable. His suggestions include the following: put cars in their place, mix the uses, get the parking right, let transit work, protect the pedestrian, welcome bikes, shape the spaces, plant trees, make friendly and unique (building) faces, and pick your winners. 

Despite efforts to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities on Maryland roads, the number of deaths climbed from 93 in 2006 to 103 in 2011.

The number of pedestrian fatalities in Oregon is on the rise, with 52 pedestrians having been killed in accidents involving vehicles this year. This number has already exceeded last year’s total of 47.



A global consultant of urban planning suggests six ideas that cities should borrow from Barcelona.  These ideas include, for example, making walking and biking irresistible and thinking like a citizen rather than a city planner, architect, or engineer.



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

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