Weekly Walk Around the News 2/17/2012


Feet First’s look at pedestrian news for the week of February 17, 2012.


Posted by Helen Lundell

February 17, 2012



Daniel Toole was interviewed by Atlantic Cities this week, on why we should appreciate alleys, the underused and underappreciated streets that offer insight into the character of our citys…and if you really want to see an alley in action, join us for a party on March 1st to welcome the Bicycle Alliance of Washington  & Back Alley bike repair to Nord Alley! 

This week, a Senate Committee passed a bill which would allow counties and cities to raise fees and taxes on cars to improve transportation services. One of the fee options, a $40 annual car tab fee, would not need to go through voters.

The Seattle Department of Transportation blogged about their progress in improving Seattles sidewalks. They’ve repaired 8 miles of sidewalks since funding became available in 2007, but there’s still a long way to go¦

On Sunday, Februrary 26th, John Fleming (a Seattle artist) will be discussing his side-walk-embedded art at the Bitter Lake Community Center’s Annual Pancake breakfast.



While continuing its fight against the House Transportation Bill in its entirety, Transportation for America is rallying support for a an amendment to the bill which will allow local governments to maintain control over transportation choices. The Rails to Trails Conservancy is also advocating for an Amendment to the bill to help protect the Recreational Trails Program, which ensures dedicated funding for trails, biking and walking. For more information, check out Transportation For America’s Amendment Tracker to keep tabs on the progress of amendments to change the bill for the better (and worse).

Thanks to Atlantic Cities for a fascinating peek into the world of ˜guerilla wayfinding’ (and other guerilla urban improvements). One group in North Carolina has been putting up signs to help pedestrians find their way. These signs have become so popular the city may be making them permanent. This is yet another exciting example of people making a stand and really showing their city how things could be made better for inhabitants.

This week the New York Times looked at efforts in Denver to make the city more walkable. The article promotes the role of organizations like Feet First (and Walk Denver, a similar organization in the city) in really putting pedestrianism onto the urban planning agenda.

The Financial Times reminds us that improvements in transportation infrastructure must be supported by neighborhood revitalization.

According to a survey conducted on behalf of the National Association of Realtors, 

After hearing detailed descriptions of two different types of communities, 56% of Americans select the smart growth community and 43% select the sprawl community. Smart growth choosers do so largely because of the convenience of being within walking distance to shops and restaurants (60%). Those who prefer the sprawl community are motivated mostly by desire to live in single-family homes on larger lots (70%).

And so, while it’s wonderful that the majority are looking to live in walkable neighborhoods, large houses and lots are still important to many Americans.  

Complete Streets has released the executive summary of an upcoming report on the success of Complete Streets in California It’s a safe decision: Complete Streets in California.

The National Center for Safe Routes to School has released a resource about SRTS programs seeking to reduce speeding and distracted driving.

Register here for a Webinar from NYC Health entitled Creating Healthy Communities Through Design: Improving Parks and Active Recreation Opportunities at 11am PST Tuesday March 6th.


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

Thank you for your donation!

Feet First utilizes NetworkForGood.com to process donations.

Your donation will help us to:

put on neighborhood walks and provide walking resources

raise awareness throughout Washington about the benefits of walkable communities and rights of the pedestrians

host events and programs focused on improving walkability