Weekly Walk Around the News 7/20/12

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Posted by Helen Lundell

July 20, 2012


This week, Seattle Mayor McGinn announced the launch of the 2012 Only in Seattle campaign to encourage discovery and exploration of new neighborhoods, as well as only in Seattle Sundays’- a special once-a-month neighborhood discount day. A great excuse to get out and about on foot in a new neighborhood!Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) gave an update on progress on  trail development from Bridging the Gap:Trail segments constructed include:  the Burke-Gilman Extension to Golden Gardens, the Duwamish Trail, the Lake Union Ship Canal Trail, the Bradford Street Connector and the Burke-Gilman-Magnuson Park Spur.  These segments help connect to the larger network of trails in the city and across the region providing key links between neighborhoods.   Funding from Bridging the Gap also helps maintain the trails.Last week, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) held an open house to discuss the upcoming installation of a Neighborhood Greenway in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Neighborhood Greenways are routes on non-arterial streets that are improved for safe, family-friendly bicycle and pedestrian travel, and are usually designed for reduced vehicle speeds and volumes.NationalA Governing review of census and Center for Disease Control (CDC) data provides support for the notion that communities where more residents walk or bike to work have significantly healthier weights and recommend support for infrastructural improvements such as sidewalks and bicycle lanes (acknowledging that there are clearly other factors at play). Grist reported on the death of a woman in Washington D.C. who was killed by an elderly cyclist on a multi-use trail. This tragic incident, where attributing blame is far from straightforward, highlights a number of important questions about how we think about, and behave on, multi-use trails. The New York Times highlighted how Atlanta residents are considering adding a penny to their sales tax for the next ten years with the aim of raising $8.5 billion to support transportation improvements. In the region, only 5% currently make use of train and bus systems. Growing Transit Communities will be holding a conference entitled Equity and Health in Transportation: Metrics and Best Practices, Friday September 28th 2012, from 8:30 to 3:30pm visit: www.psrc.org for more information.InternationalBBC news reported on a study, published in the Lancet, estimating that around one third of adults in the UK are doing insufficient physical activity and that this inactivity is causing as many deaths as smoking (in terms of total numbers of death, rather than level of risk to the individual). It is recommended that adults do 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, per week.  Another cross cultural comparison this week- a TreeHugger writer who has moved back from France to New York thinks wistfully back to his days riding on the city trams.If you come across any interesting pedestrian news or stories, please send a link to info@feetfirst.org.

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