#164 Wednesday, December 13, 2006


CenterLines is the bi-weekly e-newsletter of the National Center for
Bicycling & Walking. CenterLines is our way of quickly delivering news
and information you can use to create more walkable and
bicycle-friendly communities. Check online for additional stories:

----- NCBW Broadens Community Workshop Offerings
----- Hyattsville (MD) Bikers United on Bike-Friendly Plans
----- Spreading the Word about Safe Routes to School
----- Speak Up about Transportation Funding
----- 109th Congress Passes Legislation Funding LWCF
----- Oregon Looking for Bike/Ped Program Manager
----- John Anastasio is Mcbc's New Director of Planning
----- Missoula (MT) Runners Use "Check Out Dog" Program

----- Wanted: a Sidewalk on Seven Locks Road, Bethesda (MD)
----- Weighing Health Impacts in Transportation Decisions
----- Alameda County (CA) Plans for Bikes in Unincorporated Areas
----- Birmingham (AL) Towns Go Extra Mile for Sidewalks Grants
----- Cleveland (OH) Developers to Build $120M 'College Town'
----- Reckless Driver Hits 2 in Greensboro (NC) School Drop-Off Zone
----- New Hampshire Retailers Work to Help Create Town Centers
----- Norwalk (CT) -- Where Walkers Fear to Tread
----- Denver (CO) Drafts Sidewalk Plan for Better Connectivity
----- U Of MD Study: Obesity More Likely for Suburban Kids
----- Cambridge (MA) Architect Pushes 'Walk/Ride Days
----- Tokyo's "Urban Villages" Fight for Survival

Note: We've begun publishing CenterLines earlier in the week, so that readers will get their issues before the weekend. Let us know what you think of the idea!


-> With the success of this year's pilots of the City Safe Routes to School workshop and the GIS-based community assessment tools (see CenterLines #160), the National Center for Bicycling & Walking is broadening it's approach to community workshops beyond the traditional Walkable Community Workshop.

"We're excited about the opportunity to do more for neighborhoods and communities than simply focusing on walkability," said Bill Wilkinson, executive director of NCBW. "While we'll continue to offer our award-winning series of Walkable Community Workshops, with the new year we will begin offering a much broader array of community-based activities. These will include pedestrian-friendly and bicycle-friendly community workshops, safe routes to school workshops, train-the-trainer sessions, community assessments, summit meetings, and more...a variety of ways to meet local needs."

Mark Plotz, NCBW's program director, notes that the organization has in the past four years offered more than 350 individual community workshops. "We've developed a systematic approach to hosting the WCWs," said Plotz. "We're eager to use what we've learned through these workshops to offer even more ways to encourage public involvement and civic engagement while making communities more bicycle friendly and walkable."

Plotz said that the new offerings will be made widely available in early 2007 to MPOs, school districts, public health practitioners, local advocacy organizations, and others.

For more information or to discuss how NCBW might assist in your community's efforts, contact Mark Plotz at: mark@bikewalk.org; 301.656.4220.


-> According to NCBW staffer, Mark Plotz, "In late September 2006 about 30 people gathered one evening in the Hyattsville city council chambers to talk about how their city can become bicycle-friendly. At the end of the those two plus hours (I thought we'd have to cut power to get people to leave the building) an ad hoc committee had formed to pursue a single purpose: Bicycle Friendly Community recognition by the League of American Bicyclists.

"In a few short months already a lot has happened. The group has a name (Hyattsville Bikers Unite!). The group is growing in membership. It has become an official City committee. And it has loosed its members upon the city to do things like: audit dangerous intersections, identify schools that need bike racks, write letters to the local newspaper, and finding strategic partners.

"NCBW facilitated the first meeting, but the real credit for all this progress goes to a handful of really dedicated "regular" citizens, the political support from the Mayor and City Council, and a few good friends who are bikers and happen to live in Hyattsville. Like our own Anne Villacres. HBU! is documenting all of its work along the way."

Check on its progress and get some inspiration for your work at HBU's website.


-> In a recent note, John Sweeney of Vienna, Virginia, asked, "How many times have you seen those bumper stickers/magnets that proclaim 'My child is an honor roll student at...'. Probably thousands. How many times have you seen one that reads 'My child walks (or bikes) to school.' Probably very few, if any at all. Today, fewer than 15% of schoolchildren walk or bike to school. As a result, kids today are less active, less independent, and less healthy. So what can we do to reduce or eliminate barriers to walking and biking to school? Enter the Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program In brief, Safe Routes to School is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to school.

"In July 2005, Congress passed federal legislation that established a national Safe Routes to School program. The program, which was signed into law in August 2005, dedicates a total of $612 million towards SRTS from 2005 to 2009. When I first read about the program (in the National PTA newsletter), I remember thinking 'This definitely seems like a worthwhile initiative, and plenty of money has been set-aside to implement the program. But what can I do? How can I get involved?' Well, as you might expect, there are plenty of websites with tons of information on this subject. Here are a few:


"As I read information on these websites (and others), it became clear that this program ties in closely with other PTA goals. So, I introduced our PTA Board to the SRTS concepts. Since early 2006, I have 'spread the word' by contacting local, county, and state officials and organizations, and tried to enlist support from several other local PTA boards and homeowners associations. In June of this year, we observed the Louise Archer students' 'commuting' methods. I was surprised how many students were dropped off via car by their parents. In addition, we distributed a bikeability and walkability survey to all of the families in our school. Recently, the Town of Vienna (in which Louise Archer Elementary School is located) has become interested in our Safe Routes To School initiative.

"In response to the Town's sidewalk study, we have shared the walkability and bikeability survey results and I briefed the Town's Transportation Safety Commission. Currently, we are preparing our project and program grant applications. We have identified infrastructure and education needs. In addition, we will continue to work with community and county/state government officials to keep them informed and gain their support."

For more information, contact John Sweeney, Legislative Committee Chairman, Safe Routes To School Program Manager, Louise Archer Elementary School, Vienna, VA; email: <Jsweeney21@cox.net>


-> According to an article in the Dec. 11th American Bicyclist Update, "The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which was created by SAFETEA-LU, has scheduled four field hearings in 2007, to be held across the United States. The field hearings will allow Commissioners to solicit input from federal, state and local transportation officials and experts, as well as the general public, regarding transportation needs and solutions in their regions.

"The Commission's goal is to examine the condition and future needs of the nation's surface transportation system, and explore short and long-term alternatives to replace or supplement the fuel tax as the principal revenue source to support the Highway Trust Fund over the next 30 years. Specific details about future field hearings will be forthcoming on the Commission's website (<http://www.surfacecommission.gov>). There should be opportunity to testify before the Commission or, in the alternative, provide written testimony. We urge you to keep visiting the web site for updates, as it is imperative that the Commission hears from the bicycling community to ensure a broad system approach to the future of transportation funding." Source


-> According to an article in the Dec. 11th National Recreation and Parks Association [NRPA] Public Policy newsletter, "One of the final acts of the 109th Congress was to pass a trade promotion and tax relief bill, HR 6111, that contained approval to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in 8 million acres in the eastern Gulf of Mexico adjacent to areas already leased by the federal government for drilling. The measure approved by the House exactly matched a plan previously approved by the Senate that contained a provision to dedicate 12.5% of lease royalty payments to the Land and Water Conservation Fund [LWCF] state assistance program. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a federal grant program administered by the National Park Service that makes matching 50% federal grants to local and state governments to enable purchase of parkland and development of recreation facilities for the American public." Source


-> In a recent note, Michael Ronkin wrote, "The rumors have been confirmed: I'm leaving my (wonderful) job as the Oregon B/P program manager after 17 years. The announcement just came out (about 2 months after we'd hoped). A negative note to planners, current program managers, others who would be eminently qualified to do the job: it has been reclassed (over my objections) to an engineering position. From the posting: 'Must possess a valid Professional Engineer's (PE) license in Civil, Structural, or Transportation-related engineering; AND Must demonstrate experience and knowledge in engineering design principles and practices for roadway projects.'"

To apply on line, go to this link. In the first pull tab menu (Job Title) scroll down to Bike-Ped Program Manager Salem. The closing date is Dec. 18, 2006, 5pm.


-> According to a recent news release, "the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) is pleased to announce the hiring of John Anastasio as our Director of Planning, effective December 1. The Director of Planning is the 'technical' person on MCBC's staff, and has a very public and important role in communicating MCBC's infrastructure and policy platforms. The position includes direct communication with public works directors, elected officials, MCBC members, and the public about bicycle needs, design issues, priorities and more.

"John is the former building official for Fairfax and Belvedere and is perhaps the first government employee in Marin to do inspections via bicycle. He is looking forward to working with local elected and appointed officials in building this country's most advanced bike-friendly environment. He has been involved in progressive social and environmental issues for the past 20 years. He was instrumental in saving the former Northwestern Pacific rail line from Cloverdale north until it could be purchased by the public.

"John was born and raised in Washington, DC, and obtained a BS degree in Construction Technology with emphasis on communications from the University of Maryland. In 1969 he attended the San Francisco Film School and has been on the north coast ever since. He enjoys bike camping and touring and is an avid bike commuter. John believes the bicycle is the almost-perfect machine and will be forever interested is seeing how it can be improved. John lives in San Rafael and has three daughters, four grand daughters and one grand son!"

For more information, contact Deb Hubsmith, Advocacy Director, Marin County Bicycle Coalition at (415) 454-7430 or <debhub@igc.org>.


-> According to a Dec. 6th news release, "Staff at the Forest Service's Fire Science Lab have found a great way to get physical activity during their work day and to be kind to the Animal Shelter's dogs at the same time. These workers use their breaks to 'check out' a dog at the nearby County Animal Shelter to accompany them on a run or walk. Research shows that people are more likely to get physical activity if they have someone, like an exercise partner, to help motivate them. With an estimated 25,000 dogs living in Missoula, there are ample opportunities for a walking buddy. When we take a dog out for their daily walk, we are not only receiving health benefits and physical activity for them but also for ourselves. Research shows that 80% of individuals who own a dog walk it once a day for at least 10 minutes. 42% of dog walkers accumulated at least 30 minutes of walking for at least 10 minutes each.

"This is significant because the national recommendation for adult physical activity is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least 5 days per week, which can be accomplished in 3 10-minute intervals. The Missoula City-County Health Department is promoting these physical activity recommendations as 'move minutes.' Since fewer then half of the adult population engage in the recommended levels of physical activity and one in four participate in no leisure time physical activity, dogs can make a big difference in getting us out for a walk and achieving our 30 minutes a day. Walking is the most popular form of leisure-time physical activity and is associated with health benefits and long-term adherence. Winter can be a tough time to get that daily physical activity in. Those of us with dogs (or dogs we can check out) have an easy and appealing way to put on a few layers and get out for a walk. We need it as much as the dogs do. And 10 MOVE minutes count!"

For more information, contact Kelly Rice, Community Health Specialist, Move Missoula Physical Activity and Worksite Coordinator, Missoula City-County Health Department. 301 W. Alder. Missoula, MT 59802; 406-258-3895 or email: <ricek@ho.missoula.mt.us>.

-> "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggy' until you can find a rock."
-- Will Rogers

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-> In a Dec. 13th Gazette column, Caitlyn K. Singam wrote, "I used to walk to school with my Daddy. I also ride my bike with Mommy and Daddy. When I go to Cabin John Mall, I see many people walking from a place called Scotland to the mall. Sometimes I see little children on bicycles riding near the mall. That is why we need a sidewalk on Seven Locks Road. You know that not everybody has a car. We must also care about our environment. So bicycling and walking are better than using fossil fuels.

"It's also good exercise. I want to ask people to walk and bicycle more. I walk almost every day with my Mommy and Daddy and it's the best part of my day. You can talk about stuff and see family and even see birds, raccoons and even a fox. My Daddy likes to say we should make Saturday and Sunday a walking day for the family. Don't you think it would make this a better and funner place? Do you think you can help make Saturday and Sunday a Family Walking Day?"

[Caitlyn lives in Bethesda. She will soon be 7 years old.]

Source | Archive search: use "Search" window | Archive cost: No
Title: "Sidewalk wanted"
Author: Caitlyn K. Singam


-> In a Dec. 10th Seattle Post-Intelligencer column, Kathy Baughman Mcleod asked, "What if an expert told you that if state Route 520 goes to 15 lanes at the Pacific interchange, 134 additional lives would be lost in five years due to traffic accidents? Or if you knew that the six-lane scenario for the same road would increase surrounding residents' depression and consumption of anti-depressants to the tune of $1.7 million annually because of the noise and increased stress? And if decision-makers learned that 35,000 more children in Seattle will seek medical care for asthma because of increased air pollution if the Evergreen Point Bridge replacement proceeds as planned, rather than being simply improved and not expanded -- would it matter to you? These are not actual statistics, but these calculations, and others that forecast the impacts of development on human health in a specific neighborhood or community, are possible through an innovative practice called health impact assessment. Long used in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, health impact assessment is an emerging tool in the U.S.

"Non-regulatory in nature, it is increasingly being used here to supplement traditional planning and permitting of development and infrastructure projects. Incentives for developers, such as fast-track permitting and requirement waivers, can be offered in exchange for using HIA in designs plans. The result is often a faster, more profitable and healthier project. Measuring health in the "built environment" will be the focus of a two-hour session at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Seattle City Hall, hosted by Public Health -- Seattle & King County, Feet First and Steps to Health King County. Seattle-King County is facing some of the most challenging and expensive infrastructure needs in decades. Future needs of SR 520, the Alaskan Way Viaduct and other high-profile development plans will impact public health. Wednesday's workshop will focus on the factors, other than genetics and lifestyle, which determine your health..."

Source: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/295374_focus10.html
Archive search: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/search/
Archive cost: No
Title: "Let the new state Route 520 take us down a healthier road"
Author: Kathy Baughman Mcleod


-> According to a Dec. 12th Mercury News article, "It's one of the healthiest -- and sometimes fastest -- ways to commute around the area, and Alameda County officials are hoping to make it getting around unincorporated Alameda County on a bicycle a little bit better. The county's public works agency will hold public meetings over the next month to help in its update of the county's draft bicycle master plan covering unincorporated places including Castro Valley and parts of the Tri Valley. The plan was originally approved in 1999, mainly focused on how to better connect bikeways in Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview and San Lorenzo. 'Our previous plan did not really include east county,' said Paul Kenner, senior transportation planner for the county. 'But bike riding has become more popular in east county with a development of more routes, such as Tesla Road.' Keener said the area's rural setting makes it a natural for more bikeways, as even now along with commuting, many ride bikes on their way to visit wineries.

"'With all the rural area out there, and the wineries, we have more people on bikes,' Kenner said. On the other side of the hill, Kenner said the county has some big projects in the work, such as a bike lanes on Lewelling Boulevard between Hesperian Boulevard and East 14th Street, and improvements along East Castro Valley Boulevard. 'Those are two high profile projects we're looking at right now,' said Keener, adding the county also is looking at developing a multi-use trail along the old Western Pacific railroad tracks that bikes could use. The goal of the biking plan is to connect regional transportation hubs with bike paths in an effort to reduce traffic congestion, while also encouraging people to be healthier and get much-needed exercise. 'This plan is about quality of life and addressing health concerns...,' Keener said.

Source | Archive search: use "Search" window | Archive cost: Yes
Title: "Suggestions, ideas sought for ALCo bicycle master plan"
Author: Chris Metinko


-> According to a Dec. 12th News article, "If you go by the real estate ads, Mountain Brook has it all: great schools, quaint shops, valuable homes and wooded parks. But until recently, the city was missing a way to get from one to the other. So Mountain Brook is making a major push to build sidewalks, and other metro-area cities aren't far behind. City officials and experts say new sidewalks are part of a national effort to make the suburbs more walkable -- and more desirable to potential residents. 'They're realizing this sort of thing enhances livability,' said Darrell Howard, a transportation planner with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. 'Folks are demanding more. You have to remember that 40 to 50 years ago, people said we need more paved roads. Now people say "I want to walk more."'

"Mountain Brook, which is about halfway through a 13-stage plan to build miles of sidewalks, is only one of the area cities competing for federal dollars for their projects. Vestavia Hills has spent more than $1.5 million on sidewalks, including a newly completed stretch along U.S. 31. Hoover is in the third phase of its Park Avenue sidewalks project in Bluff Park, a $641,000 project, and other cities are following closely behind. Most of these projects have received funds that cover 80 percent of the cost of construction from the Federal Highway Administration. About $17 million is expected to be available for transportation enhancements in 2007, according to the state Department of Transportation, and other funds are also available through different grants. City planners say the money is a big incentive..."

Source | Archive search: | Archive cost:
Title: "Area cities going extra mile for grants to build sidewalks"
Author: Hannah Wolfson


-> According to a Dec. 12th Plain Dealer article, "Two developers making their mark in Cleveland's core are ready to tackle the much-anticipated "college town" development in University Circle. Developers Nathan Zaremba and MRN Ltd., in a joint venture, have signed a letter of intent with Case Western Reserve University to pursue the $120 million mix of arts, retail and dwellings. It's planned for about eight acres north and south of Euclid Avenue, east of the Ford Drive-Mayfield Road intersection. 'We're ready to go,' said John Wheeler, Case's vice president for Cleveland and regional affairs. 'This is the first step in a long process, but we're optimistic.'

"Case has spent millions acquiring the land and envisions what students, workers and residents in the stodgy, institutional district have long yearned for -- a dynamic, walkable mix of arts, dining, entertainment and retail. MRN earned kudos for its chic treatment of East Fourth Street. Zaremba has built scores of dwellings in the city and recently broke ground on the Avenue District, a $250 million retail-residential development downtown. On Wednesday night, an executive committee of Case's trustees approved a memorandum of understanding with Zaremba and MRN..."

Source | Archive search: use "Search" window | Archive cost: Yes
Title: "Developers, Case sign memo for 'college town'"
Author: Tom Breckenridge


-> According to a Dec. 12th News 14 story, "Getting the kids out the door and to school on time each morning is a daily challenge for many parents. While in a rush to beat the clock and get where you need to be, safety can sometimes be overlooked. That was the case early Tuesday morning when a car hit a 12-year-old girl and a teacher's assistant outside of McLeansville Elementary School. The accident happened in the school's pick-up and drop-off zone -- an area that sees a lot of traffic at key points in the day. It was a frightening and concerning accident and one that the State Highway Patrol says could have been avoided. 'It appeared that the parent did not properly clean their window, so there was some icing on the window that we were able to clearly see that we believe led to the parent being totally unable to have a clear vision from their windshield,' said Trooper A.W. Waddell.

"Windshields aside, the accident has brought up general safety questions for school pick-up and drop-off areas. The National Center for Safe Routes to School specializes in making sure kids get to and from school in the safest way possible. 'Of course it depends on the situation at each school, but some general rules of thumb are to try to keep motor vehicles separate from bicycle and pedestrian traffic, to provide them with their own path for getting into the school areas, and to have some kind of established drop off and pick up system, and to really minimize congestion around the schools by encouraging other uses like bus transportation and walking,' said Margaret Scully, of the National Center for Safe Routes to School..."

Source | Archive search: use "Search" window | Archive cost: No
Title: "Student hit by car in school parking lot"
Author: Becky Bereiter


-> According to a Dec. 10th Union Leader article, "Retailers are banding together to develop their own local holiday festivals at a time when some New Hampshire towns have no downtown, like Merrimack and Barrington. Scott McPhie, a community resource planner for Merrimack, said that retailers in southern New Hampshire towns started to become decentralized in the mid to late 1960s, after the F.E. Everett turnpike was completed in 1959. The Nashua Mall, the first indoor mall in New Hampshire, opened shortly afterward and so did the Bedford Mall, and commercial development began to be attracted to these highway routes and away from the old stage coach routes and traditional town centers.

"Linda Bonetti, director for the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, said that retailers are now so decentralized that it makes it very difficult to organize a holiday shopping festival. Merrimack did contract a conceptual plan that led to a Town Center Plan, and Bonetti says that she can envision a 'Wrap it Up' shopping night coming together in the future.

"Barrington is another town with no town center. Town administrator Carol Reilly said that the town contracted a conceptual planner in 2004 to develop a town center plan, and is now awaiting zoning amendment to develop a 'walkable downtown with more business opportunities for economic development.' Barrington officials plan to develop their town center at Calef's Corner, the location of a cluster of businesses that have banded together in the meantime to declare a de facto town center and organize a holiday festival of their own..."

Source | Archive search | Archive cost: Yes
Title: "Retailers banding together to draw holiday shoppers in NH"
Author: Jim Kozubek


-> According to an E-Magazine commentary by Adrian Larose, "Norwalk, Connecticut is not exactly pedestrian-friendly. There, I've said it! About 100,000 people live in the city on Long Island Sound where E/The Environmental Magazine is based. But the city simply doesn't do much to help them get on their feet or ride a bicycle. Six weeks in Norwalk as an E intern taught me how much road design and drivers' attitudes can influence problems such as global warming. It's simple: the city's environment affects the planet's environment. While I was able to get by with my bicycle and a backpack, tagging along on only a few car rides to other towns, it was all much more stressful than back in Ottawa, my hometown.

"It all comes down to treating pedestrians as part of the traffic (as does Ottawa, New York City and Toronto) or obstacles that get in the way and slow down the all-important cars (Norwalk, and I imagine other cities as well). The main problem is the way the city grid was and continues to be laid out: its roads, sidewalks and intersections. Although driver behavior also matters, an improved layout could remedy some bad habits. Norwalk has many intersections that were seemingly designed to make pedestrians go away. Quite a few offer just two crosswalks. If you're standing on the wrong corner, presumably you're supposed to disappear or detour rather than slow traffic..."

Source | Archive search | Archive cost: Yes
Title: "Where Walkers Fear to Tread"
Author: Adrian Larose


-> According to a Dec. 8th Rocky Mountain News article, "With nearly 20 percent of its streets lined with shabby sidewalks or no sidewalks at all, Denver is considering a plan to build a smoother connection on the ground. Denver's plan to create a 'more connected and walkable city' could cost you thousands of dollars. Under the proposal, people who pull building permits on projects exceeding $100,000 will have to repair a sidewalk if the sidewalk along their property is in bad shape. People with properties that don't have an existing sidewalk can either build the sidewalk to city standards or pay the city an estimated $3,000 to $5,000 fee in lieu of constructing the sidewalk.

"If they live along one of the city's 31 parkways, their only choice is to pay the fee because of unique guidelines that apply to parkways. The fees the city collects would be used to build sidewalks in priority areas, which haven't been identified but are likely to include bus routes. 'We're talking about a small percentage of homeowners (who) are directly affected by this (proposal), and the only ones who are affected are people who come in to ask the city for a permit,' said Jason Longsdorf, a public works planner.

"'There's nothing retroactive,' he added. The city came up with the proposed $100,000 trigger so the cost of the sidewalk would be a 'minimal increment' compared with the overall project, Longsdorf said. 'We don't ever want somebody to come in to do a $2,000 carport addition and get stuck with $5,000 worth of sidewalk,' he said. On Wednesday, the city's Public Works Department said it planned to exempt Crestmoor Park from the proposed rules. Residents of the east Denver neighborhood, which has wide streets and few sidewalks, had flooded city officials with e-mails opposing the proposal..."

Source | Archive search | Archive cost: Yes
Title: "City mulls proposal to make area more friendly for feet"
Author: Daniel J. Chacon


-> According to a recent news release, "A study in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that, like their parents, kids who live in the suburbs and usually ride in cars, weigh more and are more prone to obesity than kids who live in densely populated urban areas where they can easily walk to destinations. The study appears online on Tuesday, Dec.12. Said study leader Reid Ewing, of the University of Maryland's National Center for Smart Growth, 'After accounting for economic and demographic differences, adolescents surveyed in 1997 were more than twice as likely to be overweight if they lived in a sprawling county compared to a compact one. The most likely reason -- those living in sprawl are effectively living in their cars. They are getting little exercise walking as part of their daily lives, have less time to be physically active, and may even consume more calories as cars become de facto snack shops.'

"Ewing led the 2003 study that first reported a relationship between sprawling adult waistlines and sprawling metropolitan areas. That study estimated that the average adult living in dense and walkable Manhattan would weigh about six pounds less than an adult of the same age, race, and other personal characteristics living in the most sprawling suburban county, Geauga County outside Cleveland. Ewing's co-authors in this latest study are David Berrigan of the National Cancer Institute and Ross Brownson of Saint Louis School of Public Health. 'This novel finding, that where you live can affect your weight, has been challenged, tested, and generally validated since then, but never for kids,' said Ewing. 'Kids have become the focus of concern at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health agencies, since obese kids tend to become obese adults, with life-long health problems and associated elevated health care costs.'..."

Source | Archive search: use "Search" window | Archive cost: No
Title: "Obesity More Likely for Kids Who Live in Suburban Sprawl"
Author: Staff

To read the abstract, click here.


-> According to a Dec. 12th Chronicle article, "Set aside one day a month for walking or riding the bus or bicycle. Upgrade the state's 37 airports. Increase funding for maintaining bridges and roads. Pass legislation to fix the MBTA's finances. Raise the gas tax. Get the Fall River-New Bedford commuter rail project on track. Wish lists and notepads in hand, over 100 commuter and environmental advocates, transit policymakers, and biking enthusiasts crammed into the high rise law offices of Brown Rudnick in downtown Boston today to lobby working group members appointed by Gov.-elect Deval Patrick to examine transportation issues and report back to him by Friday.

"Some called for more efficiently tying transportation systems between Massachusetts' cities and towns, as well as those of neighboring states. Janie Katz-Christy, an architect and mother of three from Cambridge, pushed her Green Streets Initiative's 'Walk/Ride Days,' when people are encouraged to wear a green item of clothing and use "green" means of transportation, including riding a bus or train or bicycle, and even pogo sticks or stilts. 'Just get out of your car,' she said. The program, which Katz-Christy wants Patrick to take statewide, started in March.

"It is sponsored by Zipcar, and cities and towns like Newton, Belmont, and Medford have expressed interest in similar programs, she said. This month's 'Walk/Ride Day' is slated for December 15. Rep. Anne Paulsen (D-Belmont), who sits on the Legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation, said if the state was going to spend $500 million on Chapter 90, cities and towns must step up and provide bicycle and pedestrian ways, and ensure there are enough bike racks at T stops. Jo Hart, from Worcester, noted Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell wants to extend a railway system to Springfield..."

Source | Archive search: use "Search" window | Archive cost: ? (limited archives)
Title: "Cambridge woman advocates 'green' transportation and pogo sticks"
Author: Gintautas Dumcius


-> According to a Dec. 12th Reuters article, "In the shadow of Tokyo tower at the heart of the Japanese capital, Masakazu Shirai walks down the stairs from his apartment to his workshop at 8 a.m. each day to begin work making tatami mats. Life in the world's largest conurbation -- there are around 35 million people in Tokyo and its surrounds -- might conjure up a nightmarish image of marathon commutes between anonymous concrete apartment blocks and offices. In fact, a stroll behind high-rise buildings often reveals one of the city's many tiny village-like communities, with their own schools, shops and restaurants. Neighbors know one another and go about their daily business on foot or by bicycle. 'A lot of people have lived here for a long time,' said 54-year-old Shirai, whose family have made traditional flooring in the same spot in Higashi Azabu for five generations -- selling it to customers from temples to interior decorators. 'Gossip spreads like wildfire, but if something goes wrong, everyone steps in to help one another,' he added, as he stitched a blue fabric border onto a mat.

"Although Tokyo's population continues to grow, social changes, such as low birth rates and a wave of high-rise development in central Tokyo, are now threatening the survival of old-fashioned neighborhoods like Higashi Azabu. 'Some of the new developments are very stylish,' said Tomoyoshi Nomura, a scientist who also lives in Higashi Azabu. 'But when it comes down to it, local people do not always get to live in the new buildings -- they are pushed out,' he added. The area in 2004 lost its battle to keep an elementary school that had only 37 pupils left, while a 27-floor apartment building -- the first of its kind in the area -- is under construction, despite protests. Nomura and many of his Neighbors are concerned that the weakening of community ties could lead to isolation..."

Source | Archive search: Requires registration | Archive cost: Yes
Title: "Tokyo's 'urban villages' fight for survival"
Author: Isabel Reynolds



-> "A British lady, her naturalist husband, and her unwieldy 5x7 Graflex camera moved to Terry (MT), in the late 1800s. 'Lady' Evelyn Cameron took startlingly clear pictures of everything: cowboys, sheepherders, weddings, river crossings, freight wagons, people working, badlands, eagles, coyotes and wolves. Through her camera lens Terry was recorded for posterity. That posterity has turned into national acclaim for the area through the work of former Time-Life Books editor, Donna Lucey. In the late 1970s, Lucey discovered thousands of Cameron's photo-negatives stashed away in the basement of Cameron's best friend's home. Lucey quickly realized she had discovered a treasure trove of masterpieces chronicling the lives of Terry's early settlers. After years of sorting the photographs and studying Cameron's meticulously kept diaries, Lucey published 'Photographing Montana 1894-1928: The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron', a photo-book that beautifully depicts Cameron's photographic genius and her unique personality." Source

-> "...In addition, PANA has designed a Safe Routes to School program that has assisted nearly 300 communities in implementing walk-to-school policies, provided crucial educational outreach and tools to support the state's recent Growth Screening initiative in schools, and registered 30 Pennsylvania communities -- far more than any other state -- for WeCan! (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity and Nutrition), a National Institutes of Health healthy weight campaign..." More...

-> "Bradenton officials hope a new master plan streamlines a haphazard design and transforms the city into a liveable, walkable network of homes, businesses and public gathering places..." More...

-> "The League of American Bicyclists named Carmel a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community based on improved conditions for bicycling and a focused investment in bicycling programs and facilities..." More...

-> "According to the study by Massey researcher Kane Hopkins, women and young people in particular said they avoided cycling because of the effect on their hair-styles. Mr Trass says, 'The law has failed to do what it was meant to do; that is, make cycling safer.'..." More...

-> "Portland's so-called 'festival street,' which opened two months ago, is one of a small but growing number of projects in the United States that seek to reclaim streets used by cars as public places for people, too. The strategy is to blur the boundary between pedestrians and automobiles by removing sidewalks and traffic devices, and to create a seamless multi-purpose urban space..." More...

-> "He must be scorned and shunned. The trouble is, he's just so darned reasonable -- not to mention charming..." More...

-> "Mayor Greg Nickels is seeking candidates for positions on the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board for terms beginning in March. 'I urge those with a strong interest in pedestrian issues and keeping Seattle a walkable city to consider this important position' said Nickels..." More...

-> "But the owners of the Town and Country Shopping Centre want it to become a 'lifestyle' shopping centre, with an open-air main street, green space galore, easy access to bike trails and buses, with residential units eventually added to the business/commercial mix..." More...

-> "The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has updated the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Interpretations website to include its most recent interpretations." More...

Report by the Transport Research Lab (UK); 2006. (11mb) More...

Transport Research Lab (UK) fact sheet LF2100; 2006. More...

Additional training opportunities are available on the National Center for Bicycling & Walking web site. Add your own items to the on-line calendar...it's quick and easy. Please be sure your calendar items pertain to training and workshops in the bicycle, pedestrian, or livable community fields. Go to:


-> January 11-12, 2007, Designing and Implementing Roundabouts, Las Vegas, NV. Info: Susanna Fuerstenberg, Program Associate, U. of Wisconsin College of Engineering, Dept. of Engr. Professional Dev.; phone: (800) 462-0876; email: <fuersten@epd.engr.wisc.edu>. More...

-> January 21-25, 2007, TRB Annual Meeting, Washington D.C. More...

-> February 5-6, 2007, International Conference on Roads and the Environment, Geneva, Switzerland. Info: International Road Federation, 2, chemin de Blandonnet 1214 Vernier/Geneva, Switzerland; phone: +41 22 306 02 60; email: <abastienne@irfnet.org> More...

-> February 8-10, 2007, New Partners for Smart Growth, Los Angeles, CA. More...

-> February 22-24, 2007, 4th Annual Active Living Research Conference, Coronado CA. Info: Amanda Wilson, Research Coordinator; phone: 619-260-5538; email: <awilson@projects.sdsu.edu>. More...

-> March 25-29, 2007, National Trust Main Streets Conference, Seattle, WA. Info: Mary de la Fe, Main Streets Conference Coordinator, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1785 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036; phone: (202) 588-6329; email: <mary_delafe@nthp.org> More...

-> April 14-18, 2007, American Planning Association National Conference, Philadelphia, PA. More...

-> June 12-15, 2007, Velo City International Bicycle Conference, Munich, Germany. More...

-> October 1-4, 2007, Walk21 International Conference, Toronto, ON, Canada. More...


Teach and conduct research in the area of health promotion and technology related to physical activity, nutrition and wellness. Required: Earned doctorate in Exercise & Wellness or related discipline; teaching experience in health promotion and technology; on-line teaching experience; evidence of experience conducting independent research and being published in peer-reviewed journal(s) appropriate to rank; skills/proficiency in technology (e.g., data base and analysis software/presentation media); evidence of securing external funding for research specialty appropriate to rank. Experience mentoring MS or PhD students is preferred. Application deadline: January 31, 2007; if not filled, then the end of each month thereafter until search is closed.

Send letter of application, vita, and three names of references with telephone numbers to: Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ph.D., Chair, Search Committee Health Promotion and Technology, Department of Exercise and Wellness, 7350 East Unity Ave, Mesa, Arizona 85212-0180.


Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit trails & greenways organization, seeks a Trail Development Manager for the Midwest (near Columbus, OH) to support communities in their trail planning efforts by providing technical assistance, conducting public outreach & training workshops, and building relationships with local agencies, stakeholders, and allied organizations in the recreation, alternative transportation, health and conservation fields. Excellent writing & speaking skills and time & budget mgt.; ability to build coalitions among diverse constituencies. Qualifications: four-year college degree in urban/ regional planning, land use management, parks/recreation, alternative transportation or related field plus 2-4 years related experience. Salary based on nonprofit pay scale/experience plus benefits. Open until filled, apply ASAP. EOE. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Info: Rhonda L. Border-Boose, Director, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Midwest Office, 30 Liberty Street, Canal Winchester, OH 43110, Phone: 614.837.6782, Fax: 614.837.6783. Complete job description & how to apply, visit our Web site.


This 20-30 hour/week contracted position works in the Commuter Services (ACCS) unit of the Department of Environmental Services (DES) Transportation Division, Planning Bureau. The position reports directly to the ACCS Chief, works closely with the Bureau's Pedestrian Planner and coordinates activities directly with the ACCS Marketing Manager and Bike Arlington Promotions Manager. In addition it coordinates with other planners and marketing professionals throughout the County to develop initiatives and vehicles for promoting walking in Arlington County, VA. The WALKArlington Promotions Manager is responsible for developing programs to promote pedestrian activities and to increase public awareness of the benefits and advantages of walking. Promotional efforts are accomplished through WALKArlington website and related email newsletter, special events, television, radio and newspaper promotions, written promotions and through coordinating with the ACCS umbrella marketing program, currently known as Way To Go Arlington. For more information, click here.

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Contributors: John Williams, Bill Wilkinson, Gary MacFadden, Mark Plotz, Sharon Roerty, Bob Chauncey, Chris Jordan, Anne Villacres, Ross Trethewey, Linda Tracy, Harrison Marshall, Jennifer Toole, Peter Lagerwey, Deb Hubsmith, John Sweeney, Kelly Rice, Russell Houston, and Hop Wilson.

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