#167 Wednesday, January 24, 2007
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At this week's TRB meeting in Washington, DC, I was stunned by the news that the Seattle DOT (SDOT) has removed Pete Lagerwey from the manager's position he has held for over 20 years and assigned him to a more limited set of duties as a "Ped/Bike Planner." At the same time, another member of the small ped/bike office staff was reassigned to the SDOT sign shop! It is not clear what prompted these actions.
As virtually everyone in any way involved with bicycle and pedestrian programs in the U.S. knows, Pete is one of -- if not the premier -- planner working on these issues. Over the years, he has helped lead the City of Seattle to a well-earned status as having one of the best ped/bike programs in the country. The City's many outstanding accomplishments have Pete's stamp all over them.
So, this sudden and precipitous action by the Seattle DOT is of great concern. Have pedestrian and bicycle affairs become such big-time political issues that we should expect to see politically motivated actions affecting those of us in the profession? I sincerely hope not.
Additionally, the NCBW has another, related concern: we selected Seattle as the host city for Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008. Notwithstanding a broad base of support from the Seattle community for the City's bid for the conference, it was Pete's leadership and his program's accomplishments that prompted us to select Seattle. What now?
In a 22 January note to Grace Crunican, SDOT Director, I wrote, "I was planning a trip to Seattle in mid-February to meet with the local host committee and to formally kick off planning for the conference. Now, I'm not sure it is appropriate to move forward for the time being." I have not heard back from Grace, so I am writing to the City today to postpone the meeting until such time as City officials meet with us to explain what is going on, what we can expect, and to -- we hope -- reassure us that the City is committed to hosting the conference and that Pete will continue to lead the City's efforts in this regard.
We'll keep you posted.
-> I always enjoy taking a few moments to look back on a year just past and share with CenterLines readers some of NCBW's successes and achievements.
The most recent achievement: the Bethesda headquarters office moved...down one floor to Suite 520. When compared to our previous move from Dupont Circle in 2004, this move was handled with grace and aplomb.
We welcomed two new staff to the organization: Chris Jordan and Anne Villacres ... and bid a fond farewell to our friend Corey Twyman.
We worked as consultants on projects in New Jersey (for the State DOT on their SRTS project, and the Town of Wharton on SRTS); in Lexington, Kentucky (for the MPO on a long-range bike/ped plan); in Maryland (for the Office of Highway Safety on Walkable Community Workshops); in Massachusetts (for the Executive Office of Transportation on the Statewide Bike Plan Update); in Ottawa (for the City on the Pedestrian Plan); among others.
We presented a total of 45 Walkable Community Workshops in eight different communities.
We published 26 biweekly issues of CenterLines without missing a beat, with John Williams at the tiller.
We continued to provide technical assistance and support to the National Park Service on the Park Roads and Parkways program.
We presented at many conferences and meetings, including: Georgia Statewide Bike/Ped Conference; Florida Pro Bike/Pro Walk Conference; the Eno Foundation's Transportation Scholars program, and others.
With the University of Oregon, we developed a GIS tool for assessing safe routes to school, and pilot tested it in five schools around the country. In 2007 we'll expand the tool to include modules for Complete Streets and ADA.
Sharon was appointed to the National Safe Routes to School Task Force and is a member of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership steering committee. Bob was appointed to the TRB Bicycle Committee. Bill continues to serve on various Surface Transportation Policy Partnership committees and on the Complete Streets steering committee.
We held the best-attended Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference yet, with 645 participants representing a dozen countries. The day before the conference we presented institutes on SRTS and the Traffic Justice concept. Madison, Wisconsin, made a wonderful venue.
Okay, enough about 2006. It's time to look forward to new opportunities (and not a little hard work) helping communities become more bicycle friendly and walkable. -- bw
-> In a recent note, Tiffani Jackson wrote, "Just letting you know that I am the new Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for KY. Thanks! My contact information is: Tiffani Jackson, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, Office of Special Programs, KY Transportation Department, 200 Mero St., 6th floor, Frankfort, KY 40622; Phone: (502)564-2060 ext.3033; Fax: (502)564-6615; Email: <Tiffani.Jackson@ky.gov>.
and submittal forms, go to:
-> In a recent note, Katy Jones wrote, "The National Center for Safe Routes to School has added an email alerts sign-up feature on its Web site. By signing up for the feature, subscribers will receive periodic updates from the Center, including news releases and Safe Routes Matters, the Center's electronic newsletter." To subscribe, go to: http://tinyurl.com/3ahbng
The NCSRTS home page is here: http://tinyurl.com/o6szb
-> According to a recent note from Matthew Cowley, "The City of Toronto and Green Communities Canada will host Walk21 Toronto 2007 -- Putting Pedestrians First -- from October 1st to 4th, 2007. This exciting conference will bring together hundreds of delegates from around the world all with the goal of making walkable communities. Leaders and advocates from government, academia, planning, engineering, community groups, health, environment, design, and business are all expected to attend.
"Please join in this important event by submitting a paper to the conference. Share your research, your experiences, your successes, your challenges, your plans, and your actions with colleagues and meet others who are working towards the same goals. Walk21 Toronto 2007 will feature workshops, walkshops, plenary sessions, special forums, and social events. We look forward to seeing you in Toronto next October!"
-> Deadline to submit: Friday March 23rd, 2007<-
-> An article in the Jan. 23rd Bikes Belong newsletter suggests, "Make your travel plans now for the National Bike Summit, being held March 14-16 in Washington, D.C. Bikes Belong is the lead sponsor of this event, and we urge you to attend. Presented by the League of American Bicyclists, the National Bike Summit is a crucial opportunity for the bicycling community to communicate with top-level government leaders who have the power to dramatically improve bicycling in the U.S. With a new Congress in session, the time is ripe to strengthen our Capitol connections to ensure a strong future for bicycling. This year, the bicycling community is developing a bold, new national agenda. Be part of the group that fine-tunes and presents it to federal leaders."
For more info, go to: http://tinyurl.com/3besae
We were pleased to learn Tuesday that Marc Schlossberg, Assistant Professor in Planning, Public Policy, and Management, and his cohorts Asha Weinstein (San Jose State University), Vanessa Louise Bekkouche (University of Oregon), and Katja Irvin (San Jose State University) received the TRB award for the best paper on Pedestrians. Marc heads the program working with NCBW on developing GIS-based community assessment tools.
The paper's title is: How Far, by Which Route, and Why? Spatial Analysis of Pedestrian Preference (07-2050). From the abstract: "Policy makers recognize walking as a key mode of travel and believe that increasing the number of walk trips is a key goal. Despite the seeming simplicity of the goal, we know very little about how far people actually walk or about how street design affects people's willingness or capacity to access their desired destinations by walking. This paper reports on a survey designed to answer two primary research questions related to pedestrian behavior: (1) How far do pedestrians walk to light rail stations? (2) What environmental factors do they say influence their route choice?
We'll ask Marc to provide more details for a future issue of CenterLines.
QUOTES R US
vision for Salt Lake County -- a series of well-planned communities with
walkable streets teeming with people, quaint communities, neighborhood
shops, sidewalk cafes, parks and recreation facilities..."
Faced with a 2 percent cut in promised federal transportation funds, Texas plans to take the money away from their enhancement funds program. The state Transportation Department is indefinitely suspending the distribution of those grants.
"The federal government's decision to cut $305 million from Texas' $14.5 billion 2004-09 allocation put us in the position of having to choose between congestion-relief projects and enhancement projects," wrote Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ric Williamson. . . . (We) believe the enhancement program has the weakest connection to our goals."
"This is a perfect example of the kind of actions that at least some State DOTs are taking and that I outlined in the January 10th issue of CenterLines," said Bill Wilkinson, NCBW's executive director (see issue #166: FHWA: Not Being All It Could Be). "The FHWA is effectively "hiding" from the rest of us by refusing to make the information that is has on rescissions available."
For updates, see the Texas Bicycle Coalition page at www.BikeTexas.org
-> In his State of the City Address, Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley, Jr. reported, "A wonderful surprise has been the way our community has taken to the bike and pedestrian lane on the new Cooper River Bridge. And we have a number of bike and pedestrian enhancements planned, like one along Highway 61 from Drayton Elementary School down to Bee's Ferry. This will eventually be one part of a 19-mile, West Ashley-wide bike and pedestrian network. Another part of it is this recent extension of the West Ashley Greenway that connects Folly Road to Albemarle Road.
"We also just approved a grant to extend the West Ashley Bikeway all the way down to the Ashley River, another wonderful new way to access the water in Charleston on the west side of the Ashley River. We are also working very hard to have the Ashley River Memorial Bridge retrofitted for a bike and pedestrian lane to be appended to the south side of the bridge so that bikers and pedestrian can get safely across the Ashley River, thereby connecting our West Ashley network with that on the Peninsula and to the bike and pedestrian lane on the Cooper River Bridge.
"We also need to provide bike and pedestrian facilities for the Ashley River Memorial Bridge that connects Cosgrove Avenue to Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and we will begin construction this year on the bike and pedestrian lane on East Bay Street that will connect the Cooper River Bridge into the sidewalk and pedestrian network of our City. All CARTA buses (except the trolleys) are equipped with bike racks and we are seeing increasing numbers of bikers use our CARTA system..."
-> As a Jan. 23rd Herald-Sun article put it, "According to a 'Mobility Report Card' presented to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen Tuesday night, the town is traveling in the right direction. Bicycle and public transportation use is up, said Michael Hallock-Solomon of LSA Associates, who presented the findings. The report card is a component of the 'Congestion Management System' required by law in the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro metropolitan area and is meant to evaluate progress toward townwide mobility goals. This report addressed Carrboro for the years 2001 through 2005. The report card's conclusions were drawn by looking at various transportation statistics in Carrboro's town limits, including average daily traffic counts along key roadways, analysis of intersections, identification of key congestion points, inventory of miles of sidewalks and bicycle lanes, and annual and daily public transit passenger summaries by route. 'Overall -- two thumbs up. You're doing very well,' Hallock-Solomon said Tuesday night.
"He used 'thumbs-up' and 'thumbs-down' icons in his presentation to give Carrboro a grade on numerous transportation issues. Only 'vehicular travel time' received a thumbs-down, and a few items on the list received a thumb halfway between up and down, indicating that the town was doing neither great nor poorly when it came to that particular issue. Bicycle activity received a thumbs-up. The report stated bicycle use has increased 25 percent between 2001 and 2005. Hallock-Solomon said that while pedestrian activity has stayed about the same over the years -- declining in some areas and improving in others -- pedestrian facilities in Carrboro overall have improved. The total length of all sidewalks in town has increased 10 percent between 2003 and 2005, he said..."
Report Card (2mb) can be downloaded here:
-> According to a Jan. 22nd Springfield Business Journal article, "Increasing energy costs, a preference for urban living and a desire for more accessibility to public services, retail and entertainment options has resulted in more community design based on the principles of higher density and mixed-use development. That's according to The American Institute of Architects' third-quarter Home Design Trends Survey, released in December. The survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of 500 architecture firms that concentrate on the residential sector. The survey also fond that homeowners are interested in neighborhoods that have dedicated areas for recreation and open space.
"Traditional neighborhood design featuring homes closer to the street, front porches for more neighborhood interaction, and smaller lots also are gaining popularity. 'Encouraging clustered retail development with a multitude of services around public transportation and dense residential units has been part of an overall strategy by architects and public officials to foster more vital and healthy communities,' said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in a news release. 'Consumer demand has caught up to this approach and we are now seeing more interest in developments that include a mix of shopping, entertainment and recreation options.'..."
on the AIA survey, go to:
-> According to a Jan 20th Press article, "Ileana Poglodek lives about eight blocks from Midstreams School in Brick, where her daughter Jacqueline is in fourth grade. The distance classifies Jacqueline as one of the school's 147 walkers, or students who are considered to live too close to the school for busing. But many of those walkers are actually driven to school by their parents, and Poglodek said she wouldn't consider actually letting her daughter go to school every morning on foot. 'It's not so safe around here,' said Poglodek, 45. 'Midstreams Road is kind of a busy road.' School district and town officials agree with that assessment right now, but they hope to soon be able to do something about it. On Tuesday night, the township council approved an application to the state Department of Transportation for a grant worth nearly $200,000 under the Safe Routes to School Program.
"Though the town and district are waiting to see whether Brick actually receives the grant before deciding exactly what to do with it, the funding could be applied to a variety of projects, such as installing sidewalks and crosswalks, improving lighting and adding signs. Trudie Rebelo, the school's principal, said a main goal of the program is to get kids exercising and improve their physical fitness. 'We have children who live at a distance where the parents bring them to school when they could be walking,' Rebelo said. 'Our physical education and health teachers are trying to promote physical fitness as it is.'..."
-> According to a Jan. 23rd 49abcnews story, "Eight of ten Americans are multi-tasking during drive time, yet most of them consider themselves safe drivers, according to a new survey from nationwide Mutual Insurance. Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities, such as cell phone use and drowsiness, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.
"In the survey, drivers admitted to doing at least one of the following activities while driving: Talking on the phone, eating -- which topped the list -- personal primping, like doing hair, make-up and shaving, and using cell phones and other electronic devices. Some took their eyes off the road to send text messages and emails. Experts at Mutual Insurance warn distracted drivers put others at risk."
MAY INFLUENCE EARNING POWER
(PA) CONSIDERS STREETCARS FOR WALKABILITY
MESSAGE: SUPPORT CLIMATE CHANGE MEASURES
FUNDS HELP FUEL SPRAWL IN WEALTHY SUBURBS
REAP REWARDS FOR DECKING HIGHWAYS WITH PARKS
CONSERVATIVES TO PROPOSE "NAKED STREETS"
"WIN-WIN EMISSION REDUCTION STRATEGIES"
"ALBERTA SURVEYS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY"
"SMART GROWTH AND SCHOOLS"
training opportunities are available on the National Center
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1-2, 2007, Implementing a Sidewalk Management System, Madison, WI. Info:
Sandra Selvon-Semin, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Dept. 108, Madison
WI 53706; phone: (800) 462-0876; email: <email@example.com>
5-6, 2007, International Conference on Roads and the Environment, Geneva,
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1214 Vernier/Geneva, Switzerland; phone: +41 22 306 02 60; email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
8-10, 2007, New Partners for Smart Growth, Los Angeles, CA. Info:
22-24, 2007, 4th Annual Active Living Research Conference, Coronado CA.
Info: Amanda Wilson, Research Coordinator; phone: 619-260-5538; email:
2007, Lifesavers Conference, Chicago, IL. Info: National Conference on
Highway Safety Priorities, PO Box 30045, Alexandria VA 22310; phone: (703)
25-29, 2007, National Trust Main Streets Conference, Seattle, WA. Info:
Mary de la Fe, Main Streets Conference Coordinator, National Trust for
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phone: (202) 588-6329; email: <email@example.com>
14-18, 2007, American Planning Association National Conference, Philadelphia,
12-15, 2007, Velo City International Bicycle Conference, Munich, Germany.
13-15, 2007, Thunderhead Training, Louisville, KY. Info:
24-26, 2007, Thunderhead Training, Los Angeles, CA. Info:
1-4, 2007, Walk21 International Conference, Toronto, ON, Canada. Info:
5-7, Thunderhead Training, plus lobby training Oct. 8 and Hill visits
Oct. 9, 2007, Washington, DC. Info:
JOBS GRANTS AND RFPS
JOB -- BIKE/PEDESTRIAN COORDINATOR -- DAVIS, CA
More info: http://tinyurl.com/26k983
to David Takemoto-Weerts, previous bike/ped coordinator, Tim Bustos, is
now an "associate development engineer" at UC Berkeley's Tech
Transfer division. He can be emailed at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Here's where he works:
The Development, Community, and Environment Division in U.S. EPA's Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation is responding to this need by issuing a request for applications for the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance program. Through this program, a team of multidisciplinary experts will provide free technical assistance to communities, regions, or states that want to develop in ways that meet environmental and other local or regional goals.
Communities, regions, and states around the country are interested in building stronger neighborhoods, protecting their environmental resources, enhancing public health, and planning for development, but they may lack the tools, resources, or information to achieve these goals. EPA can help applicants overcome these roadblocks by providing evaluation tools and expert analysis.
EPA is soliciting applications from states or communities that want help with either policy analysis or public participatory processes. Selected communities will receive assistance in the form of a multi-day visit from a team of experts organized by EPA and other national partners to work with local leaders. Applications will be accepted until March 8, 2007.
info, go to:
computer and communications skills are a must, as is the knowledge and
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controls the business and affairs of the organization; and has direct
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