#216 Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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.
-> On Saturday, December 6, a team comprised of University of Oregon staff and students and Active Living Resource Center (ALRC) staff completed a successful pilot of the new accessibility module in the Community Assessment Tool (CAT) software suite. The accessibility/ADA module joins the previously developed School Environment Assessment Tool (SEAT) and the Complete Streets Assessment Tool (CSAT). The development of the tools has been partially funded through NCBW's Active Living Resource Center program, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Tim Brass, a UO graduate student who developed the accessibility software module, was joined by graduate students Christo Brehm and Cody Evers in training the workshop participants, running the audit, and presenting some basic analysis of the data gathered during the audit. Gathering the data on a personal digital assistant (PDA) allows for a nearly instantaneous viewing of the collected information in a series of layers, reflecting such things as missing sidewalk ramps, poorly maintained (or missing) sections of sidewalk, or pedestrian-actuated signal switches that are difficult to reach.
"We couldn't have had a better day for the pilot assessment in Independence, Oregon," said Gary MacFadden, NCBW's Senior Program Manager who was on hand for the audit. "We had a day of brilliant sun, and a mix of workshop participants ranging from students the nearby state college at Monmouth to a member of the city council."
MacFadden noted that the workshop, which was designed to test and improve the accessibility module software that operates on handheld computers, attracted two participants using motorized wheelchairs. "The interaction with these two individuals greatly enhanced our testing of the accessibility module," he said.
"If you really want to learn to see accessibility barriers, try doing an audit of an area along with someone who uses a wheelchair on a daily basis," reported Marc Schlossberg, a professor in the Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM) school at the University of Oregon and the force behind the development of this set of community assessment tools. "One of the workshop participants I teamed with during the three-hour audit tried to navigate every intersection ramp, numerous sections of sub-standard sidewalk, and the badly broken pavement at intersections bisected by railroad tracks. We learned a lot through this experience."
A more complete report on the Independence accessibility audit and the other audit tools will be posted soon on the Active Living Resource Center Site. You can learn more about how the handheld-computer-based programs work at:
-> Linda Ginenthal and Jessica Roberts will present "Bring Smart Trips Home," for the next Professional Development Webinar on December 17th, 2008, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST. There are still a few slots remaining, so register today at http://www.bikewalk.org/webinar.php. The webinar series is presented jointly by the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW), the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) and Cullbridge Communications. You can view additional webinar topics and presenters in this series at: http://www.bikewalk.org/webinarsfuture.php.
Ginenthal directs Portland, Oregon's successful SmartTrips program, which uses individualized marketing to change trip behavior. (A case study concerning Portland's SmartTrips program prepared by Ms. Ginenthal won a 2007 Best Case Study award from the APBP, and is available on the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center website at http://tinyurl.com/5cnpzw )
Roberts, of Alta Planning and Design, is taking Portland's SmartTrips program on the road, working most intensely with two communities funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP). She will share insights about modifying Portland's SmartTrips program to other locales.
SmartTrips is gaining momentum nationally and internationally. Plan to attend the Dec. 17th webinar, learn about these programs, and then begin planning your own SmartTrips program for your community! Register for the webinar at:
-> In their Rail-Trail eNews newsletter, the Rails to Trails Conservancy encourages readers to "Help Us Surpass Our Petition Goal: Thank you for your enthusiasm and energy! More than 8,000 of you have signed the petition encouraging the president-elect and Congress to spend transportation dollars on important bicycle and pedestrian projects. Now help RTC pass 10,000 signatures by December 15."
Add your name today: http://tinyurl.com/6g9l8v
-> In a recent note, Brady Clark of Smart-Trips wrote, "We just posted the final report from our individualized marketing pilot program here in St. Paul, MN called Smart Trips Summit-U. It ran throughout the summer of 2008 and targeted the approximately 7,100 households in the Summit-University (Summit-U) neighborhood of St. Paul with the goal of changing their travel behavior.
Brady can be reached at (651) 224-8555 x23, or <email@example.com>
The report, as well as media and materials from the program can viewed here:
-> In a recent email, Don A'Hern wrote, "I've released a new DVD, 'Geared Up The Essentials of Adult Bicycling.' You can see a 5 minute preview on the web site itself. With so many adults bicycling, this DVD is very timely. Competence, Confidence and Safety is the message. I hope you have a chance to view it. I think this type of video has a great fit with any organizations efforts in promoting safe adult bicycling."
For more info, go to:
-> According to the Nov. 27th Life Cycle UK newsletter, "A global campaign is underway to persuade the planet's favourite search engine to be more cycle-friendly. Many of us use the wonderful Google maps to find our way around. The maps show a street plan, or at the click of a button, an aerial photo to help you get a feel for the terrain. Another click and you can summon up live traffic info, and car drivers can get detailed directions from A to B. For the USA and some other countries Google has also added a mass transit directions option which tells you how to reach your destination by bus, tram or train. Now cyclists are asking for a Bike There feature.
"The organisers of the campaign say: 'By implementing the "Public Transit" option, Google and the Google Maps team have shown themselves to be concerned and capable world citizens. A "Bike There" feature would be the ultimate statement in support of sustainable development, self-reliance, exercise and healthy living: that's bicycle directions.'
"Campaigners envisage the "Bike There" feature showing cycle lanes, bike paths and other infrastructure, and giving cyclists the option of seeing either the most direct route or the quietist and safest. The feature would make cycling easier and more pleasant for millions of people around the world. It would empower world citizens to adapt their lifestyles to face the challenges of global climate change and it would help Google fulfill its mission of "organising the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. More than 40,000 people have already signed the on-line petition. Add your voice to the campaign now!"
To learn more, go to: http://tinyurl.com/3clwxb
-> Transport Canada's Urban Transportation Showcase Program is underwriting a series of new webinars. The first, on January 27th, 2009, covers 'The Urban Transportation Emissions Calculator' (UTEC), a free, user-friendly web-based tool developed by Transport Canada that estimates greenhouse gas and air contaminant emissions from urban transportation. This webinar will provide an introduction to the upgraded tool and case studies of how it can be used to estimate emissions and emissions savings for different transit and transportation projects. A February 3rd webinar will feature the Canadian "Walkability Roadshow," introducing a model for how to engage communities of all sizes in promoting walking, and a program available to Canadian communities. And on March 3rd, the topic will be "Individualized Marketing: Where Do We Go From Here?", featuring a discussion panel on how to engage additional audiences and increase the cost-effectiveness and practicality of the approach for a wider range of communities.
Transport Canada's Urban Transportation Showcase Program is paying for the first 85 Canadian connections to participate in each of the webinars above at no cost. You can learn more about the webinars and register at:
-> According to a Dec. 4th news release, "Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has named the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park (W&OD) as the eighth inductee to the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. The D.C.-area trail is featured in Rails to Trails magazine and on RTC's Web site, complete with photos and a detailed ride-along description of its scenic views and important community connections.
"The 44.8-mile W&OD trail is a premier metropolitan-area rail-trail and an important commuter trail for those who live, work and play in suburban northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. One of the region's most popular rail-trails, the W&OD regularly clocks hundreds of commuter users per day, and the pathway connects to four stops on the Washington Metro's Orange Line.
"'The trail estimates about 2 million users per year, so it's obviously pretty popular,' says Karl Mohle, park manager for the W&OD trail. 'On weekends here in the prime season, you can see anybody out on the trail. You have family groups that come out on a picnic ride, the [inline skaters], walkers, joggers and couples going out onto the trail.'..."
For more info, contact: Katie Test at (202) 974-5152 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>
-> According to the Dec. 9th American Trails newsletter, "American Trails continues our annual contest to seek out the best websites in the cyberworld of trails and greenways. We are looking for sites that really make trails come alive, and provide effective information delivery, support volunteers, and engage the public.
"In short, we want to showcase ways that advocates and agencies are making a difference for trails. Our contest winners really use the power of the Internet to communicate effectively with trails advocates, users, and the general public. We want to showcase the ways that advocates and agencies are making a difference for trails using the Web! The deadline for entries is December 15, 2008."
SHARE YOUR SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL IMPLEMENTATION EXPERIENCE
QUOTES R US
-> "The appeal of traditional downtowns -- and the defining characteristic that sets those that are successful apart from their suburban competitors -- is largely based on what can be summarized as walkable urbanism. Fostering such walkable urbanism is the key to the revival of any struggling downtown. But doing so can be a challenging process ... ."
-> "I spent a lot of time walking those precincts and, where they were not walkable, I went to many, many community meetings. I ended up with four pairs of shoes with holes in them. I went for the cheap brand, so there'll be no shoe endorsement..."
-> "To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
-> According to a Nov. 21st Sentry article, "After working with the West End Trails Committee, a subsidiary of the South Portland Land Trust, for more than a year, South Portland resident Richard Berman said he was glad to have granted an easement for a 1.5-mile section of trail near the Maine Mall area that was completed last week. 'It has always been a vision, we're just trying to accommodate that,' he said.
Berman represents a number of independent developers that joined forces to form the Developer's Collaborative, a 'smart growth promoters' group, he said. Berman said he would encourage other property owners to assist the West End Trails Committee in their mission to create a trail that could connect Portland International Airport to others trails in Portland from behind the Sable Oaks golf course. 'It unifies neighborhoods, improves property values, creates community and it creates an amenity,' Berman said. 'It even helps fight obesity, I could go on forever.'..."
-> According to a Dec. 8th CNN story, "America's roads and bridges need critical repairs that would total $64 billion, and construction could begin within six months if the federal government makes the funds available, according to a new report. The report, by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, surveyed all 50 states and found 5,148 road and bridge projects that are considered 'ready to go.'
"'As Congress and the president-elect look at the issue of, can infrastructure play a major role in economy recovery, the first question they ask is, "Can you deliver projects -- shovels in the ground -- quickly?" And what we've documented through the survey we've just completed is that yes indeed, we can,' John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of State, Highway and Transportation Officials, told CNN. The association estimates 1.8 million new jobs could be created if the infrastructure improvements are funded by Congress. 'You've got states in every part of the country with projects that are ready to go that can put people back to work,' Horsley said..."
via: Dec. 9 AASHTO Daily Transportation Update
-> According to a Dec. 9th News-Press article, "The Florida Department of Transportation has awarded more than $194,000 for two grants to build sidewalks in Lee County as a result of joint proposals by Lee County public schools and the cities of Fort Myers and Cape Coral. A $72,000 project was awarded in Fort Myers for a sidewalk to Edgewood Academy on Tarpon Street from Palm Beach Boulevard to Edgewood Avenue. The Cape Coral project is estimated at $122,000 for sidewalks serving Gulf Elementary and Gulf Middle schools along Southwest 38th Terrace between Oasis Boulevard and Agualinda Boulevard. Both projects are set to start in 2010.
"Proposals for three additional Lee County projects totaling approximately $598,000 were not funded in this grant cycle. The grants are part of the Florida's Safe Routes to Schools Program, administered by FDOT, and are designed to make it easier and safer for children in kindergarten through eighth grade to walk or bicycle between home and school..."
-> According to a Dec. 3rd Press article, "Sometime in mid-November someone chained an all-white bicycle to a signpost in the median at the intersection of C Street and 40th Avenue, near where Jonathan Johnson was fatally struck by an SUV while pedaling to his job on the morning of October 19.
"The bicycle is a memorial for Johnson. A bouquet of red roses was attached to it last week. Over the weekend it snowed and snowplow drivers seem to be respectfully dodging the memorial.
"Johnson's foster mother, Verna Gibson, said she first heard about the bike memorializing her foster son from other family members. But even with forewarning, Gibson said was moved by the bike when she realized it was, in fact, a memorial. 'I had to pull over and cry,' Gibson said..."
-> According to a Dec. 9th Daily Illini article, "In the midst of contract negotiations with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, it is clear that University officials hope to renew an agreement with the district that would keep bus service on campus. It is unclear, however, under what provisions that contract will be renewed. The University turned to a private transportation research team earlier this year to analyze the MTD relationship with the University and what type of changes can be made. Issues were raised regarding congestion on Wright Street and pedestrian safety. 'The question we asked was to see whether or not it would be advantageous to have our own bus system,' said Associate Chancellor Peg Rawles...The transit analysis found that MTD charges the University $35 per hour when it costs between $70-$80 per hour to operate.
"The analysis was a follow-up to a 2006 transportation study, independent of the MTD, which was also completed for the University. According to that report, the University is currently paying $3.6 million per year for campus bus service and is proposing an increase to $4.9 million to accommodate changes. The analysis proposes the idea for a complete street -- one designed to include provisions for cyclists, vehicle traffic and pedestrians -- to be built as a solution to the bottleneck at Wright and John streets that forces southbound buses into oncoming traffic. According to the MTD transit analysis, one of the main goals of the University is to go from a driving campus to a pedestrian campus..."
-> According to a Dec. 8th San Bernardino Co. Sun article, "The city is partnering with Loma Linda University to make major infrastructure upgrades on the north side of campus. City and university officials are developing plans to widen Stewart Street between Campus and Anderson streets from two to four lanes. Plans also call for lowering the street to 14 feet in order to accommodate the construction of a 130-foot-long pedestrian bridge. The bridge would provide a link between the main campus and the new Centennial Complex, a 150,000-square-foot classroom and laboratory building on the north side of the university. The complex is expected to open in the summer.
"City officials said the widening is also needed to speed up the flow of emergency vehicles that use Stewart Street to reach the Loma Linda University Medical Center emergency department. 'You don't want delays for an ambulance,' said Councilman Robert Ziprick. "Even five minutes can be critical for a patient. If you can knock off half a minute here and half a minute there, it's a good goal.' Richard Hart, president of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center, sent a letter to the City Council last month expressing the need for the Stewart Street improvements..."
-> According to a Dec. 8th Sun Journal article, "New Bern officials are seeking suggestions from two focus groups -- older people and residents of Five Points -- about how to make the city better for pedestrians. The city has been working on a long-range pedestrian plan since September, work that is paid for by a $31,500 grant from the state Department of Transportation and matched with $23,500 from the city.
"But city planners said the plan needs extra attention from people who are 60 or older and residents of the Five Points and Duffyfield neighborhoods, because people in those groups have particular interests or needs that the plan should meet. 'We see this pedestrian plan as a way to help take care of some particular quality-of-life issues that are important to people in both of these groups,' said City Planner Annette Stone..."
-> According to a Dec. 8th Columbus Dispatch article, "It might take years for Ohioans to notice the difference, but state transportation planners are getting ready to use greener, less highway-centric criteria to evaluate which projects should get funding. Ohio isn't getting out of the highway business. State transportation planners are, however, downgrading traditional factors that emphasize road capacity and congestion in favor of measurements of economic benefit and environmental factors. The new rating scheme won't affect projects already on the books, such as the rebuilding of the I-70/71 interchange in Columbus.
"Ohio Department of Transportation officials said the new factors will help the state build a more modern transportation system, one that includes more rail and water transportation and is better designed to boost the economy. 'I think the biggest thing with this is that this list has become more multimodal, so we can select the best transportation project, not just the best highway project,' said James Beasley, the Ohio Department of Transportation director..."
via: Dec. 9 AASHTO Daily Transportation Update
-> According to an article in the Nov. 26th AARP Bulletin Today, "If health advice were a symphony, everybody from the horn section to the violins would be playing the same note, and 'obesity' would be its name. The symphony reached a crescendo last summer, when the U.S. Obesity Prevention Act of 2008 was introduced with alarm bells. Announcement of the initiative included words like 'hurricane,' 'emergency,' 'havoc' and 'dire.' The epidemic would doom the nation's children and kill the rest of us while soaking up more resources than the health care system has to offer.
"But lately, another quiet little melody has been playing. This tune goes like this: Why don't you stop sitting around calculating your BMI—body mass index—and go take a nice long walk? The BMI is a calculation of body fat based on height and weight. To calculate your BMI, you can go to a handy online calculator devised by the National Institutes of Health. Any number below 25 is 'normal,' 'overweight' is 25-30 and 'obese' is over 30. The number is supposed to tell us our fate.
"For most of us, the message has become dire and overly simplistic: Lose weight or die. Even before last summer's pronouncement of an obesity emergency, researchers had reported different findings in a study published in December 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The study found that fitness -- in this case the ability to walk quickly on a treadmill for a few minutes or longer -- was a better predictor of who would die, and when, than BMI..."
-> According to a Dec. 9th Forbes article, "Those in the country's little spots don't necessarily have easy trips to work. New York City's subway system irks travelers on a daily basis. But it's likely less frustrating than the roads those in Linton Hall, Va., take to work. The 21,118-person town is 35 miles from Washington, D.C., and the 78% of residents who drive alone each day take an average of 46.3 minutes to get to work. That's seven minutes longer than New Yorkers and 17 minutes longer than Angelenos.
In fact, the Washington, D.C., area is by far the worst part of the country for small-city commutes. Of the 100 small towns with the longest commutes, 18 are in Maryland and 10 are in Virginia -- all of which are in the suburban sprawl radiating from Washington and Baltimore. Illinois comes in second, with 16 suburbs of Chicago making the 100 worst cities list. Brentwood, Calif., Fort Washington, Md., Los Banos, Calif., and Clinton, Md., round out the top five..."
-> According to a Dec. 7th Daily Times article, "The contractors have cleared, the fountain is installed and the ribbon has been cut. The work, however, isn't complete. Watertown officials admit that Public Square is a hint of its former self, but the $7 million streetscape project is expected to help foster development. 'We've set the stage,' said Kenneth A. Mix, city planning and community development coordinator. 'Now we need others to come and help fill that stage.' Revitalizing Public Square will take more than improving streetside aesthetics, both city officials and private developers are saying.
"'We want the community to feel proud of its downtown,' City Manager Mary M. Corriveau said. 'A revitalized, vibrant downtown is a key to this region's future.' A key to creating a bustling downtown is enticing tenants to live there, she said. Both Watertown Rx LLC manager Donald G.M. Coon III and Neighbors of Watertown Executive Director Gary C. Beasley agreed with that concept. In the past two decades, Neighbors has refurbished the Marcy, Buck and Brighton buildings downtown. The group also administers state and federal grants to property owners to fix facades and create upper-floor apartments..."
-> According to a Dec. 9th Pegasus News article, "Just a little note about some changes you'll be seeing this coming spring to everybody's favorite indie urban hangout, Magnolia Avenue in the Near Southside. As I've reported on Fort Worthology today, after two public meetings and refinements to the design, Fort Worth South, Inc. is moving ahead on giving Magnolia a 'road diet' -- to my knowledge, the first of its kind in Fort Worth. As part of the Complete Streets initiative which Fort Worth South has supported in the new Near Southside zoning and development standards, Magnolia will be re-striped from its current configuration of four travel lanes, two in each direction.
"The new Magnolia which will debut this spring will sport two travel lanes, one in each direction. In the center will be a dedicated left turn lane. And on the outside, using five feet on each side of extra space no longer taken up by cars, will be two dedicated bicycle-only lanes, one in each direction...The new Magnolia will be slower and safer -- partly due to the narrowing and lane reduction and partly due to putting left-turning cars in their own lane to eliminate the slaloming that occurs in the present configuration..."
-> According to an article in the October/November 2008 issue of New Urban News, "The US lending crisis has cut homebuilding nearly everywhere, but walkable, transit-oriented developments are suffering least. Housing construction across the US has dropped to its lowest volume since 1991, and many new urbanist developments are seeing their sales fall off.
"The latest Standard & Poors/Case Shiller Home Price Indices, released at the end of September, show that prices of existing single-family houses in 20 large metropolitan areas sank by a stunning 19.5 percent in the past two years.
"Traditional neighborhood developments (TNDs) and other new urban projects have been wounded like the rest of the real estate industry, but generally not as severely. The downturn is more acute in the automobile-dependent fringes of metropolitan areas than in walkable, transit-connected locations..."
-> According to a Dec. 7th Hants Journal article, "West Hants Public Works director Rick Sherrard has asked council to provide clarity on the issue of municipal sidewalks. In a recent discussion paper, Sherrard broached the subject as one that should be addressed in terms of future planning, particularity in designated growth areas. It could, ultimately, affect local area rates. Sherrard noted that current municipal planning includes the endorsement of walkable communities and sidewalk provision was emphasized in the recent West Hants Municipal Planning Strategy, which states: 'It is expected that a full range of municipal services including water and sewer, recreation facilities, street lights and sidewalks, will eventually be provided in these communities as they become necessary.'
"In the discussion paper, Sherrard outlined the importance of sidewalks for a variety of reasons including the need to reduce dependency on automobiles and to promote active and healthy lifestyles. 'From a recreational perspective, sidewalks and trails should be integrated into the overall transportation network.' Development of an integrated trail system, he said, together with road shoulders that are wide enough to accommodate walkers or cyclists, should be encouraged and even actively promoted by the municipality, adding that providing sidewalks is particularly important for those with mobility issues including seniors, the disabled and even parents with strollers or young children in tow..."
-> According to a Nov. 15th Drivers.com article, "Britain's Department for Transport (DfT) has recorded two consecutive quarters of lower traffic volumes. This is the first time year on year traffic volume has dropped since the oil crises of the 1970s.
"The drop is a symptom of today's world-wide economic crisis, and it's also a reminder of the shortsightedness of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's support for automobile transportation in preference to other transportation.
"Back in 1979, Thatcher declared that nothing should obstruct the advance of what she called 'the great car economy.' It's been said that she never traveled by train..."
-> According to a Dec. 9th Courant editorial, "Well, it was a good try. Several months ago, Hartford officials relined Asylum Avenue through the Asylum Hill neighborhood with bike lanes on the outside, one travel lane and some central turning lanes. But the changes drew many complaints, and now the city has mostly painted them over and abandoned them.
"The problem, said city transportation chief Kevin Burnham, is that the street is just too narrow. If it were four to six feet wider, it could accommodate a bike lane. But as is, the bike passage was too tight. The problem would have been accentuated after a snowfall -- and yes, some people ride bikes after it snows.
"Mr. Burnham was also concerned that a bad accident might threaten the citywide bike lane program, so he chose to cut his losses. No argument here; the question is what to do next..."
-> According to a Dec. 7th Free Press article, "New Baltimore has advantages that most small cities only dream of -- a shoreline, a quaint downtown and a quickly growing population. Now city leaders are poised to capitalize on those advantages under an ambitious five-year plan to develop a more bustling downtown that stretches to the waterfront with condos, apartments, restaurants, retailers, public art and parks. 'The sky is the limit,' said Judy Sproat, director of planning and economic development. 'This is really exciting.'
"The idea is to lure private development to the city's modest downtown and land along Lake St. Clair. City leaders are making their case by showing a recent economic development study that indicates businesses, new condos and apartments would thrive. Since 2000, the population has climbed 61% to 12,000, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. The population is expected to continue growing. Residents also are itching for a more vibrant downtown, city officials said.
"'People want to live in an urban setting within a walkable downtown,' Sproat said. 'Downtowns are becoming very popular.' Under the proposed plan, development would spring up next to Walter and Mary Burke Park, a popular waterfront recreation area at Washington and Front streets..."
-> According to a Dec. 8th Kansas City Star article, "An Independence man pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the November 2007 hit-and-run death of a teenager who was struck while riding a bicycle. Wilfredo J. Pujols Jr., 25, pleaded guilty in the death of Christopher E. Cooper, 17, a student at Truman High School. According to witnesses and police accounts, Cooper was crossing Noland Road at Osage Street in Independence when he was struck by a car driven by Pujols.
"Pujols pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder, one count of resisting arrest and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident. A count of driving while intoxicated was dismissed. He faces a 20-year maximum sentence on each count. He is to be sentenced by Jackson County Circuit Judge Jack Grate in April. Witnesses said Pujols was going 90 mph or faster when the car struck Cooper..."
-> In a Dec. 9th Greater Greater Washington entry, David Alpert wrote, "I loved to build LEGO sets growing up, but back then, almost all LEGO sets fit into one of three lines: Castle, Space, or Town (suburban-style development). They later added Pirate. In Town, we had the gas station, airport, single-family houses, and more, all on large, green plates connected by road plates. There was a train station, of course, but the small-town commuter rail type. That was the way people saw the built environment in those days.
"Today, LEGO makes a lot more (like Star Wars and SpongeBob SquarePants sets). But they've renamed Town to City. Today's City sets still mostly feature emergency response vehicles and infrastructure like ports and airports (the things kids like), but as Planetizen reports, they also now make some mixed-use urban buildings, including a green grocer with apartments above, and a corner cafe below a hotel..."
-> According to a Dec. 2 Wash. Post article, "There's a strong link between media exposure and childhood obesity, smoking and sexual activity, according to U.S. researchers who reviewed 173 studies on media and health conducted over the past three decades. According to the review, 80 percent of the studies concluded that higher amounts of television and other media exposure were associated with negative health effects in children and adolescents. The strongest association was between media and obesity. Of the 73 studies that examined media/childhood weight, 86 percent showed a significant association between increased media exposure and obesity.
"The findings, by researchers from Yale University School of Medicine, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the California Pacific Medical Center, were released Tuesday by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the impact of media and entertainment on children and families. 'This review is the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of the many ways that media impacts children's physical health,' lead researcher Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, of the NIH, said in a news release.' The results clearly show that there is a strong correlation between media exposure and long-term negative health effects to children.'..."
AND NOW, FOR SEVERAL THINGS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
AT BEVERLY CENTER, A HEALTHIER HUNKY SANTA
"...You know you're not in the North Pole anymore when you come face to face with Santa Claus...and he's a ripped hunk. You're probably in Los Angeles -- at the Beverly Center, to be precise. For six years, the upscale mall near West Hollywood has wooed shoppers with the prospect of getting up close and personal with Hunky Santa, in which Santa is a young, muscled dude with bulging biceps and abs as flat as a gingerbread cookie..."
SPEEDFIT TREADMOBILE VIDEO
"The ultimate patent pending machine!"
IN MEXICO CITY, BICYCLES RULE SUNDAY STREETS
OBESITY, SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE LINKED TO CANCER
TAIWAN'S UPSCALE BIKE SALES TO GROW 50% IN '09
"LARGEST BICYCLE PARADE" FEATURED IN NEW BOOK
-> "PEDESTRIAN SAFETY -- REPORT TO CONGRESS"
-> "CELL PHONES AND DRIVING: RESEARCH UPDATE"
-> "TRAFFIC SAFETY FACTS: 2007 DATA..."
-> "INDIVIDUAL OR NEIGHBORHOOD DISADVANTAGE..."
-> "BEST-PRACTICE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PROGRAMS FOR..."
-> "INFLUENCES OF PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL NEIGHBORHOOD..."
-> "SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT..."
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:
HEY, YOU! SEND US YOUR CALENDAR ITEMS -- PRONTO!
-> January 22-24, 2009, 8th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth, Albuquerque, NM. Info: http://tinyurl.com/6mlrmr
-> March 7, 2009, Bike Summit LA, Los Angeles, CA. Info: http://tinyurl.com/6zu2yu
-> March 15-20, 2009, PTBA Conference, Asheville NC. Info: Michael Passo
-> March 25-28, 2009, Health and Fitness Summit and Exposition, Atlanta GA. Info: American College of Sports Medicine
-> April 22-25, 2009, 14th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society, Sitges (Spain / Catalonia). Info:
-> May 12-15, 2009, Velo-City 2009, Brussels, Belgium. Info:
-> June 5-7, 2009, 7th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods, Washington, DC. Info:
-> September 15-16, 2009, Research to Practice Symposium Promoting Environmental and Policy Change to Support Healthy Aging, Chapel Hill, NC. Information and updates will be available at:
-> October 7-9, 2009, 10th Annual Walk21, New York City NY. Info:
JOBS, GRANTS, AND RFPS
-> JOB -- PROJECT MANAGER -- BRISTOL, UK.
Project Manager Ref: 21142; £41,083 - £43,745; Fixed term until April 2011
We're excited about rising to the challenge and are just as enthusiastic about finding the right people to help achieve our aims. Let's see if we can get your pulse racing with just a few of the projects you could help lead:
* Establishing a 're-cycling' scheme that repairs bikes and provides them free of charge to deprived communities
But that's just for starters. There's also the need to challenge attitudes to cycling, encourage people to get out and about and help improve everyone's quality of life.
For details, go to: http://tinyurl.com/5jpl8y
-> JOB -- EDUCATION PROGRAM MANAGER -- BICYCLE COLORADO
Bicycle Colorado has posted a position for Education Program Manager whose main function is assisting in the hands on execution of Safe Routes to School programs around Colorado.
If you know anyone who may be interested please pass along this link:
-> JOB -- DEPUTY DIRECTOR -- CASCADE BICYCLE CLUB
Cascade Bicycle Club (CBC), a Seattle-based organization with 10,000 members, is dedicated to building a better community through bicycling. The Club is a local, regional, and state-wide leader in bicycle and transportation advocacy and provides bicycle commuting programming and youth and adult safety education and training.
For a full job description with qualifications and application information, visit: http://tinyurl.com/6ptc65
-> JOB -- COMMUTE PROGRAMS DIRECTOR -- CASCADE BICYCLE CLUB
Cascade Bicycle Club (CBC), a Seattle-based organization with 10,000 members, is dedicated to building a better community through bicycling. The Club is a local, regional, and state-wide leader in bicycle and transportation advocacy and provides bicycle commuting programming and youth and adult safety education and training.
Position Goals Cascade desires to increase its support of bicycle commuting by (a) integrating current commute oriented activities and events into a cohesive program; (b) expanding current programmatic and network reach into the business community; (c) expanding work with governmental agencies involved in transportation issues; and (d) incorporating our advocacy and education efforts into our commute programs. The Director of Commute Programs is charged with drafting and realizing these larger strategic goals as well as overseeing day-to-day operations of our Commute Programs Department.
For a full job description with qualifications and application information, go to:
-> RFP -- UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS PROJECT -- TRB
The Transportation Research Board's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has released a request for proposals to develop a practical and easy-to-use toolkit of best practices that practitioners can use to involve traditionally underserved populations, particularly minority, low-income, limited English proficiency, and low literacy groups, in transportation decision-making. Proposals Due December 17, 2008..."
Go to: http://tinyurl.com/6qx9nj
-> JOB -- PROGRAM MANAGER FOR SAFETY -- AASHTO
More info: http://tinyurl.com/5jye75
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Contributors: John Williams, Sharon Roerty, Gary MacFadden, Mark Plotz, Bob Chauncey, Chris Jordan, Linda Tracy, Bill Wilkinson, Russell Houston, Katie Test, Bob Laurie, Gil Penalosa, John Cinatl, Lisa Smith, Craig Raphael, Dave Holladay, and Keith Anderson.
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