#240 Wednesday, November 11, 2009
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.
R-E-G-I-O-N-A-L and L-O-C-A-L--A-C-T-I-O-N-S
This Monday, Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Project released the long anticipated "Dangerous by Design" report, which can be considered a report card on pedestrian safety at the national, state, and major metropolitan area levels. For those of us who must frequently make the argument that sidewalks and Complete Streets are not a luxury, but a necessity, the Dangerous by Design report provides ample cause to show that a very modest amount of investment can yield impressive returns in pedestrian safety.
For all of us, this report should serve as a call to action. With the next Federal transportation bill in legislative limbo, there is plenty of opportunity to make your voice heard on how safety funds should be directed. Under our current transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU), less than 1.5 percent of funding is set aside for projects to improve the safety of walking and bicycling. With pedestrians counting for 11.8 percent of traffic deaths, and nearly 9 percent of total trips, this funding discrepancy stands out. Our ask of Congress: a fair share for safety, meaning a 10 percent set aside of Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and Section 402 funds to improve safety for walkers and bicyclists.
Fortunately, some bright spots can be found. Nashville, TN has placed a priority on bike/ped spending and ranks second per-person ($3.82) among 52 metropolitan areas with over 1 million residents. The area’s pedestrians also fare significantly better than the national average in terms of safety: pedestrians are 7 percent of Nashville’s traffic fatalities, compared with 11.8 percent nationwide.
You can read more and download the full report here: http://tinyurl.com/y9l8c4t
The study is getting quite a bit of attention and below are links to some of the news stories. A google news link to more stories is here: http://tinyurl.com/ylbpmgk
WASHINGTON DC: "Although 180 pedestrians were killed by cars here in the past two years, walking in Washington is less dangerous than in 31 other areas, according to calculations released by Transportation for America..."
SAN FRANCISCO: "In San Francisco, [the] rate is 2.60 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people, 70% higher than the national average..."
ORLANDO: "Metro Orlando has the most dangerous streets in the country for pedestrians among areas of at least a million residents, according to a study to be released today..."
RALEIGH/CARY (NC): "Raleigh and Cary rank among the most dangerous metropolitan areas in the country for pedestrians, according to a new report by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and Transportation for America..."
CenterLines has been a key news source for advocates of the bicycle and pedestrian community for over nine years now. Since September 15th, 2000 this valuable bi-weekly newsletter has been produced and sent to email inboxes across the globe by the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW). What you may not know is there is more to the National Center for Bicycling & Walking then CenterLines. Take for instance the Active Living Resource Center (ALRC). For the past seven years the National Center for Bicycling & Walking has been managing the Active Living Resource Center and the accompanying website. Our goal has been simple, to provide community leaders with a jargon free information clearing house on bicycling and walking policies and practices. What you’ll find is a treasure chest of guides and brochures that can aid in the development of bicycle and pedestrian projects big and small. Most important of all, these resources are free to all users thanks to funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
While our website has been around for almost seven years now, the content is ever changing. One of the most recent additions is the Active Living Roadmap under the Get Involved section. The Active Living Roadmap consists of several documents that outline the course of action for communities to take when attempting to foster bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The information within these documents provides users with a one stop resource center on how to encourage safe bicycling and walking in your community. Coming very soon is our current projects page. With this webpage users will be able to stay up to date with Active Living Resource Center outreach and capacity building projects from around the country. Whether it is a site visit travelogue or PowerPoint presentation slides from meetings with community stakeholders, a wealth of information awaits you.
-> According to an article in the September/October issue of Safe Routes Matters, "A record number of communities from all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in Walk to School Day 2009. As of Oct. 28, a total of 3,369 Walk to School Day events registered through the National Center's Web site -- that represents an increase of 481 events (17 percent) over last year! And we know even more events were held than is reflected by this number. Walk to School Day continues to grow in popularity each year because of community members' commitment to encourage safe walking and bicycling to school.
"Local events received great media coverage around the country this year. In fact, over 375 stories have been written online and in print on "Walk to School Day" specifically since Oct. 1, 2009. (Over 24,000 stories cover walking to school in general in that same time period!) Important local, regional and national officials also joined in local Walk to School Day celebrations nationwide and helped create even more interest and excitement surrounding scheduled events..."
Each year more and more evidence is gathered that shows the correlation between increased bicycle safety as a result of increased access to bicycle facilities. This literature review is no different in its conclusion. What is revealing about this paper, titled The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling crashes and injuries: a review of the literature, is how extensive the review is. The literature review looks at twenty-three papers that examine bicycle facilities at intersections and along straightaways in Europe and North America. The conclusion states what we in the bicycle community already know, more bicycle facilities means less crashes and injuries.
While the conclusion is obvious, further examination of the data revealed that not all bicycle facilities are equal in providing safety. Obvious claims were made that clearly marked bike lanes and facilities were safer than mixing bicyclists with on road traffic or off road pedestrians. Yet separated cycle tracks that route cyclists around the roundabout were proven to be far safer than a bike lane with traffic. The reason being is due to errors associated with drivers searching for automobiles but failing to “see” bicyclists. While the conclusion was only applied to literature reviews of roundabouts from Europe, this can be easily translated to busy American roads that have an excess of speed and signage. Such road designs and conditions are death traps for bicyclists.
To offset these dangers transportation planners must enlist a multitude of tools. Even though bicycle lanes, paths, and tracks are key components to safety so too are basics such as proper placement of bicycle facilities. The claim that minor roads are safer than major roads is not a groundbreaking revelation by any means. But creating a bicycle boulevard trail system on minor roads like Portland, Oregon did is more cost effective and less contentious than paving bike lanes on every major road. Either way there is no single solution to providing safety to bicyclists. In the end coordinated bicycle facilities and policies will need to be in place to reduce crashes and injures.
The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling crashes and injuries: a review of the literature
-> According to John Z. Wetmore, "Jane Jacobs gave a half hour talk at the National Building Museum after receiving the Vincent Scully Prize on November 11, 2000."
See the video here: http://tinyurl.com/yb3rf3o
-> According to an Oct. 28th SRTSNP news release, "The Safe Routes to School National Partnership recognizes that the potential for SRTS is much broader than the $612 million in funds made available through state departments of transportation as a result of the 2005 federal transportation bill. As such, the Partnership is continuing the State Network Project during 2010 and 2011 to leverage additional resources by creating SRTS State Networks in 15 states, and/or the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico."
Applications are due November 20, 2009 by 5 p.m. EST. To find out if you are eligible and how to apply, go to: http://tinyurl.com/ygz3yqj
-> According to a Nov. 10th Berita Jakarta article, "In order to develop better spatial planning, Jakarta City Administration is suggested to prepare more space for pedestrians and bikers. It means to avoid the use of machine transportation for short distance traveling. This project should be followed with a better environment management and sidewalk development. 'Preparing space for pedestrians and building bicycle lane are better than spending money for developing road only,' said Enrique Penalosa, former Bogota Mayor on his speck at The Sustainable Jakarta Convention, Tuesday (11/10)..."
-> According to an Oct. 30th SRTS Coaching Action Network announcement, "At last count, 35% of K-8 students lived within 2 miles of their school. Because eligible Safe Routes to School infrastructure projects are limited to a 2 miles radius of participating elementary and middle schools, nearly two-thirds of America's children are only able to access their schools by automobile or bus...
"Despite a growing awareness, existing community-centered schools continue to be threatened with abandonment and new schools continue to be built far from the residents they serve. Learn about the policy and practices that affect these decisions and how you can be part of the solution."
This webinar is part of the Safe Routes to School Coaching Action Network Webinar Series, developed by America Walks and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
Presenters: Matthew Dalbey, U.S. EPA & Renee Kuhlman, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Info: Michelle Gulley at <email@example.com>
-> In a Nov. 2nd Slate article, Tom Vanderbilt wrote, "Looking at any number of big-city dailies over the last few weeks, one might reasonably surmise that we are in the middle of a new public-health epidemic with an old name: jaywalking.
"A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, commenting on a report on the city's most dangerous intersections, wrote: 'Is it any surprise that three of the top four are near Sixth and Market streets, the home of the lackadaisical jaywalker?'...'In Boston, meanwhile, the Globe sounded exasperated about how 'throngs of iPod-wearing, cellphone-texting walkers blew through the red "Don't walk" signs, barely acknowledging the flustered drivers who slammed on the brakes and banged on their dashboards in futility...'
"These accounts -- which are typically combined with grim statistics on pedestrian deaths and injuries, but no deeper analysis -- could well leave casual readers with the impression that jaywalking is the single greatest risk to the urban pedestrian, that pedestrians wantonly solicit injuries and death with their depraved behavior, and that properly corralling pedestrians could solve all our traffic safety problems..."
-> According to an Oct. 30th New York Times article, "Just as Le Corbusier's white cruciform towers once excited visions of the industrial-age city of the future, so Velib', Paris's bicycle rental system, inspired a new urban ethos for the era of climate change. Residents here can rent a sturdy bicycle from hundreds of public stations and pedal to their destinations, an inexpensive, healthy and low-carbon alternative to hopping in a car or bus.
"But this latest French utopia has met a prosaic reality: Many of the specially designed bikes, which, when the system's startup and maintenance expenses are included, cost $3,500 each*, are showing up on black markets in Eastern Europe and northern Africa. Many others are being spirited away for urban joy rides, then ditched by roadsides, their wheels bent and tires stripped..."
-> According to a Nov. 9th Packet & Times article, "Concerned parents are looking for safer options for their children who walk to and from a north-end elementary school. School closures and boundary changes have rerouted those who walk to some schools, including Couchiching Heights Public School. When Hillcrest Public School closed, Mary Jennens's seven- and 13-year-old boys began attending Couchiching Heights. Her kids are part of the 'parade' of students who walk from the Laclie Street school down Old Muskoka Road.
"That wide road narrows when winter weather arrives, and that's where Jennens's concerns come in. With encroaching snow banks and no sidewalks, 'it's not safe' for the kids and the adults who walk with them, she said, adding most of the children who walk that route are in kindergarten to Grade 3. Traffic is also a concern, she said, noting a city bus and a bus for Catholic school students travel the road with regular traffic..."
Daphne, AL— In our last issue of Centerlines (#239) we carried news about the first city in Alabama (Fairhope) to pass a Complete Streets ordinance. Well, we appear to have some momentum or (perhaps) a case of sibling rivalry: Daphne, the next city up the road from Fairhope, passed a Complete Streets resolution during its most recent city council session. The city of 20 thousand may, in fact, have one-upped its neighbor by including Complete Streets guidance in the updating of its comprehensive plan, and its updated subdivision ordinances. Congratulations, Daphne!
NCBW/Active Living Resource Center has partnered with Smart Coast of the Mobile Bay area to positively affect the health of children by increasing their opportunities for physical activity and increasing access to healthy foods. The project is referred to as the Healthy Coastal Connections (HCC) Project, and its goal is to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity in the Mobile and Baldwin counties of Alabama by 50 percent of the next 5 years. The HCC partnership plans to accomplish this goal through regional and statewide policy initiatives that are supported by community advocates and regional leaders. With this we are working to reform existing transportation planning practices to favor active transportation.
Learn more about our Smart Coast partner and the HCC Project: http://tinyurl.com/mq5gsz
-> According to a Nov. 9th News-Press editorial, "Lee County, in philosophy, supports roads conducive to biking, walking and public transportation. Now, it's time to take the next step by agreeing to put actions behind those good thoughts and create and pay for a program that will make this happen for real. The 'Complete Streets' resolution, which county commissioners will consider for approval on Tuesday, provides them this opportunity.
"If enacted, it would require the county manager to develop guidelines for a 'Complete Streets' program to integrate cycling and walking in county planning and policy. The reasons are quite clear: Florida is rated No. 1 per capita in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. And, Lee County is considered to have the third highest index of pedestrian danger in the U.S. Today a national report called "Dangerous by Design" on pedestrian safety comes out. BikeWalkLee, which is pushing hard for the resolution to pass,is working on a local analysis..."
-> According to an Oct. 28th Ballard News Tribune article, "Hundreds of Burke-Gilman Trail supporters, from seniors with walkers to babies on the back of their parents bicycles, turned out for 'We Are the Missing Link' Oct. 27. 'It warms the cockles of my heart,' Friends of Burke-Gilman Trail's Kevin Carrabine said of the crowd. The event, hosted in part by Sustainable Ballard, was meant to draw attention to the Missing Link, the section of the trail from near the Ballard Bridge to the Ballard Locks that has not been completed yet. It has been held up by litigation between the city and local industries.
"'Some of our friends in these businesses need to decide they're going to catch up with the rest of the citizens,' said Del Gerstenberger, a Queen Anne resident who rides the Missing Link three to four times per week. He said the gravel and the train tracks along Shilshole Avenue where the trail would be make him feel unsafe. Byron Cole, general manager of the Ballard Terminal Railroad, came out to see what the event would be like..."
-> According to a Nov. 10th news release, "FBA needs your expertise for our upcoming ProBike/ProWalk Florida Conference, 'The Dollars and Sense of Bicycling and Walking,' being held in Lakeland, May 11-13, 2010." As the sponsors put it, "it's necessary to put dollar values on the benefits of creating communities that are bike/ped-friendly. Likewise, costs associated with not having that kind of environment are just as important.
"If you have something to offer in terms of a conference session topic, please submit a paper summarizing what you'd like to present by December 1, 2009..."
-> According to a Nov. 5th State Journal article, "More than 20 people gathered Wednesday evening to review a flurry of maps laying out Lansing's potential to become more walkable and bikeable. Planners, who are in the process of drawing up a plan designating areas in the city that could benefit from biking and walking lanes, said bike lanes are a possibility for Cedar and Larch streets in north Lansing and Mt. Hope and Pennsylvania avenues in south Lansing.
"And there are obvious gaps in sidewalks along Waverly Road on the city's west side, and along Grand River avenue on the east side of the city. 'We're relying on you,' said Norman Cox, of The Greenway Collaborative Inc. of Ann Arbor, who led the city's presentation to residents on behalf of The Lansing Walking and Bicycling Task Force. 'You live here.'..."
-> According to an Oct. 28th Wakulla News story, "Just in time for the weekend's Stone Crab Festival, the City of St. Marks unveiled the first sidewalk in town. While the sidewalk only extends across the front of city hall with a crosswalk to the other side of Port Leon Drive, St. Marks Mayor Chuck Shields said he was hopeful that the segment would be a stepping-stone to a continuous sidewalk to connect the town.
"A few dozen local dignitaries turned out for the ribbon-cutting on Monday, Oct. 19, to celebrate the opening of the one-tenth mile sidewalk that stretches from north of Pine Street to Terminal Drive. The project was funded with federal stimulus money, and City Manager Zoe Mansfield noted it is the first stimulus project completed in the area..."
-> A new study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that "Urban sprawl is significantly associated with increased EMS response time and a higher probability of delayed ambulance arrival. This probability increases quadratically as the severity of sprawl increases while controlling for nighttime crash occurrence, road conditions, and presence of construction. For example, in sprawling counties (e.g., Fayette County GA), the probability of a delayed ambulance arrival for daytime crashes in dry conditions without construction was 69%...compared with 31%...in counties with prominent smart-growth characteristics (e.g., Delaware County PA)..."
-> According to a Nov. 4th Chronicle article, "Planners and transit buffs routinely make the case that Bay Area residents can reap benefits by living close to their jobs and the errands of the day. Now comes a study that translates the payoff into dollars and cents -- such as how the average San Francisco household spends roughly $500 less on transportation each month than households in such suburban outposts as Antioch or Livermore.
"The estimates are contained in a report being released today by the Urban Land Institute with the all-encompassing title of 'Bay Area Burden: Examining the costs and impacts of housing and transportation on Bay Area residents, their neighborhoods and the environment.' 'It's clear to a lot of people who have thought about it that the country hasn't developed the way that it should for the past 50 or 60 years' in terms of ever-more remote affordable housing, said Ronald Terwilliger, who chairs a housing committee of the institute. 'Our workers are the ones that suffer as a result.'..."
For more on the study, go to: http://tinyurl.com/yc7ok5f
-> According to a Nov. 10th MedPage Today article, "Women who were obese at age 18 faced double the risk of developing multiple sclerosis in later adulthood, researchers said. Data from nearly 240,000 participants in the two Nurses' Health Study cohorts found a relative risk of 2.25 (95% CI 1.50 to 3.37) for multiple sclerosis among those with body mass index values of 30 or more when they were 18 years old, compared with those with BMI values in the vicinity of 20, according to Kassandra Munger, ScD, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues.
"Writing in the Nov. 10 issue of Neurology, the researchers speculated that either inadequate levels of vitamin D or systemic inflammation associated with obesity -- or both -- helped mediate the relationship. Munger and colleagues also found that obesity earlier in childhood or in adulthood did not appear to affect the risk for multiple sclerosis..."
"...frequent streets and short blocks are valuable because of the fabric of intricate cross-use that they permit among the users of a city neighbouhood."
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING THING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
GOSSIP OF CYCLERS, & OTHER NEWS OF THE WHEEL
-> According to a Nov. 3rd New York Times article, "Robert Center was speeding down Broadway, his head down over the handlebars, his body curved for minimum wind resistance. His eyes may have strayed from the path in front of him to the road beneath him -- for a second, maybe longer -- when suddenly and without warning, he slammed headlong into a coal cart and was killed.
"His death, in the spring of 1895, sparked a debate about the behavior of cyclists in traffic. Some blamed Mr. Center for riding too fast, and others, including bike advocates like I. B. Potter, the local head of the League of American Wheelmen, accusing the larger, horse-drawn vehicles of dangerous behavior themselves..."
-> URBAN SPRAWL AND MILES DRIVEN DAILY BY TEENAGERS..."
-> "CYCLE SAFETY: REDUCING CRASH RISK"
-> "MAKING THE MOST OF NON-INFRASTRUCTURE..."
-> "GUIDELINES FOR ANALYSIS OF INVESTMENTS IN..."
-> "CHILDREN & CITIES: PLANNING TO GROW TOGETHER"
-> "INDICATORS FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN TRANSPORT..."
-> "WHY JOHNNY CAN'T WALK TO SCHOOL..."
-> A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS..."
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!
-> November 12-13, 2009, 7th New Zealand Cycling Conference, New Plymouth, NZ. Info:
-> November 13-15, 2009, Winning Campaigns Advocacy Training, Richmond, VA. Info: Kristen Steele, Alliance for Biking and Walking, San Francisco Office, phone: (415) 513-5281; email: http://tinyurl.com/cx5xvr
-> January 10-14, 2010, Transportation Research Board (TRB) 89th Annual Meeting, Washington D.C. Info:
-> February 4-6, 2010, 9th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Seattle, WA. Info:
-> February 7-10, 2010, 10th American Academy of Health Behavior Annual Scientific Meeting, Clearwater Beach, FL. Info:
-> March 27, 2010 -- Michigan Bicycle Summit in Lansing, MI. Info:
-> May 26, 2010 -- Michigan Bicycle Advocacy Day in Lansing, MI. Info:
-> May 30-June 2, 2010, International Conference on Safety and Mobility of Vulnerable Road Users: Pedestrians, Motorcyclists, and Bicyclists, Jerusalem, Israel. Info:
-> June 13-18, 2010, Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute, Philadelphia, PA. Info:
-> September 13-17, 2010. Pro Walk/Pro Bike, the Sixteenth International Symposium on Walking and Bicycling, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
-> JOB -- L.A. AREA POLICY MANAGER -- SRTS NAT'L PARTNERSHIP
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is hiring a full-time California policy manager who will be based in the Los Angeles area. The policy manager will influence transportation funding allocations and policies at the state-level and in the six-county region governed by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to benefit walking and bicycling for children and families, especially lower-income communities most vulnerable to childhood obesity. The California policy manager will work 20 hours/week on statewide issues and 20 hours/week on activities in Southern California, reporting to Deb Hubsmith, director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership who also serves as Chair of the California State Network.
The full job description along with instructions on how to apply can be found at:
-> RFP -- SUSTAINABILITY PRINCIPLE FOR TRANS AGENCIES -- NCHRP
TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposals to develop a framework that transportation agencies can use to identify and understand the future trends and external forces that influence their role in meeting society's evolving demand for transportation services to operate on a more sustainable basis. Proposals are due December 12, 2009.
Project info: http://tinyurl.com/yay7h97
-> JOB -- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- BICYCLE ALLIANCE OF WA.
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Contributors: John Williams, Sharon Roerty, Gary MacFadden, Mark Plotz, Bob Chauncey, Chris Jordan, Josh Levin, Linda Tracy, Russell Houston, Matt Trowbridge, Laura Hall, John Cinatl, Juan Torres, Peter Jacobsen, John Z Wetmore, Brooke Driesse, Michelle Gulley, Roger DiBrito, Jeff Caster, MaryAnne Koos, Rich Moeller and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.
©2009 - NCBW | The National Center for Bicycling & Walking is a program of the Bicycle Federation of America; http://www.bikewalk.org/contact.php