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85 MAYORS COMMIT TO SAFER PEOPLE & SAFER STREETS SO FAR
-> U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced on February 24 that more than 85 cities have signed up so far to participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets.” Mayors and team leaders from each city will attend a Safer People, Safer Streets Summit in March and then take significant action over the next year to improve pedestrian and bicycle transportation safety in their communities.
While overall highway fatalities have been declining, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have been on the rise in recent years and now represent nearly 17 percent of total fatalities. The Mayors’ Challenge aims to reduce this trend through seven Challenge activities that are based on the latest pedestrian and bicyclist safety innovations. Check the list for your city or urge your Mayor to commit to the safety of people walking and riding. [Source: http://bit.ly/1EPzImX]
AUTO-CENTRIC APPROACHES MAKE WALKING HARDER
-> What makes it hard to walk in your city? Is it the quality of sidewalks, buckled by tree roots and submerged in puddles, appearing and vanishing like a disused deer trail? The foreboding urban-renewal landscapes? How about the zoning requirements that set storefronts behind tremendous fields of permanently vacant parking spaces, or ban shops and cafes from residential areas? Is crossing the street a prohibitive inconvenience, a near-death experience? Or is it simply illegal? Such is the legacy of a century of planning for automobiles. Enshrined in laws and codes. American urban design has made driving easy. As a consequence, it made walking hard.
Today, most cities have begun to chip away at the design errors of the automobile era, with bus lanes, bike lanes, zoning updates, parklets and plazas. This is happening both in big cities with low levels of car ownership, like San Francisco and Chicago, and in small towns and suburbs where pedestrianism is a choice. [Source: http://bit.ly/1vrmAo1]
LAB REPORT: HOW TO ENGAGE MORE WOMEN IN CYCLING
-> In 2013, the League of American Bicyclists awarded Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) $15,000 to help establish Women & Bicycles. A new report, "Engaging More Women in Bicycling" (http://bit.ly/1DSFmYk), is designed for advocates interested in creating a successful women’s outreach and encouragement initiative in their community. In addition to some practical advice on how to design programs that are inclusive, culturally relevant and financially sustainable, we define some of the philosophical underpinnings of women-specific bike advocacy to help you make your case. [Source: http://bit.ly/1zeqbkF]
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: DEDICATED GARAGE FOR 700 BIKES + CYCLIST AMENITIES
-> When it's built, the newest parking garage in Stockholm won't hold any cars at all. It's designed to hold 700 bikes instead. The garage, near a major train station, is being designed from the ground up for cyclists. Instead of doors with handles, entrances will automatically slide open, so cyclists can ride in directly from the adjacent bike path or street. The designers also plan to include a bike repair shop and changing rooms where commuters can shower, dress for work, and leave their helmets in lockers. [Source: http://bit.ly/1zOZ4wu]
DISTINCTION BETWEEN PUBLIC SPACE AND PLACE
-> With all this talk about "public space" and "place," though, is there really much difference between the two concepts? This is a discussion that is very important to our work here at Project for Public Spaces, and the ever-evolving debate is one that goes well beyond semantics. So what is the distinction between these concepts, and why does it matter?
At the most basic level public space can be defined as publicly owned land that, in theory, is open and accessible to all members of a given community—regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, or socio-economic level.
Places, on the other hand, are environments in which people have invested meaning over time. A place has its own history—a unique cultural and social identity that is defined by the way it is used and the people who use it. It is not necessarily through public space, then, but through the creation of places that the physical, social, environmental, and economic health of urban and rural communities can be nurtured. [Source: http://bit.ly/18jD3AN]
USING 'ACTIVE LIFESTYLE CAMERAS' IN PLANNING
-> In her recent blog, Jennifer Evans-Cowley said "I wanted to experiment with using active lifestyle cameras (such as GoPro, Lorex, and Drift) for planning purposes and decided to put these cameras to the test to capture bicycle commutes. I knew from my own bicycle commutes that motorists and pedestrians don't always follow the rules of the road, and neither did I. Working on a university campus I would hear my colleagues complaining about the horrible behavior of the bicyclists on campus—you’ve probably heard the same thing in your own community. I wanted to understand: Is it really just the bicyclist, or is it everyone on the road? And how bad is the problem? How often are vehicles passing within three feet of a bicyclist? How often do pedestrians jaywalk? How often do bicyclists fail to stop at a stop sign? [Source: http://bit.ly/1E8iaEh]
LIMITED SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR NATIONAL HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT MEETING
-> Additional scholarship applications are now being accepted for the 2015 National Health Impact Assessment Meeting, to be held June 16 to 18, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Limited scholarships for registration and travel expenses are available to support individuals or agencies that would be unable to attend this conference without financial support. Preference will be given to full-time students; postdoctoral scholars; individuals from non-governmental organizations; local, state and tribal health departments; or other local, state and tribal agencies. Scholarship applications are being accepted now through 5 p.m. PST on March 27. [Source: http://bit.ly/1JLLIwr]
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