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SENATE TAX BILL THREATENS TRANSIT, BIKING & WALKING
-> Streetsblog USA reports that if the Senate tax bill passed late last week becomes law it threatens federal funds for transit, biking, and walking. While the tax bill itself doesn't cut funding, a law already on the books triggers reductions in spending to offset losses of tax revenue. For transportation, discretionary transportation programs like New Starts, which funds transit expansions, and TIGER, which has helped cities across the country build multi-modal projects, are especially at risk. With $150 billion annually on the chopping block unless Congress changes course, even more of America's $50 billion surface transportation program could be targeted. To add insult to injury, the Senate bill eliminated the meager $20 per month in commuter benefits available to people who bike to work. The tax bill still has to go to conference committee where differences between the Senate and House bills would get hammered out, and then go up for a vote in each chamber again. Or the House might rubber stamp the Senate version. http://bit.ly/2ygch8G

DESIGNING BIKE FACILITIES FOR ALL AGES AND ABILITIES
-> NACTO released a new technical guidance to help cities decide what types of bike infrastructure will best achieve their goals to build bike networks that are safe and comfortable for riders of all ages and abilities. By focusing on two key safety factors—vehicle speeds and traffic volume—Designing for All Ages and Abilities: Contextual Guidance for High-Comfort Bicycle Facilities* (http://bit.ly/2yfDQ1J) gives cities the tools they need to assess any street and decide which treatments will improve safety and support increases in bicycling. The guidance illustrates how on higher-volume streets with vehicle speeds above 20 mph, conventional infrastructure, such as painted lanes, can be insufficient, while on lower-speed streets where other traffic calming measures have been introduced, such treatments may be an adequate solution. http://bit.ly/2yffJAh

*Check out page 3 of the guide for a brief description of 9 sub-types of all ages and abilities users and their needs.

MORE LOW-INCOME KIDS WALK & BIKE, BUT IN MORE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS
-> The Safe Routes to School National Partnership reports low-income kids are twice as likely to walk to school as higher income counterparts, but they are walking and biking in dangerous conditions. The obstacles encountered in our car-centric society for those who do not have consistent access to a car affect low-income children and people of color more profoundly, making it more dangerous to get to school and work, and limiting access to daily needs. A graphic shows that 90% of high income communities have sidewalks while 49% of low income have them. http://bit.ly/2yinjdJ

[See Research section for Poverty & Minority Status Relate to Higher Traffic item.]

NEW CENSUS DATA: MORE PEOPLE WALKING TO WORK
-> America Walks reports new Census estimates show that Americans are walking to work in greater numbers than in recent history, with more than 4 million people claiming their own feet as their primary mode of transportation to work. Even more promising: the data likely undercount walking prevalence. The numbers don't account for those who walk just a short part of the way to the office, only walk to work occasionally, or who walk for transportation purposes other than getting to work. New data released by the League of American Bicyclists and analyzed by America Walks includes the top 10 cities at various population levels for the percentage of people walking to work. Cambridge, MA tops them all at 25.6%. http://bit.ly/2AO49z1

REVISED ELEMENTS OF A COMPLETE STREETS POLICY
-> The National Complete Streets Coalition released its updated and revised the Complete Streets policy framework that requires more accountability from jurisdictions and provisions that equitably address the needs of the most vulnerable users. The 10 revised policy elements are based on decades of collective expertise in transportation planning and design, and created in consultation with NCSC's steering committee and other national stakeholders. A new resource offers a model for communities developing complete streets policies and for those with policies, it provides guidance on areas for improvements. The Elements of a Complete Streets Policy: http://bit.ly/2AsLhZv

[See Jobs, Grants & RFPs section for a Call for Nominations for the Best Complete Streets Initiatives of 2017.]

US PED SAFETY CAR DESIGN LAGS BEHIND EUROPE
-> Streetsblog USA reports dangerous street design, car-centric development, as well as dangerous car design deserve much of the blame for America's sickeningly high rate of pedestrian fatalities. Over the past decade, automotive safety regulators in Europe have made pedestrian safety a priority. But regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have never gotten serious about adapting vehicle design to protect people outside of vehicles. To reduce the risk of head trauma, the European Union rules call for features like higher hoods to reduce the severity of impact in the event a driver strikes someone outside the car. Mandates to improve "survivability" for pedestrians have prompted some vehicle makers to incorporate external airbags. Vehicles must be subjected to crash tests evaluating front-end impacts with pedestrians. The tests measure the impact on an adult's head, a child's head, and an adult's legs. http://bit.ly/2yg0cQK

GAO REPORT IDENTIFIES POTENTIAL AV CHALLENGES
-> The US Government Accountability Office released a report that addresses what selected stakeholders and literature identify as potential safety and infrastructure challenges automated vehicles pose for policymakers and US DOT's efforts in response to these challenges. US DOT recognizes that automated vehicles need to interact with pedestrians and cyclists and could pose particular risks for them. US DOT needs to include automation in its plans for pedestrian and cyclist safety and identify how the risks posed to pedestrians and cyclists by automated vehicle technologies would be addressed. "Automated Vehicles: Comprehensive Plan Could Help DOT Address Challenges" http://bit.ly/2AwIoHc

[See Resources section for a crowdsourced AV Knowledge Base.]

TORONTO, CANADA: LEAVES & CHALK DEMONSTRATE SAFER DESIGN
-> Streetsblog USA reports a group of neighbors in Toronto demonstrated how a local intersection could be transformed into a safer, more neighborhood-friendly space using some leaves and chalk. Their work revealed a surplus surface area of 2,000 square feet, which could be transformed into a parkette, new sidewalks, and much shorter/safer crossings. Check out the before and after photos: http://bit.ly/2Aw2AJi

LONDON, ENGLAND: EFFICIENT, CARBON NEUTRAL E-DELIVERY BIKES
-> Springwise reports UPS and other partners are pilot testing a fleet of electric cargo bikes and trailers for quicker, more efficient and nearly carbon neutral deliveries in Central London, England. Each electric trailer can carry up to 200 kg (441 lbs.), and the proprietary net-neutral technology of the system means that the cyclist doesn't feel the weight. Not only does this allow for quicker and easier deliveries, it also lets walking couriers push a similarly assisted trailer access into particularly densely populated neighborhoods. Using optimization algorithms, drivers are able to constantly monitor and update their route plans and speed. http://bit.ly/2yi8ZC0

SHIFTING TO SYSTEMS-BASED YOUNG DRIVER ED IN GREAT BRITAIN
-> The RAC Foundation in the United Kingdom has released a report that provides examples of how to change current driver education programs in Great Britain from an individual skills-based approach to a systems-based approach. A systems-based approach recognizes the role of a community traffic safety culture that interacts with an individual's decision-making and behavior. This research explores how to create safer roads for all drivers, especially the youngest and least experienced ones. "Addressing Young and Novice-Driver Safety in Great Britain: Developing a Systems-Based Approach" http://bit.ly/2Awmx2z

"I HAVE THE RIGHT TO GET TO WORK SAFELY." EMPLOYERS' CAMPAIGN
-> CityLab reports in 2014, when Boris Johnson started construction on his 18-mile, fully separated cycling "superhighway" linking London, England from east to west, the "bikelash" was fierce and immediate. A small group of civic-minded bike commuters launched a campaign called Cycling Works. If they got the city's largest employers to pledge support for just two specific curb-protected projects, they could push back on the claim that new infrastructure was "bad for business." Over eight weeks,* volunteer activists hit the streets to speak with tens of thousands of London cyclists, asking them to tell their bosses and the city's CEOs to publicly support those two routes. "It's such a simple ask," said one campaigner who did it in London in 2014. "Say ‘I have a right to get to work safely.'" Check out a Streetfilms short documentary for more details. http://bit.ly/2ykp4qK

COMPACT FIRE TRUCKS ALL FOR PED-FRIENDLIER STREET DESIGN
-> SSTI News reports the San Francisco, CA Fire Department (SFFD) is welcoming new and compact fire trucks (http://bit.ly/2ykfggv) that will allow for more pedestrian-friendly street design throughout the city. The new trucks are a result of a partnership between the fire department, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Walk San Francisco, and state Senator Wiener. The arrival of the compact fire trucks is part of the Vision Zero policy, which commits the City and County of San Francisco to improve street design to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024.

Historically, fire departments have pushed back against street designs that are viewed as favorable to pedestrians. Such streets feature narrow roads that slow traffic by causing drivers to be more cautious, resulting in fewer vehicle collisions with pedestrians. However, these narrow roads make it difficult for the traditionally large fire trucks to complete their wide turns. Fire departments state that as a result of impeding their trucks' turn radius, emergency response times are increased. http://bit.ly/2ykDWp3

DUTCH PILOT GIVING CYCLISTS PRIORITY REVERSED
-> Bicycle Dutch reports the 18,000 people who cycle to the Groningen University campus in the Netherlands every day lost their priority again over the almost 12,000 motor vehicles on the cycle crossing with Eikenlaan. This priority had only just been granted to them. A two-month pilot with reversed priority was cut short. Right from the start the plan met a strong opposition from police and other emergency services, the bus operator and residents. After several incidents with drivers crashing into cyclists the situation was changed back. http://bit.ly/2yjYHRE

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