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US DOT SECTY FOXX ISSUES BIKE PED SAFETY CHALLENGE TO MAYORS

-> According to a Jan. 23rd US DOT Fast Lane blog, "...Our ‘Mayors' Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets’ (http://1.usa.gov/1Cx9G8C) invites mayors and local elected officials to take significant action to improve safety for bicycle riders and pedestrians of all ages and abilities over the next year. The Challenge will showcase best local practices to improve safety, share tools for local leaders to take action, and promote partnerships to advance pedestrian and bicycle safety.

"Participants will attend the Mayors' Summit for Safer People, Safer Streets in March, then perform seven activities during the next year to improve pedestrian and bicycle transportation safety in their communities...

  • Take a Complete Streets approach;
  • Identify and address barriers to make streets safe and convenient for all road users;
  • Gather and track biking and walking data;
  • Use designs that are appropriate to the context of the street and its uses;
  • Capture opportunities to build on-road bike networks during routine resurfacing;
  • Improve walking and biking safety laws and regulations; and
  • Educate and enforce proper road use behavior by all..."

[See http://1.usa.gov/1Cx9G8C for more detail on each activity]

Source: http://1.usa.gov/1z19eyT
Title & Author: "My challenge to mayors: Are you ready to boost bike-ped safety?" Anthony Foxx

T4AMERICA: FIVE FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION ISSUES TO WATCH IN 2015

-> According to a Jan. 14th Transportation for America article, "Already, 2015 feels like it could be a big year for transportation, at the federal, state and local levels alike. As the year began, we thought it would be fun to identify 15 people, places and trends that seemed to be worth keeping an eye on the next 12 months... We will roll out the list in three posts, starting today with five issues to watch at the federal level. The next two posts will cover ‘places (states and cities)’ and ‘people.’...

"1. The federal gas tax and Congress – will they or won’t they take it on as MAP-21 expires and we face the ‘fiscal cliff’ in early 2015?...
2. National passenger rail policy could be the first major issue up in 2015...
3. Implementing accountability: How will the U.S. DOT choose to measure congestion and safety?...
4. Will the much-loved TIGER grant program survive, and if so, in what form?...
5. Local control and the Innovation in Surface Transportation Act..."

Source: http://bit.ly/1y2pL4N
Title & Author: "15 issues to watch in ’15, Part I: Capitol Hill developments" by Stephen Lee Davis

THE INNOVATIVE DOT 3RD EDITION

-> According to a recent Smart Growth America article, "...Smart Growth America has partnered with the State Smart Transportation Initiative to develop ‘The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice’ (http://bit.ly/1CfcQQ3), a resource for state transportation officials. This handbook provides 34 recommendations transportation officials can use as they position their agencies for success in the new economy. Developed with input from top transportation professionals and officials at state agencies around the nation, the handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied..."

Source: http://bit.ly/VkitBQ
Title & Author: "The Innovative DOT: Third Edition, January 2015" by Staff

PARENTS INVESTIGATED FOR NEGLECT: LET KIDS WALK HOME ALONE

-> According to a Jan. 14th Washington Post article, "It was a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. But what the parents saw as a moment of independence for their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, they say authorities viewed much differently. Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say they are being investigated for neglect for the Dec. 20 trek — in a case they say reflects a clash of ideas about how safe the world is and whether parents are free to make their own choices about raising their children...

"She [Danielle Meitiv] said her son and daughter have previously paired up for walks around the block, to a nearby 7-Eleven and to a library about three-quarters of a mile away.’ They have proven they are responsible,’ she said. ‘They’ve developed these skills.’ The Meitivs say they believe in ‘free-range’ parenting, a movement (http://bit.ly/1D7E9bE) that has been a counterpoint to the hyper-vigilance of ‘helicopter’ parenting, with the idea that children learn self-reliance by being allowed to progressively test limits, make choices and venture out in the world..."

Source: http://wapo.st/1KOrgZA
Title & Author: "Parents investigated for neglect after letting kids walk home alone" by Donna St. George

[See a video interview of the children and their parents: http://wapo.st/1ADklub]

DUTCH BUILD BIKEABLE SUBURBS: EXAMPLES FOR U.S.

-> According to a Jan. 14th PeopleForBikes article, "People the in U.S. street design world... regularly say that U.S. development patterns mean that Dutch street designs can't be immediately adopted in the States. That's a lot less true than you probably think. Of course some ideas can't/won't port over wholesale. But especially by European standards, the Netherlands is actually probably one of the most spatially similar places to much of the US... The reality is that only a minority of Dutch people live in the medieval centers of Amsterdam, Gouda and Utrecht..." [See article for photos.]

Source: http://bit.ly/1B8Ue10
Title & Author: "Psst: The Dutch Already Figured Out How to Build Bikeable Suburbs" by Kirk Boydston

BROADER TRANSPORTATION CHOICES NET EXPANDED, DIVERSE BENEFITS

-> According to a Jan. 11th On the Commons article, "Americans made 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2013--the highest number since 1956 when the massive mobilization to build highways and push suburban development began. These numbers represent a 37 percent transit increase since 1995. Meanwhile bike commuting is up 60 percent over the past decade, according to census figures. And people are walking 6 percent more than in 2005, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Significantly, the number of miles Americans travel in cars and trucks per capita has dropped nine percent since 2005.

"It’s good news for everybody because broader transportation choices are linked to a bounty of social and economic benefits, including expanded economic development, revitalized urban and suburban communities, increased social equity, reduced household transportation costs, improved public health, decreased traffic congestion, and improved environmental conditions..." [See article for list of 11 benefits.]

Source: http://bit.ly/1CLkocc
Title & Author: "Way to Go! 11 reasons trains, buses, bikes and walking move us toward a brighter future" by Jay Walljasper

WINTER WALK DAY FEB. 4

-> According to a Jan. 26th Walk Sitka article, "Winter Walk Day was started in Canada, and is celebrated by school children, office-workers, families and community groups. In recent years events have spread to Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota and other cold-weather states. The main focus is to get people up and moving, preferably outdoors, so they stay healthier. The goal is to go for a walk lasting at least 15 minutes.

"[M]any Alaskans say, ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.’ If we let bad weather keep us from doing things we’d never get anything done. So how can people in Sitka [or anywhere else] celebrate Winter Walk Day on Feb. 4? Parents can walk their kids to school (if you don’t live near your children’s school you can drive to about a mile away from the school and walk from there). Other options are to go for a family walk after dinner, go hike one of Sitka’s trails, or get out and take a lunchtime walk. Just put one foot in front of the other and repeat as necessary.

"For those of you who worry about it might get cold, here are some tips for cold-weather walking..."

Source: http://bit.ly/1yMqwPR
Title & Author: "Never mind the weather, Winter Walk Day is Wednesday, Feb. 4" by Charles Bingham

INTERNATIONAL WINTER BIKE TO WORK DAY FEB. 13

-> According to a Jan. 24th Celebrate Sitka Cycling article, "Sitka cyclists are hardy souls, and many of us ride our bikes all year round, not just in the summer. Now Sitka cyclists can ride and win prizes by participating in International Winter Bike To Work Day on Friday, Feb. 13. This is the third year of International Winter Bike To Work Day, which started when several communities in Canada challenged each other to see which one could have the highest number of bike commuters..."

Source: http://bit.ly/1CfYMFM
Title & Author: "Sitka cyclists can ride, win prizes on International Winter Bike To Work Day on Feb. 13" by Charles Bingham

NATIONAL EQUITY ATLAS LAUNCHED

-> According to a January National Complete Streets Coalition Newsletter article, "Newly launched, the National Equity Atlas (http://bit.ly/1HaEaBR) provides data on demographic change, racial inclusion, and the economic benefits of equity for the largest 150 regions, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States. Built by PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), the Atlas helps users understand how their communities are changing and inform policies, plans, and strategies to advance equitable growth and investments."

Source: http://bit.ly/1uzL3ln
Title & Author: "National Equity Atlas" by Staff

FOCUS ON BIKE EQUITY

-> According to a Jan. 19th Next City article, "Bicycling in the U.S. has long been seen as a recreational pursuit and transportation mode for mostly affluent white people (and mostly men). There’s truth to the perception. As of the 2009 American Community Survey, white people still accounted for about 77 percent of all trips taken by bike, and men still made up about three-quarters of all riders. But, that’s changing. From 2001-2009, growth in the number African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics who cycle significantly outpaced that among whites. Though there are many factors contributing, it is without a doubt in part thanks to the growing diversity of advocates and increased action around equity in bicycling.

"On December 10th, a coalition of black bike advocates in Chicago presented a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Bicycle Advisory Committee requesting the city and the state of Illinois publicly commit to improving bicycling conditions in underserved, predominately black neighborhoods..."

Source: http://bit.ly/1KYIRhF
Title & Author: "Working on a New Conversation About Bike Equity" by Josh Cohen

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