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PHILADELPHIA, PA STREET CLOSURE MAKES MORE SPACE FOR CYCLISTS
-> The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (PA) reported nearly 1,000 Philadelphians within a few hours signed a petition to close MLK Jr. Drive to motor vehicles during the quarantine period. The City of Philadelphia listened, and quickly closed MLK, between Falls Bridge and Eakins Oval. The road will stay closed for the foreseeable future. Bicycling on the Kelly Drive Trail was up 471%, compared to last year. The trails are only about 12 feet wide, meaning while so many are using them for recreation and transportation, it's been difficult to maintain the safe six feet of social distance. https://bit.ly/3bHUlrO

[See the National & International Scene for news of Vancouver, Canada considering closing streets to make more room for people walking.]

[See Webinar section for the April 2 "Closing Streets to Create Space for Walking and Biking During COVID-19"webinar.]

SIDEWALKS FULL, STREET CLOSURES MAKE MORE SPACE FOR PEDS
-> Fast Company reported with everyone on lockdown but told that they could exercise outside, the sidewalks in many cities have been full--and ironically, it can be much harder than it would have been in the past to maintain the prescribed distance of six feet from people walking by. In New York City, where many sidewalks are already crowded on a normal day, the government is now working on plans to make some streets car-free to help give people room to safely walk. The streets have much less traffic with non-essential workers staying home. In San Francisco, the advocacy group Walk SF has called for banning traffic on streets in Golden Gate Park. https://bit.ly/2XaqpAD

MINNEAPOLIS, MN TO CLOSE ROADS TO CARS TO MAKE SPACE FOR PEDS
-> Fox 9-TV reported starting Friday, Minneapolis, MN is closing several roads along the Mississippi River to cars and opening them to pedestrians to help them practice social distancing and stay 6 feet apart while getting fresh air. https://bit.ly/3dIbbbD

CHICAGO, IL CLOSES PARKS & TRAILS INDEFINITELY
-> Streetsblog Chicago expressed its disappointment when the Chicago, IL Mayor announced that all lakefront parks, the Lakefront Trail, The 606 elevated greenway, and the Chicago Riverwalk will be indefinitely closed as a safety measure during the IL "Stay at Home" order. Police will be issuing warnings and tickets to people who ignore the closures, making arrests if deemed necessary. Posting signs about the Stay at Home social distancing guidelines would help people use trails and parks safely. Banning their use disproportionately harms communities of color, where residents already have few options to safely go for a walk or ride a bike. Rather than reducing opportunities for walking and biking, the city should be temporarily opening up streets for car-free recreation, which would provide more space for social distancing. https://bit.ly/3bHCjFS

FREMONT, CA SRTS ACTION NETS 50% FEWER MAJOR CRASHES
-> Human Environment Digest reported that the City of Fremont, CA received the 2020 Vision Zero for Youth USA Leadership Award (https://bit.ly/2UxIUx9) from the National Center for Safe Routes to School. Between 2013 and 2018, major crashes in Fremont decreased by more than 50%. Major crashes among youth under 16 years of age reduced by more than 90%. The city conducted safety assessments for all city schools (funded jointly by the City and school district) and completed 300 "quick-build" safety improvements with another 100 planned for this year. These include upgraded crosswalks, new stop signs, rectangular rapid flashing beacons, buffered bike lanes, and "Walk and Roll" maps of recommended walking and bicycling routes to each school. https://bit.ly/3azxNsV

NEW YORK CITY: ARE BIKE LANES REALLY SAFE
-> In a New York Times article, a cyclist describes her two recent crashes in New York City caused by inattentive drivers, and asks how safe bike lanes are. According to data compiled by The New York Times and published earlier this month, in New York City alone last year, 124 pedestrians and 28 cyclists were killed, and more than 10,000 pedestrians and more than 4,000 cyclists were injured despite attempts by the current City administration to make both activities safer. With a growing number of inexperienced cyclists taking to the streets since the COVID-19 crisis, the number of accidents had gone up by 31% as of March 22, though reduced vehicular traffic and shelter-in-place rules may avert a further increase. https://nyti.ms/2wSeNHx

PITTSBURGH, PA DRAFT BIKE(+) PLAN
-> Next City reported Pittsburgh, PA plans to release its new Bike(+) Plan later this year. (https://bit.ly/3dJBjmp) The plan has been considerably shaped by modern-day challenges that include climate change and new mobility options like electric bicycles as well as new forms of mobility. Implementation is based around five goals: A Vision Zero stance saying no one dies traveling on city streets; that all households can access fresh fruits and vegetables 20 minutes from home without a private car; making walking and bicycling "the most joyful mode" for short distance trips; ensuring no household spends more than 45 percent of household income for basic housing and mobility; and finally that "Pittsburgh streets and rights of way reflect the values of our community." https://bit.ly/3azWDJ4

CA DRAFT BIKE/PED PLANS: SUNNYVALE, SAN MATEO COUNTY, MILPITAS & COLMA
-> The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) provided links to several area draft bike/ped plans open for comments (https://bit.ly/2JwuVBa):

- The SUNNYVALE DRAFT ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION PLAN includes the Bicycle Plan (Chapter 4) Pedestrian Plan (Chapter 5) and Safe Routes to School Plan (Chapter 6). See SVBC comments: https://bit.ly/2JwJQvi
Comment Deadline: April 19, 2020 by 11:59 pm PT, https://bit.ly/39yTAjd

- The UNINCORPORATED SAN MATEO COUNTY ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION PLAN includes an interactive map of bike facility recommendations on the site. Click on the recommended improvements to open a pop-up window that has more information, and you can like, dislike or comment on each project.
Comment Deadline: April 20, https://bit.ly/2JtLKN0

- MILPITAS BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN & TRAILS PLAN UPDATE includes recommended improvements. Its comment period closed March 31: https://bit.ly/33YZucj

- COLMA EL CAMINO REAL BIKE/PED IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT includes draft alternatives for bike and pedestrian improvements along El Camino Real in Colma. See SVBC comments: https://bit.ly/3aAzhTS
Review and comment on their roadway design concepts (No deadline provided): https://bit.ly/3aLnwKx