NCBW Newsroom - Regional and Local Actions
-> According to an Aug. 18th Charleston Post and Carrier article, "Imagine the horror of Atlanta and Charlotte merging into a single massive sprawl of suburbs and freeways. That's essentially the nightmare scenario put forth in a recent study by North Carolina State University and the U.S. Geological Survey. (The Southern Megalopolis: Using the Past to Predict the Future of Urban Sprawl in the Southeast U.S: http://bit.ly/1vlP8O0)
"The study points out that urban expansion in the south's major cities over the next 50 years could create traffic-plagued, virtually unlivable megalopolises if growth continues as it has in the past. The prescribed prevention is a concerted effort to move towards denser, more centralized growth. Specifically, the South needs to stop designing its cities around cars. That means regional planning to limit sprawl, including urban growth boundaries and better access to alternative modes of transportation..."
-> According to an Aug. 24th The Tennessean article, "... For years, the city has lagged behind some other cities in sidewalk building. The city's 2003 strategic plan for sidewalks and bikeways found that for every three miles of road, there was roughly just a mile of sidewalks. That was about on par with Charlotte, N.C., but it lagged behind Portland, Ore., and Indianapolis. Since then, hundreds of miles of sidewalks have been built, and nowadays sidewalks can be found on just less than half of the county's total roads. But [blogger, advocate and pediatrician Stacy] Dorris said the city is still having a hard time catching up...
"Part of the problem, she said, is that it's cheaper for builders to pay a fee that waives the requirement to build a sidewalk than it is to construct one... The fee is now a flat rate, depending upon the size of the development, but the most a developer would pay for not building sidewalks is $500 to $1,500...The low fees also have a hard time amounting to enough to cover the cost of sidewalks projects. The city collected about $42,000 in fees in 2013. A recent estimate to create sidewalks along Bowling Avenue at West End Middle School put the project cost at $1.2 million, Dorris said..."
-> According to an Aug. 23rd WKYT article, "The University of Kentucky is launching a pilot program to help reduce traffic on campus by giving free bicycles to students for the year. The Big Blue Cycles program is the first of it's kind in Lexington. The program's goal is to simply reduce traffic congestion by reducing the amount of cars on campus. More than 400 students signed up to participate, but only 160 were selected. In order to qualify, students that live on-campus had to pledge to leave their car at home... Students were given an 8-speed bike with fenders and a bell, a helmet and a lock free of charge..."
-> According to an Aug. 25th Streetsblog USA blog post, "One part public outreach and one part PARK(ing) Day, Seattle DOT held a three-hour open house last Wednesday for a half-mile protected bike lane on Dexter Avenue. The outreach session took place on green plastic mats spread out to cover an empty parking space. Project manager Kyle Rowe ... said. ‘To capture all the people that use Dexter in a traditional open-house style, which would be 7 to 8 or 9 p.m., would mean flyering or sending a mailer out to most of North Seattle, and that didn’t make sense. I also wanted to accelerate this to meet the deadline of the state’s restoration work.’ So Rowe used a trick he said he’d seen on ‘Streetblog or CityLab’ and held his public meeting on the side of the street from 7 to 10 a.m. on a weekday. He brought eight easels, two tables, a few temporary bike racks, a comment box, sticky notes, a sign-in sheet and a bunch of hot coffee..."
-> According to an Aug. 19th Boston Globe article, "Dart across Washington Street once or twice, and you probably would not pick Boston as the nation’s safest city for pedestrians. Study after study says it is, though: More people walk to work in Boston than just about anywhere, and the statistics showing that a dozen or so pedestrians are killed in the street every year compare favorably to figures for just about every large city in the country.
"So by the standards of the nation’s busiest metropolises, Boston is best. But are the city’s streets really safer than those in, say, Concord? The short answer is no. The state’s records on pedestrian accidents in Boston capture only a fraction of such accidents here. That is because the Boston Police Department has refused for years to report most crashes — pedestrians, bikes, cars, and everything else — to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Officers are needed on their beats, police say, not filling out extra paperwork for the state’s databases. But without a clear picture of crash figures, state Department of Transportation efforts to make roads safer for pedestrians do not reach the state’s largest, busiest city..."
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