A lead-in to the Walk 21 conference coming up in October.

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THE WORST PLACE TO WALK

From the New York Times:

It is no wonder that four Florida metropolitan areas, led by the Orlando region, ranked as the most dangerous places to walk in the country, according to a recent surveyby Transportation for America, a nonprofit safety advocacy organization.

“So much of Florida has been built up so quickly in that era of the automobile-oriented design; it’s this sort of the boomer phenomenon,” said David Goldberg, communications director for the organization. “The tendency there has been to build the big wide arterials; you have these long superblocks and you can get up to a good speed.”

Any nominees for a Canadian equivalent?  I’m thinking the 905 Belt in northern Toronto.

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PEDESTRIANS BY DESIGN

An essay by Gosia Kung:

Through evolution humans became pedestrians. The scientists study the connection between “feet and head” and how the development of people as walkers and runners effected the development of our brains. We all know this feeling, when we pace around the room in search for a solution to a problem or go for a walk to ‘clear our head’. The connection between the brain and the feet is clear.

More here.

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WEXTING


From The Guardian:

Earlier this year, a woman from Pennsylvania became a YouTube hit after she was caught on security cameras falling into a water feature inside a shopping mall. …

But it would now appear that Pennsylvania is determined to put an end to such walking-texting (wexting?) accidents.

As part of a wider programme called “Give Respect, Get Respect”, the good burghers of Philadelphia are cracking down on “distracted drivers, cyclists and pedestrians” by issuing more tickets. Mayor Nutter has denied reports this week that anyone caught walking and texting will be fined $120 (£85), but admitted that violators are now being “reminded to be more aware of their surroundings”.

In Rexburg, Idaho, fines are already a reality. Since May, anyone found walking across a street while texting is subject to a $50 fine. Students in the college town seemed supportive of the law, when quizzed by journalists. One remarked: “I think it’s a good rule so we don’t get hit by cars.”

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Comments

  1. I nominate South West Marine Drive at Balaclava. Try taking a bus from the south side of the street at night, or trying to walk a buggy along either side.

  2. If we’re nominating individual locations instead of regions, I’d have to put non-existant pedestrian access to the Junction Mall in Mission at the top of the list. Pedestrians generally take the Highway 11 overpass across the CP lines.

  3. I nominate the 4 block super blocks on King George BVLD in Surrey and the Langley Bypass.

    King George for the long blocks with bus stops still located every 2 blocks so people have to cross in the middle of blocks with only the 2 way left turn lane for relief. Last week I nearly witnessed a pedestrian (elderly woman) getting hit as she tried to cross. For some reason she was waiting to cross the next 2 lanes of traffic while still waiting in the first 2 instead of proceeding to the middle two way left turn lanes.

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=49.151405,-122.845763&spn=0.004547,0.008272&t=h&z=17&vpsrc=6

    Langley Bypass gets nominated because it has both large blocks and no sidewalks. It also has no bus service though.

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=49.112938,-122.671961&spn=0.002275,0.004136&t=h&z=18&vpsrc=6

  4. I went to Norway this summer and they are implementing multi-use paths along their main highway roads which go through the small rural towns/villages. Those roads are typically fairly narrow 1.5-2 lanes wide with no shoulders with no sidewalks. The new multi-use paths stretch from one end of town to the other side. Here is an example:

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=59.048758,5.922734&spn=0.000003,0.002068&t=h&z=19&vpsrc=6&layer=c&cbll=59.048758,5.922734&panoid=FXeRV13nPcIWSWIcGznmTQ&cbp=12,152.2,,0,16.58

    It seems to be an active program in Norway as there are many of these projects that are recently completed or under construction.

  5. Even in the heart of Vancouver, two intersections near Burrard Station, Melville & Dunsmuir, and Thurlow &`Eveleigh.. both “unmarked”, but are located at intersections, T intersections, with anomalies at the top of the T (bus stops at M&D, parkade entrances at T&E) that seem to cause motorists (and cyclists) to forget that pedestrians crossing there are not actually “Jaywalking”…. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=burrard+station&hl=en&ll=49.286385,-123.120716&spn=0.002047,0.004823&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=40.59616,79.013672&vpsrc=6&t=m&z=18

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