Walk Friendly Communities range in population size from 2,000 to more than 8 million, and opportunities to create welcoming environments for people walking exist across that spectrum. In January of 2017, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks (STAR), a guide to help assist rural communities and small towns in improving conditions for bicycling and walking. Continue reading Improving Safety and Walkability in Small and Rural Communities
In 2017, ‘citizen scientists’ can help professionals with everything from searching for planets and stars to preventing traffic deaths by teaching computers to predict high risk road environments. The public can now help the city of Bellevue, the University of Washington, and Microsoft, who have teamed up on a new technology development project called Video Analytics Towards Vision Zero.
Vehicle speed is a critical issue for pedestrian safety. According to the World Health Organization’s recently released Managing Speed report, a 5% reduction in average speed can result in a 30% decrease in traffic fatalities. Moreover, an adult pedestrian’s risk of dying is less than 20% if struck by a car traveling below 50 km/h (around 30 mph), compared to an almost 60% risk of dying if hit by a vehicle traveling more than 80 km/h (around 50 mph).
May 8-12 is the United Nations’ Global Road Safety Week, and the theme is #SlowDown. The accompanying WHO report provides an excellent resource for towns and cities wishing to consider speed reduction safety measures, and it lists important strategies focusing on vehicle speed management. Walk Friendly Communities manage speed in a variety of innovative ways, and we were able to narrow down a few highlights which tie in to the #SlowDown strategies. Continue reading How Walk Friendly Communities Manage Speed
The Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) program recognized seven new communities and renewed designations for three past recipients for their commitment to prioritizing pedestrians and creating safe, comfortable and inviting places to walk. Continue reading Ten Communities Receive Walk Friendly Designation
There are dozens of conferences and meetings each year that focus on transportation issues. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has a complete list of upcoming events, and there are plenty to choose from. We’ve already attended a few in 2017, including the Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities and the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting, and heard about some new programs and research that will help move our field forward.
Attending them all is impossible, but we identified several upcoming conferences that should be on the radar of any community that wants to learn more about creating transportation networks that support walking: Continue reading Six Conference Recommendations for Walk Friendly Communities
One of the smaller Walk Friendly Communities, Davidson, NC, with a population just over 10,000 people, is a lakeside college town which proudly prioritizes pedestrian safety. After a couple of tragic pedestrian crashes in 2011, the town decided to focus resources on improving pedestrian safety through infrastructure countermeasures. Continue reading Safety Success with Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons in Davidson
Arlington County, VA, was recently profiled in the book America’s Walking Renaissance, which highlights nine communities around the country and the ways they are embracing walking, and we at Walk Friendly Communities were not the least bit surprised at their inclusion.
Arlington’s walking e-newsletter sums up their attitude towards pedestrians when it describes walking as “a gateway to increased physical activity and a stimulus to safer, more livable and equitably prosperous communities.” The monthly pedestrian newsletter is one of a wealth of resources available to the walking public in Arlington. WalkArlington, part of the Active Transportation program of Arlington County’s government, works to both encourage walking through a number of outreach programs and to promote safety through innovative safety campaigns.