Here are newspaper and
magazine stories, news releases and other items relevant to traffic
safety in California and the nation. This list was last revised on
October 15, 2012.
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“I think what has happened is people have just defaulted to, ‘I know people want bicycle lanes,’ study after study shows that,” said Rebecca Sanders, researcher at UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center.
SafeTREC Director David Ragland explains new efforts to better understandthe safety data on pedestrians and bicyclists.
The news keeps flying in the California high-speed rail saga: Just days after the California Senate (barely) released the first round of construction funding, the LA Times broke the story that the French national rail company, SNCF, had offered to finance and build the project in 2010 for a substantially lower cost.
High-speed rail officials rebuffed proposal from French railway The French railway recommended that the state build the rail line along the Interstate 5 corridor and partner with it or another foreign firm to hold down costs.
(European Pressphoto Agency)
New York City drivers, anguished by bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, have long insisted that the Bloomberg administration was slowing them down.
Following the launch of the city’s first 20 mph zone in the Claremont section of the Bronx last year, NYC DOT has selected 13 more areas to receive the “slow zone” treatment (see the full list), Mayor Michael Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced this afternoon. DOT was inundated with applications for slow zones after the agency announced the program in November, and Sadik-Khan said more neighborhoods would be able to opt in next year.
Photo by Ben Fried
Just days after Congress passed a bill allowing states to spend funds supposedly designated for biking and walking on completely unrelated projects, transportation officials are already circling like vultures over that money.
Oh Boy! The third installment in Bikas’ vacationary tales of the city… of San Francisco. See also: the welcome greening of the conflict areas and the mysterious parking-protected JFK bikeway. Today, we re-visit San Francisco’s “The Wiggle” – arguably the most popular bike route in the known universe....
The green color and the different level (the bikeway is at street grade, and the rest of the island is just above at curb grade) distinguish the space a bit, so peds and cyclists know to keep an eye out for each other, but each can still get across easily. —B.I.K.A.S. Bicycle Infrastructure Knowledge Activism and Safety Blog
Making Way for Pedestrians and Bicycles: Realizing the Environmental, Health, and Economic Benefits Walking and Bicycling in the United States: The Who, What, Where, and Why Leveraging the Health Benefits of Active Transportation: Creating an Actionable Agenda for Transportation Professionals Business Cycles: Catering to the Bicycling Market Walking and Cycling in Western Europe and the United States: Trends, Policies, and Lessons Measuring Multimodal Mobility with the Highway Capacity Manual 2010 and Other New Analysis Tools Research Pays Off: Safety Effectiveness of the HAWK or Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon.
I have not been a fan necessarily of the Pennsylvania Avenue NW in-the-middle-of-the-street cycletrack, not because it doesn't work, and it is getting used more, but because it was done in a place that most bicyclists don't really use, although with the US Capitol in the background, it's a very visible and prominent pro-bicycling piece of infrastructure.—Richard Layman
The person (or group) chooses to remain anonymous but expressed via email their dissatisfaction at the lack of quality street art around Chicago. Saying specifically that “the goal of this entire project has been to present something different than a stencil painted on the ground or a poster pasted to a wall. Something 3-dimensional that can be picked up, beaten down, kicked, yanked, grabbed, and broken. And if someone ever put forth the effort to remove it, like a weed it will always grow back. And if left alone it will evolve into something different.”
photo from SF Bicycle Coalition
I don’t like pedestrian malls. There, I said it. And it’s not because there aren’t some good ones, because clearly there are.
Let me explain. By the mid '60s, America’s race to the suburbs had left many downtowns in tough shape. Once vibrant streets, alive with the sounds of community and commerce, began to find themselves empty and foreboding after 5 pm. And not that it mattered either, because the streets themselves — increasingly reengineered over the preceding decade to expedite the daily flow of workers into and out of the city — were no longer a place where any rational person would ever want to be anyways.
It was unprecedented. So it’s no surprise that, when faced with such challenges and no clear model for taking them on, many places went searching for a silver bullet cure-all. Which they found, in the form of the pedestrian mall.—Scott Doyon, Better! Cities & Towns
I agree that all-or-nothing approaches rarely work, but I don't believe the problem with pedestrian malls is eliminating vehicles per se. As this study from earlier in the year explains, walkable centers generally don't have a sufficient market within their pedestrian shed (the distance people will walk to get to the center) to support their businesses. Instead, they need to "import" customers from surrounding locations via transit, biking, or driving--modes that accommodate longer trips. A sustainable pedestrian mall will allow for these trips, even if it doesn't direct them straight through its core.—Where the Sidewalk Starts blog
Multiple San Francisco agencies are working together to develop transit, pedestrian, traffic and cycling plans to coincide with the streetscaping project. This week, city officials will hold the first of two meetings with the public to discuss progress on the proposal, which is called the Better Market Street plan. So far, early initiatives include plans to consolidate transit stops, add physically separated bike lanes, improve signage for pedestrians and expand the street’s public plazas. One other aspect of the proposal has proved controversial: limiting or banning private vehicles on large portions of Market Street.
Tens of thousands of people are cheating on the new smart card system some are using to pay for BART, Muni and Caltrain rides. It's because the Clipper card service lets them get out of the stations without paying the full fare and it's costing transit agencies and taxpayers more than half a million dollars.
It was a Spare the Air day, but that was news to Stephanie Gillian and her carpool mates who drove across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco on Wednesday. "Isn't the entire summer Spare the Air?" Gillian, 28, asked on a day when the air quality in the eastern and southern reaches of the Bay Area was predicted to slip into the unhealthy range for people with respiratory problems. "Or is it in the winter?" asked Jeffery Wu, a 29-year-old information technology technician. "You're not supposed to burn wood during the holidays."
It’s been hot lately. Maybe not as hot as out East and, thankfully, not as humid. But temperatures in the 80s are nothing to sneeze at. Especially if you have to stand around on a street corner with no shelter while waiting anywhere between ten minutes and half an hour for a bus. Now imagine that you are elderly, or that you have a couple bags full of groceries and a small child or two, and the heat can become oppressive. A number of new benches have been put in place but, because there is no accompanying shelter, people tend not to use them during the heat of the day. In the few cases I have seen people using them mid-day, it has been to (unsuccessfully) hide behind them.—Sahra Sulaiman