Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Action Committee for Transit November meeting: pedestrian safety

From email:

We invite you to join us at the upcoming meeting of Action Committee for Transit on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 7:30 pm.

Please note
: Our original speaker for the November ACT meeting, Shyam Kannan, WMATA Assistant General Manager for Planning and Joint Development, had to reschedule at the last minute. We hope to reschedule him for early 2013.

Instead our program for November will be “Montgomery County doesn't want you to cross the street - three examples” with speakers:

Ed Rothblum, Vice President, Gateway Commons HOA - unmarked crosswalks on Observation Drive, Clarksburg
Miriam Schoenbaum, ACT Vice President - Route 118 and Wisteria Drive, Germantown, where a student walking to school was killed on October 30
Tracey Johnstone, ACT Secretary - Wisconsin Ave. and Stanford Street, Bethesda, in front of Trader Joe's

ACT’s monthly meetings are held at the
DHHS Silver Spring Center, 8818 Georgia Ave 20910, in the Woodside Conference Room.

I hope that this meeting will spark a move forward on developing an agenda to better represent pedestrian needs generally and in the suburban setting specifically.  Recent accidents and deaths involving pedestrians in Montgomery County have sparked the program, see "Transportation Advocacy Group To Discuss Death of Germantown Teen" from Germantown Patch.

- "Two Montgomery County teens struck by car, hospitalized," Washington Post
- "Germantown Teen Dies In Accident While Walking To School," WAMU Radio
Montgomery County has a Pedestrian Safety Initiative but I don't think they have a county-wide pedestrian plan, although mobility--pedestrian, biking, transit, and motor vehicles--are covered in sector plans.

Here are some resources that would be useful for advocates working to improve conditions for walking:

- Walking Strategy, City of Toronto
- PEDSAFE: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System
- How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists
- School Walk and Bike Routes: A Guide for Planning and Improving Walk and Bike to School Options for Students, State of Washington
- A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities
- Walkability audits

And good examples to learn from of best practice pro-walking advocacy include Feet First in Seattle, WalkBoston, and Starkville in Motion.  Locally, the way that Arlington County packages, delivers, and brands walking programs as "WalkArlington" is another good example.

The Pedestrian program of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is a national clearinghouse for walking promotion.

Of course, walk to school programs are a good place to start. 

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