RFP: Proposed Update of the AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities

The objective of this research is to develop a proposed update of the AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities.

The updated Guide should generally follow the recommendations of NCHRP Project 20-07/Task 263. The work should be coordinated with the U.S. Access Board, the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and other relevant AASHTO committees. The research team should identify and coordinate with all relevant ongoing federal, state, and NCHRP initiatives. Safety and accessibility should be integrated throughout the Guide, not called out as separate topics. A different format or organization of the Guide may be proposed if the research team feels it is warranted. After completion of the proposed new Guide, the contractor will be required to address comments received during the AASHTO balloting process.

While the Guide should contain guidance for most situations, it should also outline decision-making processes and criteria that would assist agencies in identifying flexible solutions.

For more information, see http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=3175.

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As America Ages, A Push To Make Streets Safer

Author: Jennifer Ludden

America is aging — a fact that advocates are pushing Congress to consider as it takes up a new transportation bill. Their goal is more safety for older Americans, on both roads and sidewalks.

Pedestrians and cyclists are already far more likely to be hit by cars in the United States than those in some European cities. Add to that the coming tide of older Americans who use walking canes and wheelchairs, and some warn that a road safety crisis looms.

To get a sense of the problem, I meet Elinor Ginzler of the AARP at a busy urban intersection in Silver Spring, Md., just outside the nation’s capital. Ginzler isn’t actually old, but she has brought along a cane to help make her point.

“It’s all about how you get to the other side!” she says.

We step into six lanes of rush-hour traffic, and the crosswalk countdown light flashes: 20 seconds!

Read the full article at http://www.npr.org/2011/05/24/136585282/as-seniors-increase-a-push-to-make-streets-safer

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The world’s top 10 walking cities

A great city is a great walking city. So which is the greatest of them all? Travel book publisher Lonely Planet just surveyed its readers and asked them to pick the best walking cities in the world from a list of 186. Take a stroll through the top 10, counting down to the city that readers rated No. 1, and see if your favorite made the cut.

View the results at http://www.grist.org/urbanism/2011-03-16-the-worlds-top-10-walking-cities-slideshow/PALL

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Walk and Roll

From http://bourgogne.france3.fr/evenement/naturbis/Walk-and-roll—–:32c32c9c-21cf-4c55-a438-42e453a45684.html

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The Rise of Walking and Biking

View full-size image at http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/1006/rise-of-walking-and-biking/flat.html

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Walk This Way: Expanding Pedestrian and Bike Safety to the Whole District Won’t Be Easy

On Monday morning, District Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein sat at a dais at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments boardroom, next to the Dutch ambassador and other Netherlandish dignitaries. They were there to talk about how their country makes it easy to bicycle, before mobile workshops that would assess D.C.’s bike friendliness.

Although the Dutch could brag about their capacious bike parking facilities and dedicated cycle tracks, it wasn’t wholly an instructor-student dynamic. In many instances, the foreigners ended up praising D.C.’s bicycling infrastructure, from signage to new bike lanes to high usage of helmets. Klein tapped away at his Android phone for parts of the presentation–he’s familiar with the Dutch innovations, having brought a few of them to D.C. already–and looked up to smile at photos of children cycling to school. When his turn at the mic came, Klein delivered a stirring encomium to bold action for a bike-centric city.

“We can’t say we want to be more sustainable, but we also want to widen our roads and make it easier to drive, it just doesn’t work that way,” he said. “I’ve wanted to be more aggressive over the last few years than we have been.”

Even in the confined political environment of Washington–where many streetscape changes have to be vetted by multiple levels of city and federal government–Klein has hurled himself into elevating pedestrians and bikes over cars, with the idea of increasing both access and safety (a tricky thing, since more people on foot and two wheels means more targets for vehicles to hit). Aside from a few high-profile reversals–like the wide Pennsylvania Avenue NW bike lanes that later had to be slimmed down–he’s mostly gotten his way. DDOT is now retrofitting so many streets for bikes that the agency is trying to figure out how to contract out the work, rather than doing it all in-house. One need: More paint stripers, to keep up with all the traffic flow revisions the agency wants.

Read the full article at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/2010/11/17/walk-this-way-expanding-pedestrian-and-bike-safety-to-the-whole-district-won%E2%80%99t-be-easy/

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