Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pedestrian Advocate

At one time I thought about writing my thesis on pedestrians in western states (of the US). The combination of sprawl, automobile-dominated transportation systems and lifestyles and pedestrians is very interesting to me. (I don't know how many times a day I wish I'd chosen to write about anything but my current topic. What is my current topic, you ask? That is the question of the day!)

Anyway, here are some interesting tid-bits about walking that have come across my desk today:

First, this message arrived in my in-box from a listserv on public spaces:

Prevention Magazine has published its list of the 100 most walkable cities in the U.S. The top 10 are:

1. Madison, WI (Yeah for you, Lisa!)

2. Austin, TX

3. San Francisco, CA

4. Charlotte, NC

5. Seattle, WA

6. Henderson, NV

7. San Diego, CA (Wahoo, Sally, Chris and Neal!)

8. San Jose, CA

9. Chandler, AZ

10. Virginia Beach, VA

I don't know the criteria that was used to determine this list. That alone would be interesting stuff. I am going to look into it.

Then, I was approached by a colleague to help coordinate some conference materials and funders. My organization co-sponsors a conference that takes place once every three years called "Shaping a Healthy Future." The last conference, in 2005, featured Mark Fenton as a workshop speaker. He is listed in the 2005 conference materials as a "pedestrian advocate."

I want to be a pedestrian advocate! Seriously!

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  1. Yay for Madison! One of my criteria when I was condo-hunting was that I wanted to be able to walk to a grocery store and a coffee shop.

    But Austin as #2? Seriously? One of the things I really disliked about Austin was how NOT pedestrian-friendly it was.

    And I'm surprised that neither DC nor NYC are on that list. I remember reading once that New Yorkers walk well above the national average because owning a car there is insane. And I always loved how walkable DC was.

  2. And I was just going to ask what your thesis was about... I wrote a thesis, once - but only 40 pages - you had to do that for a BA at my college... it was rough, especially since it and all my research, backup, and computer were stolen by a psycho exboyfriend (I never could prove it...) a month before it was due. Ugh. Anyway, cool. I haven't been to all of those cities, but Portland (OR) should probably be one there. I was 100% ped. there, and I had to go FAR every day. God, I miss it. Not everything about it, though.... anyway ...
    You'll be glad to know that, as a total, 100% pedestrian (James and I have only one car- my old red pontiac !!! and he works at least 15 hours a day, sometimes 50, 7 days a week, so I have no car... ever...) I just wrote to the city about sidewalks and walking paths on the "old" side of town (we live right by Centennial Park, on Flaming Gorge Way, if you remember GR well enough to visualize - right under Castle Rock). I am well-known to all of the downtown merchants as that punk-esque lady who walks around with her baby on her back... he he.
    And, as a sort-of member of the "revitilization of downtown" committee(my friend Misty, owner of the Book and Bean, is always trying to get me to join) I am very outspoken about not only the fact that there is glass all over the place from lame drunkards on this side of town, but the fact that the old sr. center should be a health food store. Then, there will be a grocery store within walkking distance for people on this "old" side of town. DAMMIT!!Blah blah blah. Love you! When will I ever see you?


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