How Can Cities and Towns become more Walkable?

Sandy James Photos From the Daily Durning comes an interesting article from governing.com  on the importance of sidewalks to the liveliness of cities and places. Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities established the concept that holistic communities are based upon the opportunity to have face to face contacts with neighbours. Jane wrote: “Lowly, unpurposeful and…

Do Pedestrian Push Buttons Calm Tourists? Why Do We Have Them?

  As reported in the Boston Globe, more American cities are taking the attitude that their city traffic flows  well without the intervention of  pedestrians touching  the  walk/don’t walk push button.  Imagine-remember all those times you were visiting New York, Seattle and London and thought that merely pressing the pedestrian walk button somehow gave you unbridled…

Why is Vancouver Not Reducing Speeds to Save Lives?

Around the world municipalities are starting to understand that speed does kill. Merely slowing vehicular speed from 50 km/h to 30 km/h is the difference between a pedestrian having a ten per cent chance of survival  in a crash, to a ninety per cent chance of survival. When you think that we live in a…

Does Better Walking Infrastructure Ward Off Depression?

      Walk Metro Vancouver has been exploring the link between walking and better mental health. The New York Times writes about   three new studies on depression and regular exercise that should  impact how we build cities and how we enhance walkability for sociability and mental fitness. Reviewing the habits of over one million men…

Does Owning A Dog Mean You Walk More and Are More Healthy?

This article will be no surprise to  dog owners-in a study published by the journal BMC Public Health,  “dog owners on average walked 22 minutes more per day compared to people who didn’t own a dog”.  That extra 22 minutes a day puts you into the Surgeon General of the United States recommendation of 150 minutes of walking a…

Children Can’t Detect Car Speed over 32 km/h

  The Telegraph follows up on a subject covered earlier in Price Tags-studies conducted at universities are showing that children have perceptual limitations when judging whether it is safe to cross a street with traffic going over 20 miles per hour  (32 kilometers per hour). Royal Holloway College at London University suggests that children may not even…

Walking, a Tsunami and the Disconnected Wind Phone

As reported in City Lab, Otuschi Japan lost ten per cent of its population in the 2011 Tsunami-about 1,600 people perished. “A resident named Itaru Sasaki had nestled the phone booth in his garden the year before, as a way to ruminate over his cousin’s death. Longing to maintain a relationship with a departed loved…

Why Accessibility Means Access to Everybody~Vancouver Beaches

  There was a recent twitter flurry about able-bodied planners and engineers  using wheelchairs for a few hours on their city streets to comprehend what it is like to use  a wheelchair daily. Some disability advocates balked at this, pointing out that being able bodied in a wheelchair for a few hours on a well-lit…

Pedestrians crossing the Street~There’s an App for that!

An august group of planners in Sydney Australia, London England, Paris and Vancouver are looking at “intersection signal intervals” -how long it takes for the walk signal to activate after a pedestrian pushes the cross walk button. This group feels that the livability of a city and the quality of the walking environment can be…