[Snipped from the Centerlines e-newsletter #216 published by the National
Center for Bicycling and Walking]
COME ON GOOGLE -- GET MORE CYCLE-FRIENDLY!
According to the Nov. 27th Life Cycle UK newsletter, "A global campaign is
underway to persuade the planet's favourite search engine to be more
cycle-friendly. Many of us use the wonderful Google maps to find our way
around. The maps show a street plan, or at the click of a button, an aerial
photo to help you get a feel for the terrain. Another click and you can
summon up live traffic info, and car drivers can get detailed directions
from A to B. For the USA and some other countries Google has also added a
mass transit directions option which tells you how to reach your destination
by bus, tram or train. Now cyclists are asking for a Bike There feature.
"The organisers of the campaign say: 'By implementing the "Public Transit"
option, Google and the Google Maps team have shown themselves to be
concerned and capable world citizens. A "Bike There" feature would be the
ultimate statement in support of sustainable development, self-reliance,
exercise and healthy living: that's bicycle directions.'
"Campaigners envisage the "Bike There" feature showing cycle lanes, bike
paths and other infrastructure, and giving cyclists the option of seeing
either the most direct route or the quietist and safest. The feature would
make cycling easier and more pleasant for millions of people around the
world. It would empower world citizens to adapt their lifestyles to face the
challenges of global climate change and it would help Google fulfill its
mission of "organising the world's information and making it universally
accessible and useful. More than 40,000 people have already signed the
on-line petition. Add your voice to the campaign now!"
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New Study Shows More Walkable Homes Are Worth More
August 18, 2009
CHICAGO - Though housing values are still slow to rebound from the collapse of the real estate market, a new analysis from CEOs for Cities reveals that homes in more walkable neighborhoods are worth more than similar homes in less-walkable neighborhoods, pointing to a bright spot in the residential real estate market.
The report, "Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities" by Joseph Cortright, analyzed data from 94,000 real estate transactions in 15 major markets provided by ZipRealty and found that in 13 of the 15 markets, higher levels of walkability, as measured by Walk Score, were directly linked to higher home values.
"Even in a turbulent economy, we know that walkability adds value to residential property just as additional square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and other amenities do," said Cortright. "It's clear that consumers assign a tangible value to the convenience factor of living in more walkable places with access to a variety of destinations."
Walkability is defined by the Walk Score algorithm (www.walkscore.com), which works by calculating the closest amenities - restaurants, coffee shops, schools, parks, stores, libraries, etc. - to any U.S. address. The algorithm then assigns a "Walk Score" from 0-100, with 100 being the most walkable and 0 being totally car-dependent. Walk Scores of 70+ indicate neighborhoods where it's possible to get by without a car.
By the Walk Score measure, walkability is a direct function of how many destinations are located within a short distance (generally between one-quarter mile and one mile of a home). The study found that in the typical metropolitan area, a one-point increase in Walk Score was associated with an increase in value ranging from $700 to $3,000 depending on the market. The gains were larger in denser, urban areas like Chicago and San Francisco and smaller in less dense markets like Tucson and Fresno.
"These findings are significant for policy makers," said Carol Coletta, President and CEO of CEOs for Cities, which commissioned the research. "They tell us that if urban leaders are intentional about developing and redeveloping their cities to make them more walkable, it will not only enhance the local tax base but will also contribute to individual wealth by increasing the value of what is, for most people, their biggest asset."
An example of the effect of walkability on housing values cited in the study is found in Charlotte, NC. In a neighborhood with a typical Walk Score of 54 called Ashley Park, the median home price was $280,000. In a neighborhood with an above average Walk Score - 71 - called Wilmore, an otherwise similar home would be valued at $314,000. Controlling for all other factors including size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, age, neighborhood income levels, distance from the Central Business District and access to jobs, "if you were to pick up that house in Ashley Park, and place it in more walkable Wilmore, it would increase in value by $34,000 or 12 percent," Cortright said.
In the typical metropolitan areas studied, the premium commanded for neighborhoods with above average Walk Scores compared to those with average Walk Scores ranged from about $4,000 to $34,000, depending on the metro area.
"Walking the Walk' shows definitively what we've always believed - that homes in walkable neighborhoods continue to be a good investment, and are one of the simplest and most effective solutions to fight climate change, improve our health, and strengthen our communities," said Walk Score founder Mike Mathieu. "Our vision is for every property listing to include a Walk Score: Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Walk Score: 84."
The study included 15 metropolitan areas, finding a statistically significant positive relationship between walkability and home values in 13 areas: Arlington, Virginia; Austin, Texas;; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Fresno, California; Jacksonville, Florida;; Phoenix, Arizona; Sacramento, California; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Stockton, California, and Tucson, Arizona. In one metro area, Las Vegas, walkability was correlated with lower housing values, and in Bakersfield, California, there was no statistically significant connection between walkability and housing values.
Real estate data for these markets was provided by ZipRealty (NASDAQ: ZIPR, www.ZipRealty.com), a national full-service residential real estate brokerage. "Walkability is a factor we've always considered important for buyers and sellers when bidding or pricing a home. We appreciate that "Walking the Walk" has confirmed this intrinsic value," said Patrick Lashinsky, chief executive officer for ZipRealty. "We were one of the first sites to adopt Walk Score alongside our listings because we feel walkability helps all our clients in the home search process."
"There are a number of trends that are reshaping the American Dream," said Coletta, "and the value home buyers now place on living close to more daily destinations is one of the most important. Now, planning, zoning and development decisions have to catch up to consumers."
The full report can be accessed at:
Hello all you active people and organizations!
The Downtown BIZ is set to put on a huge event SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13 promoting biking, walking, active transportation and healthy living. It's called CICLOVIA and it's a BROADWAY STREET FESTIVAL.
This is a chance for you to march to the beat of those who love to be active - engaging in cycling, walking, running, & blading - as a natural part of their everyday healthy lifestyle and hit up some newbies as well! Come promote yourself & your services to the hundreds of people that are sure to travel the Broadway strip and help promote alternative transportation and active living!
CICLOVIA is an event that supports the use of non-motorized transportation! We're closing down the entire north side of Broadway to motor-vehicle traffic from Osborne all the way to Main Street - with a connection from Assiniboine Park all the way to the Forks - so that people can walk, bike, rollerblade, skate, run, jump, parkour, or skip on down!
Ciclovia, meaning "bike way," is an event whereby a significant city street - the entire north side of Broadway from Osborne to Main - is temporarily closed to automobiles to allow dominance by non-motorized traffic. This closure will be part of the day's active transportation-friendly route connecting all the way from Assiniboine park right down to the Forks!
Ciclovia combines healthy living with arts and culture and engages citizens in active alternatives to motorized transportation, bringing life and community bonding back to otherwise car choked streets. Attendees will enjoy one of the city's most beautiful districts, taking in live entertainment, food, unique visual displays, family activities, and more!
There's NO COST to participate, however there are sponsorship opportunities for those who'd like to support in more ways than one! The sky's the limit on ways you can get your message out so be sure to come out and support!
Please see the links below for the following documents:
a.. Ciclovia 1-page summary
b.. Ciclovia Participant-Application
c.. Ciclovia Sponsorship Opportunities
Please fill out the attached application and return it ASAP if you are interested in participating.
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE:
a.. Host an activity (fitness, bike decorating, yoga, bike rodeo, skateboard demo, art session)
b.. Host an on-stage demo or presentation ("how to" session, craft demo, etc.)
c.. Set up a display table (information booth, awareness table etc)
d.. Hold a mini street game/tournament (hockey, bike polo, etc.)
e.. Be or bring out your company mascot (great for the kidszone and much more!)
f.. Become a merchant (artist, clothing, accessories, jewellery etc)
g.. Become a food vendor (truck or cart - must have all necessary permits in place)
h.. Be an entertainer (graffiti art display, busker, kids entertainer - clown, juggler etc)
i.. Other (you tell us!)
Get the word out to everyone you know and we'll see you Ciclovia Sunday!
Ciclovia Event Application Form
Ciclovia Sponsorship Opportunities
[Forwarded on behalf of Jackie Avent, Active & Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Resource Conservation Manitoba.]
*please circulate widely apologies for cross-postings*
Please join us for a *free* webinar on Safe Routes to School International Best Practices and Tips.
When: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 from 2 pm to 3 pm. Brief discussion to follow.
Where: Manitoba Eco-Centre 3rd Floor, 303 Portage Avenue (access through the Mountain Equipment Co-op Lobby).
RSVP to Jackie Avent asrts(a)resourceconservation.mb.ca; (204) 925-3773
Here is more information about the webinar:
APBP Professional Development Webinar series
Expand Your SRTS Toolbox: Learn about a New, National Pedestrian Safety Education Curriculum, Swiss Education Strategies, and Baltimore's Safety City
Wednesday, August 19 · 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. CDT
Come and learn about the new, NHTSA-funded pedestrian education curriculum for K-5 which will be released in November 2009. Its creators, Toole Design Group, tied the six-module curriculum to national standards of learning for mathematics, music, art, and physical education. The modules cover the basics of safe walking (along and across roadways), best crossing locations, understanding and using traffic signals, safe bus riding skills and parking lot safety. Teacher scripts make this very visual curriculum work effectively in many settings.
Also up is an insider's look at the Winterthur, Switzerland, Traffic Garden where children learn safe walking and bicycling skills throughout their school years. Training is reinforced regularly. Join city staff and police to learn how they implement an annual learning adventure that benefits the entire community. We'll conclude with a sneak preview of a U.S. equivalent: Safety City in Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, MD. The guest co-moderator for this webinar is Jon Kaplan, VT Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator and a member of the International Ped Bike Scan Team that visited Winterthur.
Interesting read (okay, maybe just for some of us!) - International Scan Summary Report on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility (June 24, 2009)
Background info from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Centre (U.S.):
In May 2009, a team of 12 transportation professionals with expertise in bicycling and walking from the U.S. visited five countries in Europe to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility. Some of the countries, like Denmark, had experienced an increase in car use in the 1960s and 1970s, and subsequently reoriented their transportation policy to give priority to bicycling and walking. The scan team heard presentations from and had informal discussions with the foreign hosts. During most visits, the scan team also went on guided field visits (by bike as well as by foot) to better understand and experience the design and operation of various walking and bicycling facilities. These field visits were invaluable in documenting the facilities through photos and video, observing traffic behavior, and experiencing firsthand how well a design or operational strategy worked. The purpose of this scan tour was to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility.
The summary report provides a quick-response overview of the team's findings and recommendations:
Green Commuting Initiatives
Resource Conservation Manitoba