Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Good News From Around the City for Bikes & Pedestrians

Ever tried to cross from the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza to the farmer's market? Then you know that the timing of the lights will leave you stranded on a tiny traffic island as traffic whizzes by you in both directions. Streets Blog reported today that the Department of Transportation has corrected the timing of the lights, after repeatedly insisting that to do that would have a disruptive ripple effect on neighborhood traffic. DOT is also planning to implement other pedestrian-friendly changes at Grand Army Plaza over roughly the next year. Check out Streets Blog for the full report.

What effect does traffic have on neighborhoods? Besides what you might expect, Transportation Alternatives' new study, Traffic's Human Toll, found that New Yorkers living on streets with high volumes of traffic spend less time outside and are more likely to restrict their
children's outdoor play compared to people who live on "medium" and "low" traffic streets. The study also finds that compared to residents on low traffic streets, residents on high traffic streets are twice as likely to be disrupted by traffic while they are walking, talking, eating, playing with kids and sleeping.

Want to check out the Bronx waterfront? The Department of City planning has just released the Bronx Harlem River Waterfront Bicycle and Pedestrian Study, which proposes to improve pedestrian and bike access to the waterfront by adding off-street paths or striped bike lanes. Click here for the full report.

Photo, an inventive entrance to the bike path in Toronto, by mute*.

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