Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Play

The Supreme Court weakens Miranda rights protections, a campaign gathers signatures to start a consumer-owned utility in Maine, and the Jan. 6 Committee subpoenas former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

Play

Immigration advocates criticize border policies after migrants die in a tractor-trailer, the U.S. opens a permanent headquarters for U.S. forces in Poland, and a House committee hears about growing housing inequity.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, countering voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Texas Cities May Be Turning the Corner on Pedestrian Safety

Play

Tuesday, February 21, 2012   

HOUSTON - The Lone Star State's four largest metro areas are among the nation's 25 most dangerous for pedestrians, according to a recent study. But that could be changing. One of the nation's leading "livable cities" experts says San Antonio, Dallas and Austin are already making strides, and Houston officials are contemplating policies that could make that city a model of mobility for non-drivers.

Dan Burden, who directs the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, is in Houston today to provide encouragement. He says most public streets accommodate only about two-thirds of the people who live near them, something the "Complete Streets" movement is trying to rectify.

"The people who have been traditionally left out include our own children, folks who are older, and then a lot of people in between. About a third of our population do not have access to cars. So it's going to create an equity in our country that is long overdue."

It won't happen immediately, he says. The idea is not to mandate expensive overhauls of every urban roadway, as critics fear, but, rather, to persuade engineers and local officials to simply consider the needs of walkers, cyclists and public-transportation users when designing new roadways or improving existing ones.

Tim Morstad, associate state director for advocacy with AARP Texas, says seniors who no longer drive can feel so trapped in their homes they resort to institutionalized care, sacrificing independence. Complete Streets, he says, can make a difference.

"Where there are sidewalks and crosswalks and blinking yellow lights, and there are accommodations made for people to get around. That could mean years and years of staying in the place where people would rather age, and that's in their own homes."

While Morstad supports Complete Streets policies at the federal, state, and local levels, he says ordinary citizens can play a big role in improving their neighborhoods by participating in "pedestrian safety audits" - community-level inventories of mobility obstacles.

"There may be a senior center on one side of the street, and a bus route on the other side of the street, and there's no crosswalk. A pedestrian safety audit is really a top-to-bottom review of what works and what doesn't work."

He says it can show officials and planners problems - and alternatives - that only a block-by-block analysis can reveal.

The Legislature is expected to consider a Complete Streets measure next session. Houston officials will likely debate new city policies this spring.

Learn more about volunteering at safestreetstexas.org

Walkable and Livable Communities Institute: www.walklive.org. Houston events Tuesday: on.fb.me/wwdTYp. Transportation for America study and city rankings: bit.ly/itlHJ1.




get more stories like this via email

The United States generates more plastic waste than any other country, according to a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts. (EAD72/Adobe Stock)

Environment

California lawmakers are considering a bill today to cut down on single-use plastics that are choking the nation's landfills and oceans. Senate Bill …


Environment

Members of Nevada's African American community say they're channeling the spirit of Juneteenth to fight for environmental justice. Church-affiliated …

Health and Wellness

Wisconsin's 173-year-old abortion ban faces a legal test, as the state's Democratic leaders announced Tuesday they are suing to overturn it. The …


Some older adults in Connecticut may be eligible for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which can help decrease energy-related costs and fuel usage at home through retrofits and other improvements. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Starting Friday, Connecticut residents may start to see a sharp increase in energy costs just as summer gets into gear and inflation hits people hard…

Social Issues

A new study found an association between what researchers are calling the biological age of sperm and reproductive success. While age is considered …

Advocates for older Iowans say elder abuse can happen in many forms, including physical assaults, financial exploitation and neglect. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This Friday, Iowa's new elder abuse law goes into effect. Those who pushed for its passage hope victims are aware of the added protections and will …

Environment

Mapping migration routes is important for conserving species such as pronghorn, so supporters hope Congress will fund mapping efforts. The United …

Social Issues

Workers at a hospital on the Oregon coast are citing a victory in contract negotiations with their employer. More than 100 members of SEIU Local 49 …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021