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Where Walkability and Affordability Overlap in the D.C. Region

This social equity analysis identifies walkable places that are also affordable and transit accessible. The "sweet spot" is the upper right-hand corner. Graph: Tracy Hadden Loh via GGwash

Places in the lower right quadrant are where rents are lower and people can get around without a car. Chart: Tracy Hadden Loh via GGwash

Neighborhoods that are walkable, affordable for lower-income households, and provide access to jobs for people without a car are far too rare.

Tracy Hadden Loh, a data scientist at George Washington University, recently completed a study sorting out which places meet this criteria in the D.C. region. She writes at Greater Greater Washington that some walkable areas do remain affordable:

In the plot, the economic index is a weighted average of rents for office, retail, and multifamily residential buildings (per square foot), compared to a region-wide average for the baseline and discounted for vacancy; the social equity index is a five-part index based on transit-accessible jobs (10%), housing supply (15%), percentage of income spent on housing for a household earning 80% of the area median income (40%), percentage of income spent on transportation for same (20%), and public space per capita (15%).

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Via Streetsblog California
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#DamienTalks 41 – Chanell Fletcher and the Next Steps for Fighting Climate Change

Welcome back to #DamienTalks. Today, #DamienTalks with Chanell Fletcher, the associate director of Climate Plan. With the the California legislature passing and the governor signing new legislation this year furthering the state’s efforts to clean the air and slow global warming, we discuss what’s next for the movement to impact man-made climate change.

#DamienTalks

We try to cover both bases: what should be done from a policy perspective and what impact will existing laws have on people’s day to day lives. Last we discuss what you and me can do to improve the environment and fight climate change in our own lives.

Good news! Smart transportation choices are a big part of the solution, both in terms of policy and in terms of what we, as individuals, can do.

We’re always looking for sponsors, show ideas, and feedback. You can contact me at damien@streetsblog.org, at twitter @damientypes, online at Streetsblog California or on Facebook at StreetsblogCA.

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Guest Editorial: Safety Must Come First on Taraval

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Concrete boarding islands (right) make streets safer than letting people board in the middle of the street (left). Photo: SFMTA

Every day 29,000 Muni riders and countless walkers travel on Taraval Street, one of the city’s 12 percent of streets responsible for over 70 percent of traffic deaths and life-changing injuries. On average, every five and-a-half weeks someone is hit while walking on Taraval.

This afternoon, walkers and MUNI riders will have a once-in-a-generation chance as the SFMTA Board of Directors considers a proposal to reshape this deadly street into a safe place for everyone.

But whether the SFMTA will deliver a life-saving project, or a watered-down conciliation that will continue to put our fellow community members’ lives at risk, is yet to be seen.

Read more…

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Today’s Headlines

  • Chicago Beats SF for Most Bike Friendly City (Curbed)
  • Bike Thieves Foiling U-Locks (EastBayTimes)
  • Castro Rainbow Crosswalks Fixed (Hoodline)
  • Squabbling Delays Homeless Housing (SFChron)
  • Condos Replacing Mid-Market Porn Palace (BizTimes)
  • Historic Lamp Posts Threaten Delay to Van Ness BRT (Hoodline, SFist)
  • Cars Still Popular Despite Transit Improvements (CBSLocal)
  • Forum Discussion on Prop. 53 and Threat to Infrastructure (KQED)
  • Motorists Stops on Caltrain Tracks in Palo Alto with Predictable Results (MercNews)
  • Seemingly Blind Motorists Blow Through Crosswalks (Kron4)
  • Commentary: ‘Do Nothing’ Advocates Exacerbate Marin Housing Woes (MarinIJ)
  • Commentary: Perspective on Rose Pak Legacy (Examiner)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA
Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

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Vision Zero Committee Hears Radio Spot and Other Efforts to Curtail Speeding

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Supervisors Yee and Campos at the Vision Zero Committee of the Transportation Authority. Photo: Streetsblog

Supervisors Yee and Campos at the Vision Zero Committee of the Transportation Authority. Photo: Streetsblog

Note the ‘call to action’ at the end of this post.

Thursday afternoon, Supervisors Norman Yee and David Campos, commissioners on the County Transportation Authority Vision Zero Committee, heard updates from SFMTA officials on plans to install safety infrastructure and increase educational awareness on the dangers of speeding. They also discussed Mayor Ed Lee’s Executive Directive to, among other things, install speed humps in Golden Gate Park and protected bike lanes South of Market. Safety advocates also spoke, keeping up the pressure on city agencies to follow through on promised improvements.

John Knox White, Transportation Planner at SFMTA, gave a detailed update on the status of the Vision Zero Communications Outreach Program. “We’re trying to change San Francisco’s culture,” White told the committee. “We’re trying to change to a culture that embraces public safety.” Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Talking Headways Podcast: A Different Look at Transportation

Our guest this week is Rob Puentes of the Eno Center for Transportation, an organization that has focused on better transportation outcomes for 95 years. Rob touches on a number of topics that we don’t usually explore in-depth, like aviation, freight, and coordinating automated vehicle policy. With November 8 less than two months away, we also discuss the presidential election. Enjoy.

Streetsblog USA
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Paris to Return Its Great Public Squares to the People

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Paris’s Place de la République, before and after a 2012 redesign. Before photo: Google Street View; after photo: Clem/Flickr

If you look at paintings from the pre-automotive era, Paris’s monumental public squares were full of people strolling comfortably. But over time, car traffic has consumed most of these squares.

Now, under Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Paris is setting out to remake the city’s squares as great public gathering places.

The city is currently in the midst of an initiative to turn seven plazas and squares into pedestrian-friendly spaces, including the Place de la Bastille, Place de la Madeleine, and Place du Pantheon. Each will be redesigned with the goal of dedicating at least 50 percent of the land area to walking, biking, and public space. And for each project, the city will test out several different configurations, with public feedback and a rigorous analysis of how people use the space determining which version sticks.

The New York-based firm Placemeter is observing how people use the squares and compiling data for Paris officials. The company is currently using cameras to collect travel information from Plaza de la Nation, where six different designs will be piloted over the course of a year.

“You could call it tactical urbanism — testing,” said Placemeter’s Florent Peyre. “All of them will go through a phase of temporary installing with deployments before selecting the winning design.”

Place de la Nation “has a lot of symbolic importance for Parisians,” said Peyre, and serves as a major gathering center for protests. But on a typical day it is practically overrun by fast-moving car traffic.

Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Highlights From Park(ing) Day Around the Globe

Today is Park(ing) Day — a day to demonstrate how scarce street space can do so much more than store parked cars. Around the world, people are setting up camp in parking spots and turning them into public spaces.

Here are some of the fun and creative installations we’ve come across on social media. Just for fun, vote for your favorite at the bottom.

Cambridge

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This Week: Measure DD, Taraval Boarding Islands, SoMa Protected Bike Lanes

sblog_calendar1Here are this week’s highlights from the Streetsblog calendar:

    • Monday Tonight! Oakland Measure DD Coalition Meeting: Lake Merritt/Bay Trail projects. The Measure DD Community Coalition was formed to establish an ongoing dialogue between the City of Oakland and interested members of the community on how the bond measure will be implemented. The group meets every other month and is open to anyone interested in finding out more about Measure DD projects. Monday/Tonight, September 19, 7:10 p.m., Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave, Oakland.
    • Tuesday SFMTA Board of Directors Meeting. The SFMTA Board meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at City Hall. On the agenda this week: Taraval! Currently, the SFMTA’s L Taraval Safety Project includes only 11 boarding islands, instead of the 16 that safety advocates say are needed. Anti-transit and parking-over-safety voices oppose all new boarding islands, which prevent riders from having to step directly into oncoming traffic. Come speak in favor of having concrete boarding islands at every stop. Tuesday, September 20, 1 p.m., City Hall Room 400, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., S.F.
    • Tuesday Safe Passages for Women in Oakland. Women have different needs for safety and security and yet their concerns are often not considered. Join SPUR for an interactive workshop through model making and designing; this workshop will help give women tools to become part of the decision making process. Co-presented by Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, TransForm, and the Jack London Improvement District. Tuesday, 6 p.m., SPUR Oakland, 1544 Broadway, Oakland. Free for SPUR and WOBO members, and supporters of JLID and TransForm, $10 for non-members.
    • Thursday 2016 Housing Ballot Measures. This November, voters in Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties will weigh in on ballot measures that will impact how these counties will respond to our region’s growing housing shortage. Come learn about what is at stake and what a win on these measures will mean for the Bay Area. Co-presented by Silicon Valley @ Home. Thursday, 12 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose. Free for SPUR and Silicon Valley @ Home members. $10 for non-members.
    • Thursday 7th Street and 8th Street Safety Projects Open House. As part of Mayor Lee’s new Executive Directive on safety, SFMTA has been asked to put in protected bike lanes on 7th and 8th street in SoMa. As SFMTA explains it: 7th & 8th streets are intersected by multiple high-injury corridors on San Francisco’s High Injury Network, which is the 12 percent of city streets that account for 70 percent of the city’s traffic crashes. Staff will be on hand to explain how this project will make the street safer and more comfortable, and hear your feedback on how parking and loading can be better managed. Thursday, 5:30-7 p.m., Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission Street, S.F.
    • Thursday Northern California’s Rail Network. Railroads carrying both freight and passengers crisscross Oakland. Both services could be improved if the right projects are incorporated into the right local plans. Come learn what it will take for Oakland to maintain its role as the cornerstone of Northern California’s rail network. Thursday, 6 p.m., SPUR Oakland, 1544 Broadway, Oakland. Free for SPUR members. $10 for non-members.

Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.

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Today’s Headlines

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA
Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA