A pedestrian perspective.

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THE DIVIDING LINE IN U.S. POLITICS IS A SIDEWALK

From Better! Cities & Towns:

Nate Silver, the celebrated election prognosticator, Tweeted the following during the presidential race: Heuristic: if a place has sidewalks, it votes Democratic. Otherwise, it votes Republican. …

Nate Silver is one of the most astute analysts of voting patterns in the country, and there’s a lot of truth to his observation. The presence of sidewalks is a pretty good dividing line between the “Red” and “Blue” parts of the country.

Sidewalks can even be seen as a kind of metaphor for two kinds of living. Without sidewalks: Independent, anti-government, don’t tread on my land. With sidewalks: Communitarian, we’re all in this together, equal rights on this right-of-way.

Article here.

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BENEFITS OF WALKABLE DOWNTOWNS 

Jeff Speck, author of The Walkable City, spoke to the CEOs for Cities conference about not just why walkable dowmtowns are important.  His economic rationale:

… 64% of Millennials are now choosing where they want to live before finding a job, and 77% plan to live in urban areas. This data is supported by the fact that one in four teenagers are opting out of obtaining drivers licenses nowadays. There has been a major cultural shift where young people are no longer buying cars and houses. Millennials want to be close to work, entertainment, public transit and other amenities.

And by the way, density on its own is not sufficient.

More here.

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PHOENIX GETS SERIOUS
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Richard Campbell comments:
The City of Vancouver’s new transportation includes a goal of zero fatalities but does not set a timeframe for this goal. Phoenix’s goals are more lofty: a 10 percent reduction in pedestrian deaths each year, with zero by 2020. The measures needed to reach this goal will likely greatly improve driver and cyclist safety as well. If a city had no pedestrian fatalities, it is likely that there would be zero fatalities for cyclists and motorists as well.

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