Posts Tagged ‘walk’

Walkway Work Update

October 13, 2008

photoThe work on the walkway which connects Eagle Crescent and King Edward Avenue is proceeding, but I’ve a bit of angst about what I’m seeing here. Hopefully there’s no intention to replace the stairs which were removed, since they represent an unnecessary physical barrier to wheelchairs, buggies and strollers, etc.

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Enhanced Springbank Park Recreational Use

September 21, 2008

It’s being recommended that vehicles be restricted from the portion of the Thames Valley Pathway System (the multi-use pathway system that extends along the edge of the Thames River) that’s in Springbank Park.

At long last, changing safety and environmental principles are beginning to influence pathway and road systems in a way that limits vehicle/pedestrian conflicts. But, we’ve still got a long way to go.

London’s daily newspaper finally got around to reporting on this on 2008/10/03 (“People may bump cars off roadway“; LFP).

Other Links:
CityLondon: Upgrades to Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation

How About Some Sidewalks?

September 15, 2008

sidewalk picOnly 4 sidewalks are being proposed for construction this year because of the inadequate current annual budget of only $200,000.

London recently got $5.8 million from the $400 million provincial allocation for municipal infrastructure. Despite his undertaking to me to look into my pedestrian safety concerns about the ward that he was elected to represent, Roger Caranci rose at a subsequent Council meeting and argued in favour of putting all of it towards roads. And that’s what happened. Drivers got catered to, pedestrians got squat.

The city is currently sitting on an additional +$33M for transportation-related projects.

Will pedestrians get any of the gravy this time?

Giving Credit When It’s Due

September 12, 2008

photo

It doesn’t always pay to complain, but for sure you don’t get any results by staying silent. It looks like my threat of a class-action lawsuit against the City may have gotten more attention than what I first thought back in June … hopefully this work is going to put an end to the repeated pedestrian obstruction because of overgrown foliage.

It took a lot longer and was way more work getting this situation fixed than it ever should have been, but fair is fair. I’ll try to track down an explanation of exactly what’s being done and who ordered it and let you know. Because it appears that somebody at City Hall deserves some credit for a change.

Don’t you think that somebody would have let me know about this development?

More credit…

From: “Caranci, Roger”
To: “Greg Fowler”
Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 2:17:35 PM
Subject: Re:

Greg,

I have told the staff about your concerns. They told me they would get to the walkway but could not commit a timeline. Nice to know they are there. Better late than never but I will push them to put the maintenance on a more timely and reasonable rotation.

Roger

It’s All Branding BS

August 30, 2008

“In 2004, Municipal Council approved the re-branding of TDM to the SHIFT (Solutions to Help Individuals Find Transportation) Alternatives Program. The goal is to provide an understanding to Londoners of the many travel options available to them, such as walking, cycling, carpooling, and taking transit, and the vital role they play in moderating the effects of their personal transportation choices on the environment. The 2004 Transportation Master Plan describes future transportation plans in more detail.” 01

As I’ve stated on this blog many times before, it’s all spin. Vapour-ware. BS.

Whether it’s the way that my proposal for a Pedestrian Committee was handled, or the way that the police report about the dangerous intersection at Commissioners/Pond Mills has been ignored, or underfunding of the Walkway Lighting Program, failure to regulate the height of wooden fences that border walkways, failure to properly maintain landscaping along walkways and sidewalks and inadequate snow removal, the secret meeting in which my appointment to TAC was rejected, etc., all evidence points to the fact the London’s City Hall is full of crap.

London’s TMP is coming up for review. Stay tuned.

Sources:
01. CLEAR: Shared Accountability; Improving Transportation

Links:
2005/06/15 – CityLondon: New initiative to increase Londoners physical activity
2007/05/07 – CAPS: ActiveLondon2010 Activities

Google Maps Adds Walking Directions

July 25, 2008

John Leschinski avatarGoogle Maps LogoGoogle Maps today released a new feature for those wanting to find directions for walking. The new feature ignores the direction of one-way streets, uses pedestrian-only paths, and tires to avoid hills.

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TAC Appointment

June 22, 2008

fowgre avatarNow that the minutes of the 2008/06/16 ETC meeting have been published on the city website, I’m pleased to be able to announce here that I’ve been appointed to the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee as a pedestrian representative.

No word yet from the Community & Protective Services Committee about whether or not my application for membership on CSCP will be approved.

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Should London Be Sued?

June 22, 2008

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fowgre avatarAre you a woman who’s ever been raped? Are you somebody who has ever been otherwise physically assaulted? Are you elderly and afraid to walk the streets past dusk? Are you a parent who worries about the safety of your children after they leave your house? If so, this post is for you…

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In Response to Lynn Horton

June 12, 2008

In an online 2008/06/11 letter to the London Free Press, contributor Lynn Horton describes being struck by a vehicle in a parking lot and suffering “left arm in a cast, two broken ribs, and multible bruises.”

Because the driver of the vehicle on this occasion was an 82 y.o. woman, Ms. Horton expressed her hope that aging drivers know “when it is time to hang up the keys.”

I don’t disagree with that sentiment. But the danger faced by pedestrians goes far beyond that which is represented by elderly drivers, and I think it’s important following incidents like this that we don’t restrict are lobbying efforts so narrowly. Because it’s only when pedestrians start to get more outspoken and political, that the police and politicians will start to give even a small fraction of consideration to our safety as what they routinely give to drivers.

Hence, this 2008/06/12 submission to the newspaper by myself:

It’s Not About Age

This kind of incident can occur any day, at any time of the day, in parking lots, drive-thru exits, etc. all over the city. And it’s not age-related. It’s about the mindset of drivers who think that cars have the right-of-way over pedestrians unless there’s explicit signage/signals saying otherwise. And even then there are many drivers who ignore even those prohibitions. And it’s also about lax city regulations with respect to design, and the fact that many lots make no attempt to accord pedestrians any safety features whatsoever, in the form of sidewalks or anything else. Just another reason why every member of City Council should hang their head in shame for the manner in which my proposal for a Pedestrian Committee has been handled. And other pedestrian safety issues that I’ve brought forward. And if there’s a single one of them who cares to publily debate that, I’m ready.

Caranci Postures About Citizen Safety

June 9, 2008


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fowgre avatarAmazing! Astounding! Unbelievable! that Roger Caranci would have the nerve to say “If something were to happen to cause injury or death to someone — I’m very concerned about that.” 01

poster; Roger Caranci, missing in London, OntarioLet’s see what Councillor Caranci has to say about the proposed fence by-law that they’re going to vote on this evening. Better still, let’s see what (if anything) he’s going to say about my submission, given the way that he’s provided me with absolutely no assistance with respect to my efforts to make walkways safer.

And let’s not forget the total lack of assistance that I’ve had from him with respect to the intersection at Commissioners/Pond Mills which a police report verifies is dangerous to pedestrians.

Sources:
01. 2008/06/07 – LFP: London bridges keep falling down

TAC Submission – 2008/06/03

June 1, 2008

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fowgre avatar[I’m making an appearance before the Transportation Advisory Committee on Tuesday. This is a draft that I’m currently working on. It’ll be updated throughout the weekend, and you’re welcome to comment or email me if there’s anything that you’d like me to consider.]

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Submission to ETC re Fence By-law

May 29, 2008

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fowgre avatarThis is my submission to the city’s Environment and Transportation Committee, with respect to the proposed Fence By-law that they approved last Monday. The Chair of the committee has promised to circulate it among the Council members and to refer to it during this week’s the next Council meeting (see ‘Background’ for an explanation). Hopefully, our posturing local politicians will have the integrity to record the vote. Be advised that it is a work in progress. Expect modifications/additions between now and then.

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Paul Berton’s ‘Road Sharing’ Half-Truths

May 18, 2008

With respect to Paul Berton’s recent Point Of View column…

The LFP editor asks “how disturbing…to hear about hit-and-runs involving cars and cyclists like one over the weekend on Exeter Road”? He asks some questions about interaction between motorists/biyclists/pedestrians and he cites some stats (presumably obtained from the police, although he doesn’t say so).

Since Mr. Berton generally just ignores my posts to the LFP website, I’ll put it here as well, and you can comment about it if you like:

It’s About Time
Greg Fowler (https://frommybottomstep.wordpress.com

How long have I been trying to interest you in pedestrian rights/safety issues? Nice of you to finally get around to writing something. Too bad though that you didn’t think to pick up the phone and talk to me. Are pedestrians using crosswalks? Who’s determined to be at fault, numbers of tickets issued, etc? Did you think to ask any questions about those stats, Paul? Did you think to ask Tom O’Brien why only 30% of auto operators are being ticketed for striking pedestrians? When you want to give this serious issue the attention that it deserves, you let me know.

Pedestrian Signal Timing

May 18, 2008


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walking with cane“Recognizing that the North American population of older pedestrians is increasing, Canadian researchers Ann Coffin and John Morrall designed a study to learn if the timing of pedestrian signals at crosswalks should be adjusted to a slower walking speed for the elderly… When describing problems they had with crosswalks…elderly participants said they were “extra cautious because of a mistrust of drivers, fear of turning vehicles, difficulty negotiating curbs, inability to judge vehicular speeds, problems during winter, and annoyance with quick-changing lights.” 01

What’s been your experience with the duration of walk signals here in London, Ontario CANADA? Do you think that the city engineers have any clue what they’re doing, or that they only care about delaying cars for as short a time as possible?

Sources:
01. 1997/04/01 – USroads.com: Researchers Study Walking Speeds…

Bikes Don’t Belong on the Sidewalk

May 17, 2008

Over on London Topic, Dan O’Neil has written an article in which he describes his wife’s collision with a vehicle while riding her bicycle on the sidewalk, and he tries to make a case for why such behaviour should be allowed.

Sorry Dan, but that’s completely wrong.

I agree that riding bicycles on this city’s roads is hazardous, and that something ought to be done about that. But putting pedestrians at risk by allowing bicycles to share sidewalks with us is unfair to pedestrians, and completely contrary to the widely accepted concept of a transportation hierarchy that places pedestrians at the top.

We are all pedestrians, to some degree or other. We were all born pedestrians, and walking is a ‘natural right.’ As opposed to other forms of transportation, which are simply artificial constructs.

Dan writes that he has “never been able to find a case of a fatality resulting from a bike striking a pedestrian.” It took me about 5 seconds to find THIS ARTICLE. And I have no doubt that I could find more.

I’m sorry that Mr. O’Neils wife was hurt, and I hope that she recovers quickly. And London needs people who are willing to advocate for bicycling. For that, I commend Mr. O’Neil.

But we also need strong advocates for pedestrians and public transit.

And we need a police force that does a better job of enforcing the rules of the road than what I see day in and day out.

We need to elect people who can recognize the imbalance between automobile transportation and other forms, and the terrible price that our society and the environment are paying beause of our reliance on cars. People who are prepared to say so, and mean it.