Studying what walkers need
Do big cities have anything to teach towns the size of Charlottesville, or for that matter, suburban areas like those in Albemarle, about creating safe places for pedestrians? A new report suggests that development patterns are the key to walkability, so the success of larger urban areas may well hold lessons for us here at home.
The study, published jointly by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and Transportation for America, ranks 52 American cities of at least 1 million residents by their pedestrian safety in 2007-2008.
Richmond is the 24th safest and the Washington, D.C. are is number 32 out of 52 total—which isn’t great, but isn’t terrible either, considering that all the worst cities for walkers are in the South. Meanwhile, older and usually more compact cities in the Northeast tend to score much better, and a city that Charlottesville leaders have explicitly looked to as a transportation model—Portland, Oregon—makes a strong showing as well.
The report points out that more than 76,000 American pedestrians have been killed in the last 15 years.
The 10 safest:
The 10 most dangerous:
Blueprint for density
Appended to Albemarle County’s Comprehensive Plan in May 2001, the Neighborhood Model calls for the following 12 principles to guide planning and construction within the county’s development areas:
Neighborhood Friendly Streets and Paths
Transportation Networks and Interconnected Streets
Parks and Open Space
Buildings and Spaces of Human Scale
Affordability with Dignity
Redevelopment Site Planning That Respects Terrain
Clear Boundaries with the Rural Areas