Smart Growth America Equity Summit Online
Time to Study the Outdoor Recreation Access Map
Best Practices: Connecting Transit to Trails
50+ Cycling Survey Reminder
What's In a Word? Woonerf
Infrastructure Insights From the Interwebs

Smart Growth America is holding their second virtual Equity Summit in early January, from the 11th to the 13th, starting at 11am each day. Day 2 will focus on transportation.  
From the webpage: “Transportation planning continues to use decades-old models and tools that contribute to a legacy of harm for communities of color, whether by directing limited resources away from them, bisecting and destroying those communities, or failing to connect them to opportunities to build wealth. Join a conversation about ways technology can be used to replace those outdated tools to better identify and address racial inequities and elevate community voices in transportation decisions.”
We have previously noted the PA Outdoor Recreation Access Map developed by DCNR with the Trust for Public Land and WeConservePA and incorporated into the SCORP, the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan titled Recreation for All. Have you looked at it closely? The "About the Project" page offers a 9-minute tutorial video on how to use it. In general it is important to note that access and lack thereof occur throughout the state. Some may assume that people without access to parks and trails must live in dense urban areas, but many of the places lacking access are in the Northern Tier. There may be plenty of “nature” on display there but it is often privately held or hard to access.
How can we increase access to trails? The Luzerne County Transportation Authority offers a "Routes to Trails" map which shows which bus routes in the Wilkes-Barre area connect to which trails both within and outside the city. This amazing resource was developed by an LCTA employee, Kathy Bednarek, who got a grant to produce it. Kathy is a former Walking College Fellow through the AmericaWalks capacity-building program. It’s great to see a concrete example of a way to help connect city residents to natural resources and sites in their region. It’s also an innovative way to introduce nature-lovers to the transit options in the community. Would something like this work where you are?
The holidays may be a time to read reports, but it can also be a time to catch up on making reports - speaking of which, this could be a good time for those over fifty to do the 50+ Cycling Survey from Mineta Transportation. And/or to complete your trip diary if you already did the rest of the survey. (If you haven't gotten around to that yet and you can't find the link to enter the info anymore, we are here for you: voila!

For all those under fifty who may be reading this, perhaps you are interacting with family members or acquaintances during the winter break who might qualify? Please do share it with them!
Woonerf is a Dutch word for “residential yard” or “living space.” It’s a technique of redefining the space of a street as shared by all users, including pedestrians and playing children, allowing for vehicle access, but not through traffic. Often the divisions between use zones, like curbs or road markings, are eliminated and everyone is given access to the full volume of the street. This may sound like a pedestrian mall, and that is a similar concept, but the woonerf is for neighborhoods and residential areas. That description might make it sound like a cul-de-sac, but the lack of through routes for cars is not on a street-by-street basis, but rather by zone or neighborhood. Meanwhile other non-car modes can move freely with extensive through connections to the larger network. Usually the layout of the space is very different from the typology of the road. And pedestrians – including children at play – have priority over cars. There certainly are also roadways that carry through motor vehicle traffic in such communities, but those roads, if they are _in_ the community also still accommodate all modes. The first woonerf took shape in the 1970s and by 1999, there were more than 6000 in the Netherlands.
All's fair in memes and war. Not ALL of our shares are from noted experts. It IS the internet after all!
Contemporary Childhood!
Consider the on-the-ground reality of the world facing kids when we lament they don't spend any/enough time outdoors anymore. It's a real challenge and hardly inviting. Frogger is much better played onscreen rather than IRL.
Then and Now/There and Here
A sobering comparison of how we choose to utilize space. The formal comparison is somewhat specious/whimsical, but there is an underlying truth about relative value placed on space as place versus utility.
Safe travels near and far!
Sam Pearson
M: 781.366.0726
PA Walkworks | Website