Transit Driver Appreciation Day Commemorates What?
Equity Spotlight: Learn About Wheelchair Riders' Mobility Needs
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month!
April Is Also #30DaysOfBiking!
CityHealth Policy Guide on Complete Streets
What's In a Word? Adaptive Cycling
Infrastructure Insights From the Interwebs

Do you know a municipality ready to develop an Active Transportation Plan or Complete Streets or Vision Zero Policy? Let them know they should consider applying for WalkWorks funding! Send them the link and tell them about the webinar. Anyone can attend the webinar, whether they think they will be ready to apply this year, will want to seek a different funding source, or will wait to apply until next year.
March 18 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day in memory of the birth of public transportation in Europe 360 years ago! On that date in 1662, the Carrosses a cinq sols, a system of pay-by-ride public carriages, started serving the city of Paris, France. The concept, routes, and logistics were developed by none other than the mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. Sadly after a few years, due to fare hikes and policies banning certain passengers, the system fell out of use. The next version of public transport in Europe did not appear for another 150 years.

Think of that long lineage and thank a transit driver later this month. Actually, thank them every time you disembark. It's just good etiquette!
It takes some time to plan events around these annually recurring dates, like the upcoming Transit Driver Appreciation Day or the just passed International Wheelchair Day, which took place on the first day of March. If one of these observances strikes your fancy and sounds like it fits in with your community's active transportation planning and promotion, you may need to be looking ahead and marking them on next year’s calendar with some lead time now. Make some plans next January and you'll be all set by the time March rolls around.

What kinds of activities might you organize? Consider the example of this "Walk/Roll a Mile In Their Shoes" event from Colorado that was just reported on in Streetsblog (caution, some salty language!). It could be a good occasion to hold a Walking/Sidewalk Audit event and check out the viability of your transportation network from the perspective of someone using a wheelchair.
It's not a year of advance notice, but how about a couple weeks' worth of alert for Distracted Driving Awareness Month? This campaign throughout April raises public awareness of the dangerous habit of driving while distracted.

People are starting to get the idea that they shouldn't text and drive -- some people, that is! We still need to continue to emphasize that very fundamental safety precaution, especially for new drivers who may very well be accustomed to using a phone in a car as a passenger. As they move into the role of the driver, the rules change! But even for those who know not to text while driving, there is often a strange lack of awareness about how other screen-related activities are similarly potentially deadly. People who say they would never text and drive, still answer their phone, take selfies or film themselves, or use other non-hands-free apps while driving. Not to mention putting on makeup, eating, reading the newspaper...
April is also the month chosen for the #30DaysOfBiking campaign. This is a month-long challenge to step up your cycling in preparation for May (which is Bike Month!). The basic idea is to commit to ride your bike some each day of April. There are no mileage requirements or gear (beyond a basic bike of some sort). This could be solitary or social, commuting or carefree, focused on errands or exercise -- you decide!

While Distracted Driving Awareness Month might be deadly serious, #30DaysOfBiking is all about joy. Consider signing up (or don't) and then take part by documenting your dedication and using the eponymous hashtag. Maybe your Bike/Ped group will want to have its leadership committee try it out this year and think about how to promote it further next year with challenges, organized rides, incentives, and publicity. But for now, just get ready to get on that bike!
In the last newsletter we shared the video about Pittsburgh's Complete Streets journey presented by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition in partnership with CityHealth. CityHealth has started a new blog about Complete Streets, from a health perspective. And they have put together a short explainer about Complete Streets Policies that can be shared with municipal officials, decision-makers, and healthcare leaders in your community to help make the case for environmental design approaches to public health.

CityHealth is a joint project of the deBeaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. They speak the language of public health messaging. And while the terminology of CityHealth is explicitly focused on urban areas, they don't just look at one kind of city, with one kind of urban form. The first three videos after all feature Pittsburgh, Tucson, and Louisville.
What is Adaptive Cycling anyway??? Adaptive devices are physical equipment/mechanical devices that permit people with disabilities to engage in the activities they want to do but can't achieve without assistance. Cycling is a healthy, fun, and useful activity that may not be an option for some. But with a little ingenuity, it can be available to many more people. Adaptive cycles are designed to permit people play to their strengths, whether that means hand propulsion, balance assist from a third wheel, a variety of seating and support options, or a way to co-ride. These sorts of adjustments (adaptations, if you will) can make cycling available to people who are partially paralyzed, blind, have vertigo, developmental issues, or different limb strength. Some people even find adaptive cycling more accessible than driving. Such adaptive devices can be unusual and hard to come by, but there are increasingly organizations working to make them available, whether on a trial/sharing economy basis like Twin Cities Adaptive Cycling or as a custom design engineering challenge for veteran athletes like the Adaptive Cycling Foundation.
Remember that when you see pictures of people walking in an inviting street, they are not necessarily fitness enthusiasts, looking to improve their health, or urban-minded folks, wanting to shore up the local economy. They don’t have to be. Simply being in an environment that makes walking and biking safe and easy eliminates the need for personal urgency or compulsion. It makes behaviors that support personal health and productive businesses par for the course.
Code Confusion!
We love to go on vacation to places like Sevilla in Spain, but often refuse to allow similar spaces to be legal to build here.
Sounds Like Click-bait!
The original poster is making a play on those ridiculous headlines so often seen online that try to get you to visit a certain site, read a certain article, get exposed to certain advertisers. Except, in this case, he's pointing to an article in a science journal! It sure does sound too good to be true: What's fun, good for you, and economical, saving you -- and society at large -- lots of money?
Safe travels near and far!
Sam Pearson
M: 781.366.0726
PA Walkworks | Website