Breakfast links: Better data for better choices
Visualize your Walkshed: A new tool, Walkshed, tries to improve on Walk Score by creating personalized heat maps of the walkable areas near an address in Philadelphia. You can adjust the weight of for farmers markets, rail stops, parks, crime and more. While WalkScore simply looks for nearby businesses regardless of topology (making it easily scalable nationwide), Walkshed knows about walking barriers like freeways and rivers as well. (Bossi)
"Mapathon" will create open Atlanta map: OpenStreetMap is enlisting volunteers to create a more accurate digital map of Atlanta than ever before, including bike paths, emergency phones, and more. And all the data will be publicly available; currently, good map data is proprietary and very expensive. Atlanta officials recognize and praise the value of open data. (BBC News, Geoff H.)
"Bike There" soon on Google Maps: Google Maps gives you driving directions, walking directions, and (outside the Washington area) transit directions. But what about bike directions? A whole blog has been dedicated for years to encouraging Google to add bike directions. Recently, Google added new bike trail data, and announced that bike directions are coming soon. (Via WashCycle, JTS)
Streetcar meetings near you: DDOT has announced a series of public meetings on streetcar plans in all eight wards. The first is Thursday, October 22nd, 7 pm at J.O. Wilson Elementary at 660 K St, NE (in Ward 6).
You could kill yourself or someone else: There's "an epidemic of single-vehicle crashes", says AAA; 58.9% of deaths on the roads occur in crashes involving only one vehicle. AAA says distracted driving is a big factor. (Post, Stanton Park) ... But there are still plenty of two-vehicle crashes, like the one Tuesday where a driver crossed over the centerline and hit a Capitol Heights family in their car, killing a teenager.
The endless bike lane debates, NYC edition: Washingtonians might argue over bike lanes, but New Yorkers argue far more. Two letter writers write about bike lanes in the Times: one saying that bike lanes have helped ruin his notion of New York, and the other complaining about kids playing in the bike path in the linear Hudson River Park instead of in the adjacent, non-bike portion.
Pick your car-tone?: Eelctric and hybrid cars are much quieter than traditional cars. While that has been a boon for stemming noise pollution, it has become a danger to pedestrians. Now, engineers are adding an artificial "vroom" to warn walkers. They might even be able to choose their own sound. Others suggest the drivers need to just pay attention and not hit people. (JTS)
The anti-Farmers Market crusader: One man is leading a campaign against the 8th Street Farmers Market in the Penn Quarter. Even though 8th is a very quiet, two-block street and only closed one afternoon a week for the market, he wants to be able to drive on it to get out of town faster. (Downtown Neighborhood Association)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
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