Friday, September 16, 2011

What the New Mapping Technologies Tell about Safe Routes

The Sustainable Cities Initiative final report for Downtown Parks Connectivity is out finally. It's got some great stuff.

One of the most interesting studies marries a quantitative analysis to our qualitative and anecdotal knowledge: We know Salem makes it tough to walk to school. Here's proof.

Elena Fracchia analyzed intersection density on minor arterials and local streets near Salem elementary schools. She excluded major arterials - the busiest streets.

Only two schools showed a rich network of low traffic streets. The newest Salem schools are in loop-and-lollipop and other developments poor in street connectivity, and in which it is difficult to walk to school and other places. And the least connected schools may indeed be close to "auto-dependent."

The analysis doesn't necessarily reveal something we didn't already know, but it gives a clear picture of the problem.

There's another analysis of streets for bicycling, and it yields a "fear factor" index! (I have a request for better graphics, and maybe I'll have more it later.)

For notes on other SCI activities as well as other final reports see here.

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