Monday, May 24, 2010

Another 'ask' letter...

Over the weekend, I received a letter from a new group dedicated to education and advocacy for yet another group of road users - pedestrians. The letter came from the League of American Bipeds. After a quick read, it was clear that they prefer entirely separate facilities for vulnerable road users like pedestrians. In fact, they'd rather have grade separated walkways along existing streets, complete with bridges across all major intersections. This would eliminate the need to mix pedestrians and motor vehicles and would be decidedly safer. The League calls these facilities 'ped tracks.'

The League intends to hand out Biped Friendly City awards later this year, recognizing those cities that have incorporated ped tracks and other dedicated pedestrian facilities as part of their transportation planning. The League sponsors the De Feet Streets program as part of this initiative.

In a footnote appended to the back of the third page, a paragraph of tiny print explained the League's education policy. They plan to have a instructor cadre focused on teaching pedestrians how to cross existing roads at both controlled and uncontrolled intersections. Additionally, they will teach new street-going pedestrians how to read traffic signals, perform basic foot and shoe care, and use hand signals. The League is looking for instructors qualified in higher mathematics and Newtonian physics, but a bachelor's degree in English and the ability to chew gum and walk at the same time is sufficient.

Much of the funding for the League's programs comes from Bipeds Belong - an association of shoe manufacturers - and the Dunderhead Alliance - an organization studying the question of "why chickens cross the road" since 1996.

Needless to say, I probably won't become a member.



Blogger Steve A said...

Interesting timing for this post, considering I got back my "other LAB" pre-test results today. At least the result comments were worthy of serious consideration. BTW, I HAVE had higher mathematics and MODERN physics...

8:35 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Yeah, but Steve, you're kinda an engineer. We'd expect that you know something about math and physics - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Just remember that the other LAB instructor class isn't necessarily about expanding your knowledge of cycling. It's all about knowing how to teach others the basics.

I'm ambivalent about the other LAB just now. I think you know the reasons why, so I won't cover them here.

9:20 PM  

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