Monday, November 3, 2008

Decatur Safe Routes to School program wins "Golden Shoe" Award

Well, the
InDecatur Blog beat us to the punch: The Decatur Safe Routes to School program has won a prestigious "Golden Shoe" award from PEDS, the Pedestrians Educating Drivers Society.

The award will be presented at the Annual Golden Shoe Awards ceremony, which just happens to be here in the city at the Old Courthouse on the Square, 6 - 8 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 5th.
Click here for more info.

This award was only possible because of the time and effort of parent volunteers, City Schools of Decatur principals and staff, and City of Decatur staff, including the city Police Dept., Public Works, and Inspections, Permits, Planning & Zoning.

About PEDS:
PEDS is a member-based advocacy organization dedicated to making metro Atlanta safe and accessible for all pedestrians. When PEDS was founded in 1996, pedestrians were not yet on metro Atlanta’s radar screen. Government agencies identified transportation safety exclusively with occupant safety, engineers lacked information about the needs of pedestrians, police officers ticketed crosswalk law violators only after someone had been hit, and media attention to pedestrians was limited to one-inch blurbs following fatal crashes. Worst of all, people rarely thought of themselves as pedestrians. Because of PEDS’ efforts, all that is changing.

PEDS' goals:
-Change community attitudes to favor pedestrians
-Increase walking and other pedestrian activity
-Ensure the design of pedestrian-oriented communities
-Advance the equitable use of transportation funds
-Reduce the risk to pedestrians of injury and death

The 2008 Golden Shoe Award winners are:

-Pedestrian-friendly schools: City of Decatur, whose Active Living Division expanded and institutionalized its Safe Routes to School program after the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign completed a pilot project encouraging students to walk and bike to school.

-Pedestrian-friendly journalism: Maria Saporta wins a special award from the PEDS board of directors saluting a new era in her career after 27 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Saporta’s columns have become a powerful voice for smart growth and the importance of making Atlanta walkable.

-Pedestrian-friendly streetscape: Buckhead Community Improvement District and Georgia Department of Transportation, for the Peachtree Boulevard Project, featuring wide sidewalks, landscaped buffers, and bike lanes that separate pedestrians from travel lanes plus a median that reduces the risk to pedestrians from left-turning cars.

-Pedestrian-friendly road diet: DeKalb County Public Works Department, for reducing the number of travel lanes on Glenwood Road and reallocating the right of way to sidewalks and bicycle shoulders.

-Pedestrian-friendly civic retrofit: Perimeter Community Improvement District, for a pedestrian-friendly streetscape that connects to the Dunwoody MARTA station and serves as a new “Main Street” for Perimeter Mall and a catalyst for high density, mixed use development.

-Pedestrian-friendly traffic operations: City of Atlanta, Cobb, DeKalb, and Gwinnett counties, and others for installing countdown signals, which increase safety by giving pedestrians more information than traditional “flashing don’t walk” signals.

-Pedestrian-friendly activism: Clifton Community Partnership, for fostering community-wide engagement and developing a design guidebook promoting increased connectivity, better pedestrian infrastructure, and more housing within walking distance of jobs and retail.

-Pedestrian-friendly education: Federal Highway Administration, for identifying Georgia as a “focus state” for pedestrian safety and funding three “Designing for Pedestrian Safety” workshops that trained 125 metro Atlanta transportation professionals.

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