In this issue:
Program Update - July 15, 2010
Program Information Resources
America's Great Outdoors Initiative: The President signed a Memorandum establishing the America's Great Outdoors Initiative to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to reconnect Americans to the outdoors. See http://americasgreatoutdoors.gov/, which lists several public listening sessions.
Transportation Enhancement Spending Report: The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) released Transportation Enhancements: A Summary of Nationwide Spending as of FY 2009 (PDF 1.77 MB). This is an overview of how States have spent TE funds. See www.enhancements.org/publications.asp.
National Bicycling and Walking Study: 15-Year Status Report: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released the National Bicycling and Walking Study: 15-year Status Report. This study, by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), discusses trends and outcomes in bicycling and walking since 1994. See DOT Secretary Ray LaHood's comments.
FHWA Solicits Feedback on 2011 STEP Implementation Strategy: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the proposed 2011 implementation strategy for the Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). The general objective of STEP is to improve understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation, planning and the environment. FHWA is requesting suggestions for research that should be pursued within each emphasis area. Please submit feedback by September 30, 2010. See http://knowledge.fhwa.dot.gov/cops/step.nsf/home/ - (link inactive 5/12).
US DOT Strategic Plan for 2010-15: The US Department of Transportation (DOT) Strategic Plan is posted on the DOT website for public comment. Click on the link below to go directly to the comment page. At this point, there is no closing date for comments. https://dotstrategicplan.ideascale.com/a/panel.do?id=8329
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which authorized Federal surface transportation programs, expired on September 30, 2009. Extension #5 extended SAFETEA-LU through December 31, 2010 (Extension #5). There is no known firm timetable for the next authorization, and further extensions are likely.
AASHTO Viewpoint: The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released The Road to Livability: How State DOTs Are Using Road Investments to Improve Community Livability. The report documents ways that State DOTs enhance a community's attractiveness, build its local economy, create a sense of place, and improve the convenience of travel and access to services. See www.transportation.org. AASHTO stated: "This summer and fall, Congress is expected to finalize the upcoming reauthorization of the highway and transit programs. The U.S. DOT has said that livability is among the Administration's top priorities for transportation funding. AASHTO is advocating a balanced approach to livability that supports investments in roadways, as well as in transit, walking, and biking."
Livable Communities: There are proposals for "Livable Communities" legislation. The Livable Communities Act (S. 1619, H.R. 4690) would facilitate sustainable innovation in regional projects. This proposal aims to enable coordination of various aspects of infrastructure, such as transportation and energy distribution. The bill has raised concerns about benefits for smaller metropolitan areas (50,000 to 200,000) and micropolitan areas (urban areas under 50,000 population).
Climate Change: Some proposals related to climate change may affect transportation and the potential for funding projects such as trails or enhancement activities. There are wide ranges of opinions among industries and organizations about how to craft climate change legislation, and how to collect or use revenue.
Program Financial Resources
FY 2010 Apportionments
FHWA updated the Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities apportionment and obligation tables.
Restoration of Rescinded Contract Authority Pursuant to Section 413 of the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010, Title IV of Public Law 111-147: www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510724.htm. This Notice restores all funds rescinded in the big $8.708 billion SAFETEA-LU rescission through Notice N 4510.712, effective September 30, 2009. Please read the FAQ at www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510724r1.htm. It is likely to answer your questions. This is mostly good news from the perspective of the RTP and especially for TE.
The National Center for Bicycling and Walking's CenterLines newsletter often has announcements about grant opportunities.
Award and Recognition Programs
Recreational Trails Program Achievement Awards: The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) announced its Annual Achievement Awards in recognition of the outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds on June 8, 2010. The award winners were recognized at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. during the annual Great Outdoors Week celebration. See www.americantrails.org/awards/CRTawards.html#awards.
National Recreation Trails: The Department of the Interior announced new National Recreation Trails on May 25, 2010. See www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails/10NRTapps.html.
Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives and Exemplary Ecosystems Initiatives: FHWA's Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives (EHEI) and Exemplary Ecosystems Initiatives (EEI) recognize and publicize transportation initiatives that make our transportation system work better for the people who use it. See EHEI initiatives at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ehei/. See EEI initiatives at www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/ecosystems/awards.asp. The 2010 Initiatives are under review.
Research Reports, Resources, and Technical Assistance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified transportation policies that can have profound positive impact on health. The CDC supports strategies that can provide a balanced portfolio of transportation choices that supports health and reduces health care costs. See www.cdc.gov/transportation/recommendation.htm.
State DOT Practices on Historic Bridges: A report outlining State transportation agency practices for addressing historic bridges was issued by the Historic Bridges Community of Practice, a service of the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO. The report provides an overview of the state-of-the-practice in terms of programmatic approaches used by State DOTs to identify, evaluate, and manage historic bridges. The report suggests research to examine and evaluate best practices and lessons learned associated with programmatic approaches to managing historic bridges. The research would examine how to effectively promote the use of programmatic approaches by the Federal Highway Administration, State DOTs, resource agencies, and consultants. See Historic Bridges Community of Practice Summary Statement, April 7, 2010, on the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO website.
Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program Reports: The Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) provides $25 million each to four communities: Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Minneapolis Area, MN; and Sheboygan County, WI; to demonstrate how improved walking and bicycling networks can increase rates of walking and bicycling. See program updates at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/ntpp/.
FHWA Roundabouts Reports: FHWA published updated information about Roundabouts at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/roundabouts/. Roundabouts are designed to meet the needs of all road users-drivers, pedestrians, pedestrians with disabilities, and bicyclists. A roundabout eliminates some of the conflicting traffic, such as left turns, which cause crashes at traditional intersections. Because roundabout traffic enters or exits only through right turns, the occurrence of severe crashes is substantially reduced. There is also information about trail roundabouts.
ResourcesAASHTO Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas (TERI) Database: You are invited to submit your transportation and environmental research ideas to the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO via the Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas (TERI) Database. The TERI database is a "one stop" location for keeping track of transportation practitioners' research ideas across the environmental spectrum. It has become a valuable resource for organizations that fund, conduct, and utilize research. You can access the TERI database and submit your research ideas and by clicking on the following link, http://www.environment.transportation.org/teri_database/suggest_idea.aspx. On the webpage you will find a template for submitting research ideas. Please be sure to include a clear title, a detailed scope, and information about the approximate timeframe and budget. The Center will be accepting TERI research ideas through Friday, July 30th.
The Transportation Research Board released Liability Aspects of Bikeways: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_lrd_53.pdf (PDF 616 KB). This research project was prompted by the need to provide information on legal risks to transportation and other public entities having bikeways, or the authority to designate them, or bicycle use on shared roadways.
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has many projects relating to environmental issues. Many are linked from the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO website. NCHRP released Transportation Corridor Environmental Management Framework (PDF 4.8 MB), which covers resource use and recycling, improving water quality, vegetation management, wildlife and human habitat, energy efficiency, and maintenance. See http://environment.transportation.org/, and search under Research News.
The Institute of Transportation Engineers released Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach: An ITE Recommended Practice: www.ite.org/emodules/scriptcontent/Orders/ProductDetail.cfm?pc=RP-036A-E. It provides guidance and demonstrates for practitioners how Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) concepts and principles may be applied in roadway improvement projects that are consistent with their physical settings, all users, and local community plans.
The Alliance for Biking & Walking released its Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2010 Benchmarking Report. There are also several fact sheets comparing States. See www.peoplepoweredmovement.org/site/.
The Center for Craft Creativity & Design published Creative Transportation Design. It shows how to incorporate creative designs into transportation projects, and provides information on funding techniques, community benefits, and processes and policies. See www.craftcreativitydesign.org/who/report.php.
The National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) is posting chapters of Best Practices in Recreation Resource Planning. In late April 2010, NARRP posted chapters 4 (Scoping and Public Involvement) and 5 (Recreation Resource Inventories and Data Collection). See www.narrp.org.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The HUD/DOT/EPA Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities programs published, Leveraging the Partnership: DOT, HUD and EPA Programs for Sustainable Communities. It is intended to help communities identify resources available from HUD, DOT, and EPA to support their efforts to promote livable and sustainable communities. See http://www.fta.dot.gov/about/13747.html.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) Program. EPA provides the assistance through a contractor team - not a grant. Through a multiple-day site visit and a detailed final report, the multi-disciplinary teams provide information to help the community achieve its goal of encouraging growth that fosters economic progress and environmental protection.
FHWA Office of Real Estate Services published Real Estate Acquisition Guide for Local Public Agencies. This will be helpful for any local public agency acquiring land using Federal-aid highway program funds (including TE or RTP funds). See Realty related documents at www.fhwa.dot.gov/real_estate/.
Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO: The Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO has a series of Practitioners Handbooks, including how to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Section 4(f), stormwater management, and other issues relating to transportation and the environment.
The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program of the National Park Service provides staff who can guide communities in conserving waterways, preserving open space, and developing trails and greenways. Applications for technical assistance can be submitted until August 1, 2010. See www.nps.gov/ncrc/programs/rtca/index.htm.
American Trails Accessible Trail Photos and Articles: American Trails hosts a "Cool Trail Solutions" website area. American Trails posted information on accessible boardwalks (www.AmericanTrails.org/photoGalleries/cool/15-Boardwalk-ADA-Accessible-Trail-Bridge.html) and accessible trail surfacing considerations and examples (www.AmericanTrails.org/photoGalleries/cool/3-ADA-Accessible-Trail-Surface.html). American Trails is seeking additional photos and articles related to accessibility.
National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Image Library: The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) Image Library is a web accessible media archive that features images of Transportation Enhancement projects. See www.enhancements.org/library/index.asp.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Image and Video Libraries: The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) Pedestrian and Bicycle Image Library is at www.pedbikeimages.org. The Library contains over 1400 images and continues to grow. The PBIC Image Library is a searchable collection of high-quality images relating to walking and bicycling. PBIC also has a video library at www.walkinginfo.org/videos.
PBIC Seeks Pilots for Walk Friendly Communities: The PBIC announced a search for five communities to pilot test the latest online draft of the Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) assessment tool. The process will test the usability of the online application and submission mechanisms. Walk Friendly Communities is a national recognition program developed by PBIC to encourage towns and cities across the U.S. to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safer walking environments. The WFC program will recognize communities that are working to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access and comfort. The program will officially be launched in the fall of 2010. See www.walkfriendly.org/pilot.cfm. Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) members worked closely with PBIC to develop and pilot test the assessment tool.
Trail Publications: FHWA's trail-related publications at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/ include links to many USDA Forest Service publications and resources.
Training Resources and Webinars
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals: The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (www.APBP.org) hosts monthly webinars related to walking and bicycling. Future topics will include:
APBP Members may participate in webinars at discounted rates. The discounts are worth the cost of membership. Membership entitles you to participate in the APBP listserve and other services. See www.apbp.org.
Context Sensitive Solutions National Dialog Workshops: The www.contextsensitivesolutions.org website supports workshops and webinars related to Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS).
FHWA Wildlife Vehicle Collision Reduction Study Training Course: This web-based course is available at www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/WVCtraining/index.asp.
The National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) is hosting a 2010 Best of SCORP Webinar on August 4, 2010. See www.narrp.org.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has free, public webinars to encourage safe walking and bicycling for transportation and physical activity. FHWA and PBIC are offering a series on designing for pedestrian safety:
Part 1: Introduction to Pedestrian Safety Design and Planning Principles
Part 2: Sidewalk Design
Part 3: Treatments at Unsignalized Pedestrian Crossings
Part 4: Intersection Geometry
Part 5: Interchanges and Roundabouts Date TBD
Part 6: Signalized Intersections - Date TBD
Part 7: Pedestrians and Transit - Date TBD
Part 8: Road Diets - Date TBD
To register for this and other upcoming webinars and to access archived presentations, see www.walkinginfo.org/webinars/.
The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trail advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. The vision of the Partnership is "to ensure that the full range of skills, training, and resource information is available to trail groups, communities, tribal governments, and State and Federal agencies." See more resources for training and education, including the Online Training Calendar.
Newsletters, News Magazines, and Websites
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Blog: Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood posts a Blog called Welcome to the Fastlane. There are frequent postings relating to livability issues and other issues affecting transportation enhancement activities and trails. See http://fastlane.dot.gov [inactive].
FHWA established a Livability Initiative Website: www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/index.cfm, to provide information on the FHWA Livability Initiative and to provide updates on the HUD/DOT/EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
FHWA Local Public Agency Website: FHWA developed a Local Public Agency (LPA) website to assist LPA and State Transportation Agency officials in the administration and oversight of Federal-aid funded projects. The site offers reference, contact, and training information, and other aids to assist public officials in meeting Federal-aid program and project requirements. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/federalaid/lpa/index.cfm.
The Federal Transit Administration has a Livable and Sustainable Communities website: http://www.fta.dot.gov/about/13747.html.
FHWA's Environmental Quarterly Newsletter has useful information related to transportation and the environment. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/publications.cfm. The Winter and Spring 2010 editions have a lot of background information about the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
FHWA's Pedestrian Forum Newsletter has useful information related to pedestrian safety. See http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/. There are links to training and safety materials.
FHWA Resource Center's Centered on Service Newsletter has useful articles on a variety of transportation topics.
FHWA's Transportation Planning Newsletter has a variety of transportation planning news items. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planning/publications.cfm.
America's Byways Bulletin, www.bywaysonline.org/program/bulletin/, has information related to the National Scenic Byways Program, including conferences and training resources.
America's Byways Vistas, is a bimonthly news magazine with stories about America's Byways. It includes resources such as Universal Design for Byways, an economic impact tool, and a byway project database.
National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse TE Corner: The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) issues TE Corner. It has stories about interesting Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects and broader news concerning the TE program. The Spring 2010 edition highlights an archaeology project in Alabama with connections to surface transportation. NTEC also announced the FY 2009 TE Spending Report, including a full American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Appendix. Additional NTEC publications are at www.enhancements.org/publications.asp.
National Park Service Conservation and Recreation Newsletter: The National Park Service has a monthly Conservation and Recreation Newsletter.
AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence Website: The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Environmental Excellence posts many resources related to transportation and the environment. See http://environment.transportation.org. See the Recent Developments page.
The American Council of Snowmobile Associations newsletter represents snowmobile associations.
American Trails publishes the American Trails Magazine and the Trail Tracks newsletter. American Trails Magazine covers trail-related news, legislation, and action items; training opportunities; accessibility; success stories, people making a difference, and creative funding ideas; resources for trail planning, design, construction, maintenance, and management; information on products and services; and conferences and events. Trail Tracks is a more typical monthly newsletter with current trail information and "Action Alerts". The Magazine and Trail Tracks archives share the same webpage: www.americantrails.org/trailtracks/.
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals represents professionals and advocates whose work relates to walking and bicycling. APBP's newsletter provides valuable information on professional development webinars, transportation policy, conferences, member collaboration groups, and more. See www.apbp.org.
Equestrian Trails and Conservation Awareness is a website addressing natural resource conservation issues for recreational horse trail riders. See www.etaca.info.
Equine Land Conservation Resource news is at www.elcr.org/index_newsletters.php. ELCR advances the conservation of land for equine-related activity.
The Initiative for Sustainable Communities and States (ISCS) is a project of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute (SGLI). SGLI also manages the Governors' Institute on Community Design through a cooperative agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Endowment for the Arts. The ISCS website is a portal for State and local leaders to connect to the Federal Sustainable Communities Partnership between HUD, DOT, and EPA. The website publicizes information on webinars, conferences, trainings, and projects related to Federal sustainability opportunities. See www.sustainablecommunitiesandstates.org/.
The Institute for Transportation Research & Education (ITRE) at North Carolina State University launched a website that highlights work on blind pedestrian accessibility to roundabouts and other complex intersections. The website contains a discussion of projects, crossing challenges for pedestrians who are blind, and infrastructure-based treatments that are intended to help improve accessibility. There are pictures and videos, and links to presentations and publications on the topic. See www.itre.ncsu.edu/ITRE/research/Pedestrian-Accessibility/index.html.
International Mountain Bicycling Association Singletrack eNews addresses issues relating to mountain biking. www.imba.com/news/trail_news/
League of American Bicyclists: American Bicyclist Update: www.bikeleague.org/members/e-newsletter_archive.php. The newsletters have articles of interest to TE managers and trail interests, including national resources and State and local news related to bicycling. See the Bicycle Friendly State rankings.
National Center for Bicycling and Walking Centerlines: www.bikewalk.org/newsletter.php. The newsletters have many articles of interest to TE managers and trail interests, especially on planning, policy, funding sources, health, and research, plus links to webinars and other training.
The National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council newsletter has articles relating to off highway vehicle issues. See www.nohvcc.org.
The National Wildlife Federation Policy Bulletin has many articles about the Let's Move Outside Initiative and getting youth outside to enjoy outdoor recreational activity. See www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Media-Center/News-by-Topic/Get-Outside.aspx.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: PBIC Messenger. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) is maintained by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. PBIC has resources for training, research, and technical assistance related to walking and bicycling. Sign up for this newsletter at www.pedbikeinfo.org.
Transportation Research Board: The Transportation Research Board (TRB) releases many research reports each week. Some relate to nonmotorized transportation, transportation enhancement activities, and trails. See the TRB Newsletter. Recent releases relate to accessibility, access management, bicycling, bikeability, complete streets, greenhouse gases, healthy community design, liability, livability and sustainability, pedestrians, road diets, roundabouts, safety, security, signs, transit, transportation planning, walkability, etc. You can subscribe to this newsletter and set your settings to limit your interests.
Conferences and Calendars
May 5-8, 2010. World Mountain Bike Summit, Augusta GA. Conference proceedings are available at www.imba.com/summit/2010WorldSummit/PostSummit/resources.html.
May 12-14, 2010. National Historic Trails Workshop, San Antonio TX. Conference proceedings are available at www.pnts.org/footer/pnts-archives.
May 18-20, 2010. Bridging Conservation and Recreation, sponsored by the River Management Society and National Association of Recreation Resource Planners. See www.narrp.org/clubportal/ClubStatic.cfm?clubID=1431&pubmenuoptID=17790.
July 15-17, 2010. Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference, Norcross, GA. Organized by the Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association. SETC brings together people concerned about the future of the natural and cultural heritage of the equestrian trail experience. The theme for the 2010 conference is The Art and Heart of Keeping Our Trails - Ride Smart and Do Your Part. See www.southeasternequestriantrails.com.
August 26-27, 2010. National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council: National OHV Program Managers Workshop, Great Falls MT. This workshop is especially for government agency staff with off highway vehicle responsibilities. The NOHVCC Annual Conference on August 28-29 is primarily intended for NOHVCC State Contacts. www.nohvcc.org. Tread Lightly! will provide a Tread Trainer course on August 25.
September 9-12, 2010. Preserving the Historic Road 2010, Washington, DC. www.historicroads.org.
September 13-17, 2010. National Center for Bicycling and Walking: The 16th Pro Walk / Pro Bike® 2010, Chattanooga TN. The conference theme is Bringing Livable Communities and Regions to Scale. www.bikewalk.org/2010conference/index.html.
September 16-17, 2010. Transportation Enhancements Professional Seminar and State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinators Meeting, Chattanooga TN (immediately after Pro Walk / Pro Bike®). The TE seminar is for State and Federal program managers responsible for administering Transportation Enhancement Activities. www.enhancements.org/TE_seminar.asp. The State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinators Meeting is for State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinators.
September 25, 2010, National Public Lands Day. www.publiclandsday.org/. National Public Lands Day 2010 celebrates service and recreation on public lands while educating volunteers. It engages a diverse audience of adult and youth volunteers to get outdoors and improve their lands.
October 19-22, 2010, National Scenic Trails Workshop Reisterstown MD. www.pnts.org/news-and-events. Organized by the Partnership for the National Trails System.
November 14-17, 2010. American Trails: 20th National Trails Symposium, Chattanooga TN. www.americantrails.org/2010/. The theme is Trails: The Green Way for America. See the Call for Presentations. Proposals are due April 9, 2010.
The State Trail Administrator Training Meeting will be November 13-14, 2010. This training is for State and Federal program managers responsible for administering the Recreational Trails Program.
The National Trails Training Partnership will meet November 17-18, 2010.
With both Pro Walk / Pro Bike® and the National Trails Symposium, you have good reasons to visit Chattanooga in 2010.
See more events at:
Pedestrians on a Pedestal
From: Michael Ronkin (former Oregon State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator)
This came through the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) listserv, www.apbp.org. NOTICE THE DATE! www.tdg.ch/geneve/actu/accord-franco-suisse-fait-pleuvoir-amendes-2010-03-31
Dwight has been very generous with his German translations, not so sure about his French, so here is a loose translation:
Though most Swiss drivers are courteous and respectful of pedestrians, there are still too many who speed by pedestrians who have already entered a crosswalk, which is a clear violation of the vehicle code. This in spite of rigorous punitive measures such as immediate loss of driving privileges, fines up to 50,000 francs (about $48,000) and the possibility of jail time (up to 10 years). But these measures are effective only if the driver's action is witnessed by a police officer.
After years of frustration expressed by Swiss pedestrian advocates, the federal government has adopted a creative measure that goes into effect today. A person may carry a police whistle with them at all times. If a driver does not yield to a person in a crosswalk, that person should blow the whistle. Upon hearing the whistle, the driver must immediately stop, pull over, cut off the engine, get out of the car and bow to the ground in front of the pedestrian. It is recommended that the pedestrian stand on the curb to increase the driver's humiliation. Another good advice given is that the pedestrian take a photo of the driver's genuflexion; best is to ask a passing person to take photo of the whole scene with the driver's car (with license plate number clearly visible) and post it to Facebook. The pedestrian who takes such action will receive a 1,000 franc award.
The Swiss authorities hope this new law will reestablish Switzerland's reputation as country that is governed not only by law and order, but by humiliation and absurdity. Switzerland is the country that gave birth to the dada art movement a century ago, which has enshrined the toilet as an objet d'art, so foreigners can no longer accuse the Swiss of lacking imagination.
And finally: Rush Hour in the Netherlands: Michael Ronkin also shared this on the APBP Listserv: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-AbPav5E5M.