The folks at Walk21 have it figured out. When you have a conference pick a good venue. The conference reception was held at an Art Gallery well positioned to get people networking and finding ways to exchange ideas. There was a great number of folks mingling and talking about a wide variety of topics at the meeting.
I had a good opportunity to discuss some of my ideas for what makes a Walk Friendly Community with Carl Sundstrom, who is involved with writing up the standards for the rating system. Clearly, there are some elements of signal timing and engineering details that should be a part of any rating system and it is up to progressive communties to find ways to share their best practices with others.
Earlier in the day on the Walkshop around Vancouver BC, I had the good fortune to talk with Gordon Price, who was one of the Plenary speakers from the early set. It was great talking with him and I knew him from his earlier speaking engagements in Portland. We discussed the downtown pedestrian environment (he commented how he thought one way streets actually worked quite well in Portland) and I shared with him that we were progessing traffic at speeds of 12 to 16 miles per hour (he thought it was 22 miles per hour - maybe the metric conversion playing tricks on him). He said Portland was his second favorite City, which I am unsure if he was being honest about, but he seemed like he was quite sincere. I described the concept of quarter cycle offsets which is actually quite hard to explain as an elevator speech, it's something I should work on because it is a powerful outcome and a good reason to favor one ways streets in a downtown setting.