Posts Tagged "biking"
Urban bike trails in cities like Indianapolis, Dallas and Atlanta are proving to have rich economic benefits to city neighborhoods
Affirming a trend seen in other cities, Indianapolis’s eight-mile Cultural Trail has been a boon to the neighborhoods adjacent to it — as well as the city as a whole — increasing property values of homes and businesses and giving residents and tourists an efficient, unbroken path to walk, bike and move around the city.
What’s the connection between healthy residents and a healthy bottom line? Why should a local business community care about improving the health of the residents that live there? Representatives from five regions gathered last week in Nashville to learn how providing better transportation infrastructure and building more walkable communities can help improve residents’ health — and boost local economic prosperity and competitiveness.
From 2000-2009, 47,000 people were killed while walking our nation’s streets, according to the 2011 edition of our pedestrian safety report. These fatalities occurred largely on streets designed for speeding traffic at the expense of people on foot. Dangerous by Design 2011 adds a visual element: Data from 2001-2009 can be viewed on an interactive map, showing details about the victim, the street type and even what the street looks like via Google Street View.
We mentioned this on Twitter when the issue came out back in July, but National Geographic had a nice one-page feature on Dangerous by Design, our study from 2009 ranking metro areas on their relative danger to those on foot and bike, focusing on Florida’s overall risk based on having 4 of the top 10 most dangerous metros. In the last 15 years, more than 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along a street in their community, and it’s high time that more attention was paid to this preventable loss of life that we far too often ignore or simple believe to be inevitable.
We’re facing an epidemic of childhood obesity, and this could very well be a generation of children who live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents. A healthier transportation system for America’s kids requires change in federal policy. But change will remain out of our grasp without a sense of urgency from everyday people on the ground. So where’s the meeting point between policymakers in Washington and citizens in their neighborhoods?
Transportation for America was proud to co-author and circulate a letter thanking Secretary Ray LaHood for USDOT’s policy statement elevating walking and biking in national policy. Last Friday, several of us at T4 cycled with a handful of national partners to DOT Headquarters across town to thank the Secretary in person.
Earlier this month, we highlighted two reports on the integral link between health and transportation. First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent Let’s Move report on childhood obesity goes one step further — endorsing a new surface transportation bill that encourages more walking and biking.
In February, First Lady Michelle Obama announced her exciting “Let’s Move” campaign and the goal of seriously confronting childhood obesity in the United States within a generation. Now, the campaign – more formally known as the Presidential Task Force on Childhood Obesity – is getting to work on an action plan to influence federal policy. This is a great start, but there’s an omission: the task force does not include a representative from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Sec. LaHood issued a new directive yesterday that officially shows DOT’s support for improving safety for walking and bicycling — treating them as equal modes of transportation. Last fall we released a report chronicling the 76,000 preventable pedestrian deaths over the last 15 years on streets unsafe for walkers or bikers. Today, DOT made some progress on the issue.
As our new Dangerous by Design report illustrates, pedestrian safety is a matter of life or death for thousands of Americans each year. With a loss of life equivalent to a jumbo jet going down roughly each month, it is a tragedy that does not get enough attention at nearly any level of government. These are preventable deaths, largely on roads that are not safe for walking or biking. Transportation for America is working to arrange a meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and to deliver the message from our hundreds of partner organizations and thousands of supporters across the country that safer streets must be a priority! Sign our petition today!