- Bike4Life Ride
Issue #42 / February 2010
New Report Links Lack of Ped/Bike Facilities to Traffic Accidents & Injuries
by the National Alliance for Biking & Walking
As LivableStreets Alliance has often pointed out, lack of investment in biking and walking could be contributing to higher traffic fatalities and chronic disease rates in the U.S. While 10% of trips in the U.S. are by bike or foot, these travel modes receive less than 2% of federal transportation dollars. Perhaps as a result, a disproportionate share of traffic fatalities involve bicyclists and pedestrians. Seniors are at an even greater risk. While adults over 65 make up 9% of walking trips and 4% of biking trips, they account for 19% of pedestrian fatalities and 9% of bicyclist fatalities.
Similarly, states with the lowest levels of biking and walking have, on average, the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In contrast, where rates of biking and walking are greater, more of the adult population is likely to achieve the 150 minutes of weekly moderate-intensity aerobic activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Bicycling and Walking in the United States: The 2010 Benchmarking Report is available here >>>
US Department of Transportation Endorses 'Livability'
"Everywhere I go, people want more and better transportation ... to leave their cars behind [and] enjoy clean, green neighborhoods," says Obama's Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood. He then rescinded a Bush-era rule that made cost effectiveness - measured only by the amount of travel time reduced (compared to driving) per federal dollar spent - the dominant criteria in deciding where to allow limited federal funding. US Department of Transportation (DOT) will now also be able to give serious consideration to congestion relief, environmental benefits, promotion of smart growth and economic development, and other quality-of-life measures.
The new criteria are most likely to benefit new streetcar and light-rail lines and extensions of existing ones, as well as bus service enhancements. However, the new "Livable Communities" program is funded from existing transit appropriations and the President's FY2011 budget request is only $800,000 higher than the FY2010 level.
New York City Issues Active Design Guidelines to Promote Healthy Buildings
As LivableStreets Alliance has repeatedly stressed, transportation, land use patterns, and building design work together to shape our built environment, which in turn, creates the context in which people make the often-unconscious daily decisions that influence our health. NYC's new Active Design Guidelines provides architects and urban designers with a manual of strategies for creating healthier buildings, streets and urban spaces that encourage walking, bicycling, and recreation as well as environmental sustainability. It also describes building designs for promoting active living where we work, live and play - for example, through the placement and design of stairs, elevators and indoor and outdoor spaces.
A copy of the Guidelines can be downloaded athttp://ddcftp.nyc.gov/adg/
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