While much of the state’s new Transportation Reform Act simply feels like a rearrangement of the deck chairs on a financially sinking ship, it does contain some ground-breaking components that – if aggressively utilized – could significantly change the rules of transportation planning for the better.Read more
Transportation policy is not changing because traffic engineers (or city planners) have seen the light, or because our society has finally internalized the reality that we can’t build our way out of congestion – every new road will eventually get overused. Even the growing green cultural awareness is not enough, by itself, to cause a shift. I’d like to take credit. But none of us advocates are really to blame — although we have helped push the rotting tree as it falls.Read more
“The health experts are just recognizing what devoted transportation cyclists have always known, which is if you’re on a quick ride to the store to pick up a carton of milk, you’re not really paying attention to the exercise part. You’re focused on the traffic, the sights, the (hopefully) fresh air, and the sheet job of movement. It’s kind of like the same trick your mind plays when you hike to the far end of the shopping mall and back in pursuit of the perfect gift for mom. You are thinking of the hunting and gathering, not the half-mile or so you’ve walked.
Pedaling Revolution, by Jeff MapesRead more
The original health care proposals put forth by the Obama Administration mainly focused on insurance and coverage issues, but also addressed prevention. Encouragingly, these proposals went beyond preventive medicine (the early detection and therefore less-intense treatment of disease) to also include health protection – shaping the environment to encourage behaviors that reduce the risk of getting sick in the first place.
The Obama proposal recognized that long-lasting chronic diseases – cancer, diabetes, hypertension, asthma – now cause 7 out of 10 deaths and are overtaking acute diseases like heart attacks and injuries as the long-term drivers of rising health costs. And researchers estimate that between 50 and 75% of chronic diseases are preventable through environmental and lifestyle changes.Read more