Active transportation works best when networks are well-connected and destinations compactly arranged. Yet while the field has standard metrics and methods for many other aspects of the transportation system, it performs connectivity analyses as one-offs or not at all. FHWA’s new guide doesn’t provide a new standard, but it conveniently and thoroughly summarizes many approaches to the issue in one place.
A recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet focuses on prevention strategies for the global epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) stemming from an unsustainable reliance on a transportation system reliant on fossil fuels. Such diseases include such as traffic violence, obesity, or respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. To address this crisis, the authors makes strong arguments that transportation and urban planners must coordinate across departments and accept their professional roles in determining how people travel.
While cities and developers have recognized the value of transit oriented development for quite some time, the advantages of proximity to and amenities building on active lifestyles and transportation are just beginning to emerge. Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier, a new report from the Urban Land Institute, looks at the rise of residential, office, and mixed-use developments built around active transportation infrastructure and amenities.
In its newly released 25-year Regional Transportation Plan, Utah’s Wasatch Front Regional Council—which controls more than half of available statewide transportation funds—makes active transportation one of its three major transportation pillars, in addition to highways and transit. The plan includes more than 1,600 miles of proposed bike lanes and improvements, including several hundred miles that coincide with planned road construction.
A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health concentrates on the lack of updated bicycle facilities standards in the the most widely used guides. The article’s authors focused specifically on their perception that cycle tracks—bike facilities separated from motorized traffic by a curb, parked cars, or other physical or painted buffer to discourage intrusion by motor vehicles—would increase bicycle transportation by older users, women, and children.
Research shows that increased physical activity associated with active transport could generate a large net improvement in population health. Measures would be needed to minimize pedestrian and bicyclist injuries. Together, active transport and low-carbon driving could achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Visionary local governments are broadening their focus to ensure that city planning and services meet the needs of residents across generations. Attendees of the recent Mayors Innovation Project meeting addressed the critical challenges of making cities livable for all ages, and a recent Governing conference explored the implications of this demographic shift. Land use and transportation planning are important parts of healthy and vibrant multigenerational communities.
As the 2012-2013 school year begins, school districts across the country are looking to their student transportation programs for savings. But cutting bus budgets often means putting the transportation time and financial burden back on parents. More efficient school siting and safer walking routes could help both schools and families.
A newly published report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Partnership for Prevention, in conjunction with Booz Allen Hamilton and the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) at UC Berkeley examines …