Does Your State Support Walking, Biking, and Physical Activity?


Does Your State Support Walking, Biking and Physical Activity

Walking and biking are critical transportation options for physical and mental health. More importantly, they are essential to get to destinations, particularly Latinos during the coronavirus pandemic — including those who are simultaneously less likely to work from home than their white peers and more likely to be impacted by job loss. When the pandemic began, the portion of auto loan accounts in financial hardship jumped from 0.64% in March to 3.54% in April, according to TransUnion. Financial hardship status is defined by factors incliuding: A deferred payment or frozen past-due payment because a person is unable to keep up with payments due to a change in financial circumstances, such as loss of a job Significant cut in hours or pay Medical illness To recover and ...

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Transit and Compact Development are Solutions to Health Equity, COVID-19 Recovery


compact development is important for COVID recovery

Researchers are finding that population density is not associated with higher death rates from COVID-19. Unfortunately, some people still blame compact housing and transit for pandemic spikes, and use that misinformation to promote sprawling residential development and disinvestment in transit in the name of health. These are the same poor practices that have segregated neighborhoods and contributed to drastic disparities in health and wealth for a century. As city leaders respond to concerns about COVID transmission and develop economic recovery plans, they must challenge the discriminatory status quo, consider transportation expenses, and shift toward equitable, compact (not overcrowded) housing development. “Restoring urban transit networks to full force, expanding their ...

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This is How Cities Can Discover Where Affordable Housing and Transportation Meet (or Not)


Where Affordable Housing and Transportation Meet

Housing and transportation are two key ingredients for health equity. In a good combination, people easily find affordable housing near schools, jobs, groceries, and healthcare. In a bad combination, people struggle to find affordable housing near essential destinations and transportation options. They have to rely on expensive vehicle ownership or infrequent transit with unsafe streets and no sidewalks or bike lanes. Which does your neighborhood have? City leaders probably don’t know. So they aren’t able to invest in a meaningful mix of affordable housing and transportation. Residents can’t find a good combination, either. LINK Houston is trying to change that. The advocates’ report, Where Affordable Housing and Transportation Meet in Houston, helps city and ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 5/26: How to Equitably Share Streeets During COVID-19


Share the Streets Hoboken

Medical and public health experts agree that being active outside is crucial to maintaining physical and mental health. However, overcrowding in parks, sidewalks, and on trails can become a serious issue during COVID-19. Pedestrian safety is also a serious issue because although vehicle travel is down, crashes and fatalities are up. Cities across the world are responding by temporarily reallocating street space for people walking, biking, rolling, and skating to practice physical distancing from others. Everyone deserves safe places to be physically active and safe routes to get to essential destinations. Let’s use #SaludTues on May 26, 2020, to tweet about the importance of equitably sharing streets during a crisis problem.   WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “How to ...

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We Need Healthier Communities to Overcome COVID-19


Edmonds Washington Share Streets

Preparing for and overcoming any disaster, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, requires healthy and resilient communities. However, after age, obesity is the biggest risk factor for being hospitalized with COVID-19. And the U.S. has one of the highest obesity rates in the world, with drastic disparities among racial/ethnic groups, including the highest rates among Latinos. To beat COVID-19, we need healthier communities that prevent obesity and leaders who prioritize equitable access to healthy food, housing, and safe spaces to walk and bike instead of space for cars. “We in the U.S. have not always identified obesity as a disease, and some people think it’s a lifestyle choice. But it’s not,” said Dr. Matthew Hutter, director of the Weight Center at Massachusetts ...

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How Advocates Campaigned for 1st Protected Bike Lane Law


advocating for protected bike lanes

Nathanael Fillmore felt his life was in danger every time he rode his bike on unsafe streets to his job as a computer scientist in Cambridge, Mass. (9.2% Latino). So he took action. Fillmore helped launch the Cambridge Bicycle Safety group, and they eventually pushed Cambridge to become the first U.S. city with a municipal law mandating construction of a network of permanent, protected bike lanes on local roads. They did it in three big steps: Build public support on an issues through community organizing Translate public support into political support Use political support to pass a law “Our focus was to work with elected officials to pass legal binding policy to change structural environment among staff and get network of protected bike lanes built out,” ...

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Webinar: How to Use Data to Promote Health Equity During COVID-19 Pandemic


Salud Equity Report Card Webinar

Join our national webinar to find out how our Salud America! Health Equity Report Card can help you visualize and explore place-based health inequities in your county, and build a case toward solutions during these difficult coronavirus times. The webinar, “How to Use Place-Based Data to Promote Health Equity During COVID-19 Pandemic,” is set for 2 p.m. ET Thursday, May 7, 2020. Webinar speakers will explore: How inequities in housing, transportation, poverty, healthcare, and access to healthy food and safe places to be active, contribute to disparities in infectious and chronic disease. How you can use the local data, interactive maps, and comparative gauges in the Salud America! Health Equity Report Card to identify health inequity issues in your county. ...

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Tell City Leaders: Open Streets for More Walking, Biking during Coronavirus!


open streets petition coronavirus covid-19

Medical and health experts agree that being active outside is crucial to maintaining physical and mental health—as long as we keep 6 feet of distance between each other amid coronavirus. But social distancing is hard when so many more people are using sidewalks, trails, and parks. That’s where open streets can help. Open streets, which close streets to vehicle traffic, create more outdoor space for people to walk, bike, roll, and stay active and socially distant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sign a petition by the Rails to Trails Conservancy to urge local leaders to close select streets to car traffic, and open them for human activity during this global pandemic! SIGN THE PETITION! The Growing Need for Open Streets As the U.S. coronavirus pandemic continues, trail ...

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Bicyclist’s Petition to Open Streets to People in Philadelphia During Coronavirus Crisis


Randy LoBassoPhiladelphia open streets

Randy LoBasso is pushing to make bicycling safer and more equitable in Philadelphia. But, as COVID-19 shut down businesses and schools, the bike-as-transportation enthusiast found people crowding local bike trails and making it hard to practice social/physical distancing. LoBasso had a thought. What if Philadelphia (15% Latino) closed streets to car traffic? Could people use streets to freely bike, walk, and be physically activity while also maintaining six-feet distance? LoBasso led an “open streets” petition and got the city to close a major street to cars, and open it for people walking, biking, and rolling. And he’s not stopping there. LoBasso Understands Need for Biking as a Means of Transportation, Access to Opportunity LoBasso isn’t a spandex-wearing ...

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