The Road Diet that Can Curb Transportation Gluttony


IOWADOT 4-to-3 pedestrian road diet street road

U.S. streets are getting more dangerous and traffic congestion isn’t going away, so transportation leaders in Iowa are pushing a new idea to improve road safety. A road diet. A road diet takes away lanes, like converting a road from 4 lanes into a 2-lane street with a center turn lane, which usually slows traffic and improves safety and economic vitality, according to a new video from the Iowa Department of Transportation (IOWADOT) shared by Strong Towns. This thinking flies in the face of typical ideas of roadway expansions. "Curing congestion by adding more lanes is like curing obesity by buying bigger pants,” said notorious planner, Lewis Mumford. The Unsustainability of Focusing on Solving Traffic Congestion Our transportation network should protect and meet the ...

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Tucson Approves Complete Streets Policy, Thanks to Advocates



Incomplete streets cover Tucson. Sadly, each year, 50 people are killed and 5,000 injured on streets in this 43% Latino town. Half of major streets don’t have sidewalks, and people face dangerous congested roads and limited access to public transit to get to work, medical appointments, and more. But that could change soon. In February 2019, the Tucson City Council voted 7-0 to pass a Complete Streets policy to fund, plan, design, and build streets with all users in mind. How Advocates Pushed Complete Streets in Tucson Nationwide, cities are adopting Complete Streets policies. These streets meet the needs of people walking, people biking, people taking transit, and people driving, regardless of age or ability. These streets are especially needed in areas with large Latino ...

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3 Better Ways to Spend $168 Million than Parking Garages


The park-and-ride at TriMet’s Park Avenue MAX station in Southeast Portland built in 2015. Source: TriMet via Sightline

Michael Anderson is quite unhappy with Portland’s plans for $168 million worth of parking garages for “park-and-ride” users of its future 12-mile rail corridor. Anderson, an urban policy writer and analyst at the social justice nonprofit Sightline Institute, says garages are expensive, serve only a few transit riders, and drain money from more beneficial projects. He suggests three more efficient ways to spend the money while boosting transit ridership: mixed-income homes near transit bike infrastructure better bus and rail service. Anderson also encourages people in Portland Metro to advocate for these alternatives and speak up against the parking garage plans, and join local advocacy groups, like Portlanders for Parking Reform, Portland for Everyone, and ...

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Zero is Florida’s Big Traffic Fatality Goal



One traffic death is too many. That’s why Florida (25.6% Latino) has become the first U.S. state to adopt a goal of zero traffic and pedestrian deaths each year. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) even established safety performance targets to align with its “Driving Down Fatalities” vision for a fatality-free transportation system. Read how they did it below in Part 3 of Salud America!’s three-part series on transportation changes in Florida. Part 1 examined Florida’s reinvention of Complete Streets. Part 2 examined the potential for public transit integration. New Traffic Safety Targets State departments of transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) get money for transportation projects from multiple sources. Each source has ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 12/11: Place-Based Health Disparities



Where you live is a bigger predictor of your health and life expectancy than your genes. The places we live are made up of homes, schools, childcare, parks, grocery stores, workplaces, community services, and the streets connecting us to these destinations. However, the places we live were not created equal, contributing to health disparities among Latinos. Join #SaludTues on Dec. 11, 2018, at 1:00 PM EST to tweet about laws and policies that have created unhealthy places and strategies to reduce place-based health disparities.  WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Place-Based Health Disparities” DATE: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 TIME: 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST (Noon-1:00 p.m. CST) WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: @ChangeLabWorks ...

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London to Ban Ads for Junk Food on Public Transit



London will ban advertisements for unhealthy food on public transportation in February 2019, as a publicly approved way to reduce rising obesity rates. Other cities can use the ban as a model. London Obesity London has one of the highest childhood overweight and obesity rates in Europe. Of children ages 10 and 11, more than 37% are overweight or obese. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is particularly concerned because children living in deprived neighborhoods are almost twice as likely to be overweight. “It’s completely unacceptable that in a city as prosperous as London, where you live and the amount you earn can have a massive impact on whether you have access to healthy, nutritious food,” the mayor said in a press release. “I’m determined to change this.” He is ...

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How to Merge Public Transit with Complete Streets


Healthline station with pedestrian crossing and bike lanes. Source: FDOT

Florida reinvented how they implement Complete Streets a few years ago, even adding coordinators to help each district create roads for people who travel by foot, bike, car, and more. And they didn’t forget about public transit. In fact, the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) created a guidebook to instruct and show examples of how to make public transit─trains, buses, & trolleys─a big part of Complete Streets. Read more below in Part 2 of Salud America!’s three-part series on transportation changes in Florida. Part 1 examined Florida’s reinvention of Complete Streets. Part 3 will cover pedestrian death reduction. Integrating Transit and Complete Streets Complete Streets can save lives by providing safe options for people to walk, bike and use public ...

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Florida Reinvents Complete Streets, 30 Years Later


Florida Ave. after Complete Streets improvements. Source: Space Coast TPO

In 1984, Florida transportation leaders crafted the state’s first policy for Complete Streets, which aim for safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders. The policy worked. It saved 3,500 lives in 30 years, according to a study. But, even with a three-decade decline in pedestrian deaths, Florida remains car-dependent and repeatedly ranks among the most dangerous states for pedestrians and bicyclists. What could transportation leaders do now? Their answer: Reinvent how they implement Complete Streets. Read more below in Part 1 of Salud America!’s three-part series on transportation changes in Florida. Part 2 will examine the potential for transit integration. Part 3 will cover pedestrian death reduction. Why Didn’t the ...

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