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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Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2nd Edition



On November 12, 2018, the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans was released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Lack of physical activity is linked to approximately $117 billion in annual health care costs and about 10% of premature mortality, according to the report. Since 2008, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans have served as the primary voice of the federal government for evidence-based guidance and recommendations for health professionals and policymakers on how everyone can improve their health through regular physical activity. The new Guidelines are an important part of a complex and integrated solution to promote health and to reduce the burden of chronic disease ...

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The Midterms: Voters Approve Big Public Transit Improvements



During the 2018 midterm election cycle, U.S. voters passed 17 of 20 public transportation ballot measures—two remain undecided. Over the past two decades, Americans have voted in favor of public transportation more than 70% of the time, according to Josh Cohen, campaign director at the Center for Transportation Excellence. Earlier in 2018 during the primary elections, voters passed 13 of 16 measures supporting public transit; during the 2017 general election, voters passed seven of eight measures; and during the 2016 general election, voters passed 33 of the 49 measures. Elected leaders at the local and state level are getting the hint and increasingly addressing public transit issues while campaigning. “These candidates know that public transportation is an issue that ...

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One Man’s Drive to Get Buses Moving in San Antonio



A few years ago, San Antonio City Council member Rey Saldaña tried his own transportation experiment. He ditched his car and relied on public transit for one month. The good? Saldaña met great people. He read. He explored the city. Parking was no problem. The bad? When buses ran late, he missed connections and showed up late to council meetings. Rain drenched him at bus stops. He had to skip fun activities because of a lack of frequent routes. Saldaña’s eye-opening experiment led him to champion more funding for VIA Metropolitan Transit (VIA), the regional mass transit agency serving San Antonio and Bexar County, which operates with the least amount of funding among all major transit authorities in Texas. His efforts spurred the city to invest millions to improve public ...

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San Antonio Leaders Weigh Plan to Triple Funding for Affordable Housing


Woodland Ridge Apartments in Medical Center

“Affordable living” is a myth for many people in San Antonio, Texas (63.6% Latino). More than half of people here don’t make the $18 an hour needed to afford the median apartment rent. Population and job growth outpace housing by 2.3 to 1. Affordable housing is lacking. Evictions nearly doubled between 2013 and 2016. This threatens economic opportunity and health for many Latino families. That’s why the Mayor’s Housing Policy Task Force’s new report urges the San Antonio City Council to budget for new housing jobs, triple city spending on affordable housing production and rehabilitation, and even change the city’s charter to create new ways to pay for more affordable housing. “For us to make a significant impact, it’s going to require a long view and ...

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Bus Rapid Transit To Connect Latino Mobile Home Park to Opportunity


Bus rapid transit in Bogotá Credit Jason Margolis

Buses don’t run to a Latino mobile home community outside Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Instead, people there are forced to rely on cars─dangerous, expensive, polluting cars─ when they need to get to jobs, food, and healthcare. This isolates them from opportunities for health, jobs, and affordable housing, just like many other suburban and rural parts of our nation. Fortunately, planned public transit improvements will enable more buses across the Twin Cities, including the mobile home community. But how? Will it work for Latinos and all vulnerable neighborhoods? Twin Cities Growing in Population, Traffic The area to the east of the Twin Cities─the Interstate 94 (I-94) corridor─is expected to see a 24% increase in population and a 30% increase in jobs by 2040, according ...

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