Streetsblog.net

Lancet Study: We Must Reduce Auto Dependency

Lots of catching up to do after the holiday weekend. Here’s a sampling of what’s been coming in over the network:

Austin on Two Wheels threw a link up on Twitter to a very intriguing article published last week in the influential medical journal The Lancet (registration required). According to the Montréal Gazette,
the researchers concluded that infrastructure spending should be
diverted from road building to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure
for a variety of public health reasons:

incompletestreet.jpgStreets like this one in Dallas’s Oak Cliff neighborhood won’t get us where we need to go. (Photo: Bike Friendly Oak Cliff)

The urban transportation study says encouraging more walking and
cycling would have big benefits for both health and the climate. It
compared different transportation scenarios for London and Delhi.
Walking and cycling came out on top even when compared to increased use
of low-emission vehicles that are widely touted as "green" solutions.

"Important
health gains and reductions in CO2 emissions can be achieved through
replacement of urban trips in private motor vehicles with active travel
in high-income and middle-income countries,” the researchers conclude.

They
suggest policy-makers divert investment away from roads and toward
provision of infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. They suggest
motor vehicles be slowed down and more strictly controlled, while
pedestrians and bikers should have direct routes with priority at
intersections, to "increase in the safety, convenience, and comfort of
walking and cycling."

Elsewhere around the network: Jarrett Walker at Human Transit continues his comprehensive coverage of Bus Rapid Transit around the world. The Chicago Bicycle Advocate
has the scoop on a "bicycle simulator" that could be used to help
people learn how to ride safely in challenging traffic conditions. And Bike Friendly Oak Cliff talks about the need for a radical new vision of how streets are designed.