September 24, 2014

A powerful ally in ending Motordom

Your public health association.
From the Ottawa Citizen:


Reevely: Transportation ministry slow to buy into pedestrian-friendly ideas

You’ve got to stop thinking of roads as only places for cars, the Ontario Public Health Association has told the provincial government.
The group sent a letter to the transportation ministry this month with some very polite thoughts on revisions to its rules on pedestrian crossings. The health association’s main thought is that those rules are misconceived. People need to walk to be healthy and we’ve been going about roads wrong for decades. …
For instance, the Ministry of Transportation is sticking with the idea that the most important factor in deciding where people should be helped to cross roads is where they’re already doing it without help.
“This overreliance on existing pedestrian counts is analogous to assessing the need for a motor vehicle bridge by counting the number of cars that drive over a river; no facility means no activity!” the letter says.

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  1. Absolutely!
    Many people credit the involvement of the public health profession in Ontario with eliminating coal power plants in that province. In Calgary’s debate about cycle tracks downtown, both the Alberta and the Calgary chief medical officers weighed in and had significant sway.
    Health and economy are powerful motivators. Everybody wants to be rich and healthy. As well, doctors and economists are highly regarded in society – their word carries a lot of clout. If you can show that economic and health interests align with the goals of public and active transportation, that is very powerful indeed.

  2. I have never understood the warrant system for crosswalks. It is pretty difficult to cross a 4 lane road with 40,000 vehicles per day so people don’t cross by walking or biking, they force themselves to go to a block with a crosswalk or an intersection for those that have to walk or bike, most though just would drive instead.