Looking for some weekend reading? This week’s News By Bike comes via the just-ended Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference; all of the below links were shared by attendees in our conference app Community Board. So today, we’re sharing them with you!
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This research article examines the connections and disconnections between public health and urban planning, looking back into the past and also looking forward at how these fields could have a tighter connection.
For this article, researchers reviewed existing studies for the net health benefits of active transportation vs the risk of harm from traffic incidents and pollution. This link is to an abstract and not the full research article; however, the consulted studies are linked in the footnotes. Key takeaway: “We conclude that net health benefits of [active transportation] are substantial, irrespective of geographical context.”
Here, you can see some technical ins and outs of rebuilding the Anemone Hill Trail in Boulder, CO.
This article from the European Cyclists’ Federation considers the climate benefits of bicycling.
The Empire State Trail was recently named the best rail trail in the US by Outside Magazine. You can learn more about the Empire State Trail here.
See TxDOT’s work for active transportation, check out their resources, and find out who your local bicycle coordinator is at TxDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian page.
The Governors Highway Safety Association reports a horrifying 17% increase in pedestrian deaths in the US in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. (These numbers are not yet official.) The group says, “This troubling projection continues a decade-long trend of rising pedestrian deaths on our roadways and comes as speeding, impaired and distracted driving, and other dangerous driver behaviors remain at unacceptably high levels.”
This 1997 article from Great Britain discusses the use of mapping for public health and planning purposes. Given all of our progress in technology and data gathering in the last 25 years, it’s almost certainly not an exaggeration to say that mapping has even more potential for such uses now.
One neighborhood in Portland decided to revitalize their neighborhood with places for neighbors to gather and enjoy being outside. One resident said, “It is primarily through the strength and joy of our community involvement that we begin to heal the alienation and disconnectedness, so prevalent in American cities.”
This very detailed article covers the protests over some planned TxDOT highway projects, particularly the currently paused North Houston project.
Several articles were shared following Manuel Calvo’s session about how Seville, Spain made the shift to a great place for bikes:
- How Seville transformed itself into the cycling capital of southern Europe
- Best Practices: How Seville Became a City of Cyclists
- Advocacy Academy – Lessons From the Best Biking Cities – Sevilla, Spain
- How Seville Handles Where Bus Stops & Protected Bike Lanes Meet
In the latest round of the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly announcements, Texas gained one new and one renewing Bicycle Friendly Business and one new and two renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities. Learn more about the Bicycle Friendly America program here and start thinking about applying for your business, university, or community.
Check out how dirt makes you happier–whether from gardening or from trail building.
Research suggests that the faster you walk, the slower the aging process is.
In 2021, Sushil Reddy and Luis Fourzan rode around the perimeter of the U.S.
Bike friendly places and public transportation are important enough that they’ve made it on to Market Watch’s “Best place for me to retire” tool.
The following are journal articles where only a paragraph of the abstract is available for public viewing, but we didn’t want that to stop you from seeing this research that’s available. To access the full articles, check with your local library; some library systems in Texas provide access to scholarly journals with your library card. You could try visiting your local college or university to access the entire article.
- “Active transportation and physical activity: opportunities for collaboration on transportation and public health research”
- Reconnecting with Our Roots: American Urban Planning and Public Health in the Twenty-first Century
- Opportunities for Integrating Public Health and Urban Planning Approaches to Promote Active Community Environments
Have a great weekend!