Wednesday, April 3, 2013

State Transportation Strategy and Public Health Talk Show Problems with Third Bridge

Will we ever connect the dots? Two separate conversations about greenhouse gases and public health ought to have implications for the giant bridge and highway proposed to cross the river. But not only is the right hand not aware of the left, the two hands are completely severed and off in autonomous, zombie action!

Last month the Oregon Transportation Commission, which sets transportation policy for the state, adopted the StatewideTransportation Strategy.  As you can see, it's subtitled "A 2050 vision for greenhouse gas emissions reduction."

It should be obvious, but it's apparently not, that a new giant bridge and highway would represent a capacity increase incompatible with the goals and intent of this transportation strategy.

Healthy Communities and Planning Lecture

Wednesday, April 24 from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm in the library in Loucks Auditorium, Jeffrey Tumlin will lecture on "Eight Steps to a Walkable, Wealthier, Healthier City." He's on a lecture circuit sponsored by the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Tumlin is the author of Sustainable Transportation Planning: Tools for Creating Healthy, Vibrant and Resilient Communities (though a cursory google search doesn't bring up any links for the book, so hopefully it's actually out there somewhere!) and he will "demystify complex transportation planning concepts and discuss how advocates of sustainable communities can contribute more effectively to transportation decision-making."

It's a lecture and brown bag lunch just across the street from City Hall. Hopefully electeds, city staff, health care professionals, and other interested citizens will attend.

The talk is two days after the public hearing on the Salem Rivercrossing, and so far the conversations around the proposed bridge have shown a spectacular disconnect with questions of public health and quality of life.

Ignorance of the public health costs (including the opportunity costs of not doing other things because we can't afford them) of building a giant bridge and highway shouldn't be an option for our City Council.

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