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July 16, 2010


Like the post. Maybe the part "Transportation is about more than engineering" could take some reconsideration. I think it really *is* all about engineering but problem scope, engineering objectives, and solution techniques need to expand to include 'health'. That is a really cool and interesting multi-disciplinary engineering challenge.

Bike paths separate from roads connecting local communities to schools so kids can walk or ride bicycles to school while being also secure from cars or predators. Long straight paved paths with video surveillance.

Secretary, your efforts to improve livability are exciting and timely. However, 2 of the 3 efforts you mentioned are discretionary programs. What will DOT be doing to get safety, active transportation, improved facility maintenance and other key factors into the core - required - transportation funding streams via upcoming transportation (or climate) legislation? The idea that these projects that will save lives and improve our economy are not core projects is problematic and should be countered. Your response (or the release of DOT's principles for reauthorization, as promised) would be appreciated.

Please do a documentary on the myriad ways kids get to school around the US. NYC kids have been fighting with the MTA about transit passes this year. NYC kids travel long distances and climb endless stairs to get to school. Then they have to climb stairs every fifty minutes in their multi-storied schools. Staten Island kids take a bus, a ferry, a subway and walk long distances. Its hard to put on weight.

Bayou children take boats but the lack of sidewalks makes average suburban kids hostage to the yellow bus. Are urban kids walking more than suburban? Urban kids have close to no fields to play while sub-kids have ample access. Need directions?

I think it would be interesting to see how the increase in childhood obesity increased coincided with increase of the use of busses for transporting children to and from school. Our incidence of obesity is much less here in Panama, partly because most of the kids walk long distances to school everyday.


please visit this story about a green muti modal bridge that creates inner city park space and cuts the carbon footprint
of the project.

The city of Anchorage, and the state Alaska, where I live and work, has been building bike paths separate from roads and widening roads to make room for bike travel throughout the city and even connecting outlying communities. We use these paths in the summer for biking and in the winter for cross country skiing. They are well engineered and are very popular with the kids and adults. I think this is a great idea for any urban area and it really makes a difference! We do not yet have a bike path from Anchorage to Wasilla, however....

Transportation and health is a great policy idea. It will allow people to be fitter and live longerWe need to improve both fixed route and paratransit service to include health issues. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

Yes i agree that todays transportation is really big problem for today's kids as they suffering lot due to this transportaion so it is good to have seperate roads for kids so they can easy come and go at school not only school but anywhere. So seperate roads is the best solution like Andy told.

I think increasingly children in this modern era have the notion ingrained into their minds that transportation = engine-driven vehicle. Gone are the days of the bicycle for 2-3 mile journeys, no sir! Whereas someone from my day and age doesn't see that as ridiculous at all. On a good day I would even walk that. It just goes to show that something does indeed need to be done to 'keep kids moving'.

"The assumption of the last half of the 20th century was that people would own cars"
Given the need to greenhouse gas emissions, will we see a transport policy that assumes people will *not* own cars?

If the sidewalks where better and I didn't have to be afraid of cars jumping the small curbs I might be able to walk to school safely. But with traffic so close to me there is no way my mom would let me walk on the street.

School Buses are slow and boring.

Dear Sec. LaHood,
I want to share with you something that a friend said today that I found remarkably inspiring and relevant as we look at putting biking and walking on equal footing with autos.

The bike is a component of the systemic change that is arriving. We do not need new roads, facilities or infrastructure. We must have empowerment, training and education. We must develop a new vision of our communities that reflect a people first mentality. The bicycle is the best messenger, it is also green, affordable, sustainable, health generating and pro-active. It is quiet, takes up little space and can FOSTER transportation skills and attitudes that are in themselves people oriented and of great value to all, future and present, automobile operators. Mindfulness and civility are first experienced on the seat of a bike.

My friends name is Robert Seidler and he lives in Sopchoppy Florida. He has been involved with bike education for decades.

Taylor Lonsdale
Bozeman, MT

Bike paths are a great initiative. I grew up in Chaska, MN. It has been voted in the top 10 small US towns to live in for years now. Back in the early 1970's they placed hundreds of miles of bike paths connecting all the communities and even neighboring towns. I think you should take a look at this model before anyone can lambaste the value a bike path offers.

I envy your style, the idea that your post is a tiny bit unusual makes it so interesting, I am fed up of seeing the same stuff all of the time. This page is now in my Digg.

I salute you sir for thinking about our children. Its the younger generation that will lead us in few years time and with the obesity problem prevailing due to fast food culture public transport health is another key issue that needs to be resolved

Today is a lot different than when I grew up. Our parents did not take us in a car to every place we kids went. It was either on foot or on our bike and I didn't complain because all my friends did the same thing. The kids of today are spoiled because they need their parent to take them in a car whenever they go someplace (softball game, soccer game, you name it). I have 3 children that I taught to do it like I did when I was a youngster. Now I'm doing the same thing with our grandkids. Let's get the kids in shape and stop all the baby tactics that doesn't do a thing for improving their physical and mental conditioning.

Getting kids exercising more is certainly beneficial... but it is not the solution to the obedience problem. Many kids are fat because they are taught to eat junk. TV commercials brain wash them promoting sugar cereals, pop tarts, candies, fast food, ice cream, and every thing that brings joy to the palate and blubber to the gut. They are given junk food by Grandma, the baby sitter, the Sunday school teachers, the neighbors, and the usual worst offender of all, Mom who is too selfish to take time to make something good and finds it easier to feed the kids something that comes in a wrapper. Curing obedience starts with education not transportation. But again, it is at least beneficial for them to use some of their own self propelling power instead of relying on the combustion engine.

Transportation and health is a great policy idea. It will allow people to be fitter and live longerWe need to improve both fixed route and paratransit service to include health issues. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

That is a really sad thought. The fact that this could be the first generation of children to live shorter lives than their parents. It really does require a total reform in the way these parents think about what is right for their childrens health. Without proper knowledge and guidance, how can things improve? Each successive generation will get progressively worse and where will that leave our health care system?

This is amazing. Children need to be fit these days. All they do now is sit on their gaming consoles and PC's and stay indoors. There has to be more done for them to get them outdoors and more active.

@Gail Morris:

Since the 1960s, US vehicle miles traveled per capita has tripled, while the obesity rate has increased from 14% to 35%. The Nashville Area MPO charted the available data sets, so that these concurrent trends would be available in a visual format, to help further public understanding:


Google and read the EU-funded report "Health Issued Raised by Poorly Maintained Road Networks". The report shows how ride vibration cause bad health. It also shows how improperly designed roads cause road crashes.

I strongly feel that parents today must encourage there children to be more active in sports or other physical activities. They should look into what there neighborhood youth organization offers for kids to do. I think kids today spend too much time on there computers,ipads & gaming consoles.

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