Posted on June 07, 2010 12:30 AM
Monday Flickr Photo: June 7th, 2010
by Lindsay Banks
CMAP's Monday Flickr photo from our pool is a nice shot of a CTA train at the Washington / Wells station in downtown Chicago, taken by Flickr user señor_codo. Public transportation is a very important asset in our region, and a new report by the American Public Health Association released earlier this year called The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation makes this ever more obvious.
From the executive summary:
Our dependence on automobiles and roadways has profound negative impacts on human health: decreased opportunities for physical activity, and increased exposure to air pollution, and the number of traffic crashes. The health costs associated with these impacts, including costs associated with loss of work days and wages, pain and suffering, and premature death,may be as high as several hundred billion dollars.
The report recommends a major overhaul of our nation's transportation policies, especially by including some of these hidden costs in the evaluation of capital projects. The report also estimates the cost savings of implementing urban design policies to create walkable neighborhoods, with street connectivity ranking highest in effectiveness (after distance to central business district). GO TO 2040 also recommends taking a comprehensive approach to planning policies when thinking about future growth. The Preferred Regional Scenario advocates for more compact, mixed-use, livable communities with multi-modal transportation choices for residents, among other policy ideas.