Creatively Promoting a Culture of Active Living
Equity Lens: All-Abilities Accessibility
Report Reminder: Who Pays for Roads?
Interactive Health Equity Assessment Mapping Tool
What's In a Word? Headway
Infrastructure Insights From the Interwebs

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Active Transportation initiatives ideally incorporate a range of efforts, from planning and public engagement to physical infrastructure, but we also need to keep the focus on programs and policies to support and encourage a culture of active living.

Check out this example from the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. They are putting on a book club for kids that weaves in the principles of the 5-2-1-0 health initiative (5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity, and 0 sugary drinks and more water every day). We invite you to check it out not with a mind to building enrollment for this specifically but to see whether it might inspire you to collaborate with organizations and institutions in your area to support walking and biking culture, too?
Is your transportation network really working for everyone? How about people with mobility impairments or limited vision? How are your sidewalks? Your curb cuts? Your pedestrian signal systems at intersections? 

The Statewide Independent Living Council (PA SILC) is an umbrella group that can help direct people to one of the 17 Centers for Independent Living sited around the state. Make sure you know which organization serves your area and get familiar with the staff and the services offered. Ideally you can also plug in and learn more about the perspectives and the needs of people with disabilities in your region. 
"Who do you think pays for the roads?" is a refrain that often confronts Active Transportation proponents, with the implication being that only drivers of motor vehicles have a "real" right to the road. But the assumption that those in cars are driving on roads they paid for and that others have not contributed to is false. As we are well aware these days the highway system has not been covering its costs for some time. This report came out in 2015, but the concepts it covers still hold. You may want to review the basics. The key finding is that user fees stopped covering more than 50% of road costs about 10 years early, circa 2005 -- and as PennDOT frequently points out, that trend is continuing. Not only does everyone have a right to the road, we may do well to consider modes that put less wear and tear on the system moving forward. What might I have in mind for that? Active Transportation of course!
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is in the process of rolling out an amazing new interactive mapping tool called the Health Equity Assessment Tool or HEAT. Not to be confused with other types of "heatmaps," this GIS-powered resource provides detailed mapping by county, zip code, or census tract, of a range of health indicators across the entire state. The page linked below provides basic tutorial videos on how to use it, though they do not really capture what an exciting data tool this really is! If you want to find out about the prevalence of obesity, overweight, lack of physical activity, or heart disease in your community or compare to other locations around the commonwealth, now you can. This can be very helpful for making the case for needed programs, services, and funding.
This term refers to the time between transit vehicles traveling in the same direction on a given route, in a fixed route system. In other words it’s the greatest amount of time a rider will have to wait to catch the next, train, bus, trolley, gondola… Headways in the most humane transportation environments are around 3 to 5 minutes. In some US cities they can be an hour, an hour and a half, or even more. They frequently vary depending on the time of day or day of the week in a given location and are definitely keyed to population size and density in a given market. 

To retain effective transit function in smaller, more rural locales, using smaller vehicles that run more frequently may be effective or some rural areas have worked with what is called pulse timing (translated from Taktfahrplan in German), trading off frequent departures for efficient transfer options. Those one hour or even longer pulse timed headways may be workable/reasonable in remote areas, but they should be avoided in cities. 

Remember, transit is a key part of active transportation! The ideal is to have many options for meeting your transportation needs, rather than being just locked into one (or none). If you have access to motor vehicle travel -- but nothing else -- that is also a non-resilient and limiting situation.
What’s on your wishlist this holiday season? Hanukkah is already past, Christmas is up aghead, and many other winter occasions for festivities take place in the interim.
Bikes for everyone!
Not everyone needs to be race-ready...
A bridge where there is nothing now?
You can't gauge demand by the lack of people braving the surf or in this case the highwire... This gets reformulated in various ways from time to time and I seem to find myself ready to like and retweet it every time I see it. The key insight is that we don't decide where to build a highway bridge based on the number of people swimming across the river and we shouldn't use that strategy to site or prioritize road crossing for non-motorized people either!
Safe travels near and far!
Sam Pearson
M: 781.366.0726
PA Walkworks | Website