DCNR Trail Users Survey
Active Transportation on the Climate Negotiation Table
AARP Webinar on Transportation Solutions in Appalachia
Infrastructure Funding on Its Way
What's In a Word? Climate Justice
Infrastructure Insights From the Interwebs
DCNR is asking for input about the information people look for before and while on PA trails. Please visit their survey and direct other likely trail users to it. The deadline for responding is November 30. This is relevant for communities with trails, people who ride trails, and even for those who don't yet have trails in their area. In fact it may be especially pertinent for those who may be a little further away from trail opportunities. What do you look for when you (ad)venture out? Do you need signage for connections? Do you need your transportation network to extend TO said trails? If you were connected, how would you want people to find out about it?
This year’s Climate Summit wrapped earlier this month in Glasgow. You probably heard a lot about transportation, though mostly it seems about EVs/AVs (that’s electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles). Unsurprisingly, motor vehicle manufacturers and other high tech thinkers are bringing familiar tools to the climate/transportation question and continuing to pound on the problem with the same old hammer they already happen to own. But the low tech, quick implementation, most economical option of increasing active transportation is often not sufficiently considered. The emissions benefits foregone by ignoring them are significant, as discussed in the report linked below.
As part of the Liveable Appalachia series being put on this season by AARP, there will be a webinar on December 3 from 10 to 11:30am on transportation solutions being developed in rural Appalachia (which you'll recall extends, beyond the states depicted in the map here, through PA). Speakers and panelists include Gil Penalosa, the chair of Transportation for America, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Safety Policy at the US DOT, and regional parties involved in planning, transportation, and aging.
The Rails to Trails Conservancy has been carefully tracking the evolving infrastructure legislation this year and has both a report on the bill that already passed and a look ahead to the hoped for follow-up and its potential. It has been a roller coaster ride for active transportation’s prospects over the past few months but the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act did finally pass on Friday, November 12, and there are hopes that the Build Back Better Act will pass shortly. As with the American Rescue Plan Act, these bills have significant funding implications for active transportation. See the link below for a memo describing in detail how best to pursue trail and recreation funding under the ARP. And stay tuned for more detail about the newer legislation.
Climate change has significant equity dimensions, captured in the aforementioned term: climate justice. At its core, this refers to the fact that those most likely, most severely, and most imminently to be impacted by climate change are least responsible for the global predicament we are all in. This is particularly true of the "global south" countries with emerging economies and low-lying or already extremely hot areas. While not uniformly the case, it is also generally true of the most exposed communities within the US -- those most likely to be subject to flooding and/or fire and/or drought. Being both in the bullseye of extreme weather and less equipped to adapt or flee makes for even worse outcomes when a crisis hits. This same pattern of displacement between causes and consequences also plays out in transportation infrastructure. The populations most likely to be beset by noxious emissions, deadly traffic, and destructive highway siting are and have historically been least likely to be the cause of any of those ills themselves. Recognizing and naming this dynamic is key to addressing it.
What does a commitment to active transportation look like in the long run? We can catch glimpses sometimes in everyday imagery from the Netherlands as well as in temporary, sometimes unexpected, opportunities closer to home. (Pro-tip: the people whose tweets we feature here are often good sources on the regular for active transportation info. In this issue for example we have the authors of The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality: Building the Cycling City and a core promoter of Open Streets…)
Vision of a Better World
Independence for Dutch kids by age 8-10 also means more flexibility and freedom for parents.
Unintended Open Street
Pre-marathon in NYC
Does this ever happen in your community? Perhaps a bridge is out or construction reroutes traffic and makes for a temporarily accessible route...
Safe travels near and far!
Sam Pearson
M: 781.366.0726
PA Walkworks | Website