Monday, October 21, 2013

Take-away from Public Health Forum

The Active Transportation Forum
Complete Streets and Active Living for Orange  County

This forum was brought to us by the Department of Public Health at UCI and the Alliance for Public Health of Orange County. The research presented shows the role our transportation system has on the quality of public health.

"In order to improve the health of Orange County residents, we need to have a healthy and safe transportation system with multi-modal options. It will be necessary to engage the community, enhance policies and re-prioritize transportation funding to enhance the county-wide transportation system."

19 speakers and featured guests impressed our audience with these rather startling results from their research. Some highlights:

  • Obesity costs California $41billion p.a. in public health related costs.
  • The savings from walking and biking could save California $4.1 billion
  • The gain in economic activity from replacing 15,000 cars with walking/biking is $127 million
  • A Lancaster boulevard gained 49 new businesses, 800 jobs, and $273 million in new business revenue by adopting active transportation
  • Typical bike user topology today: Strong and Fearless < 1%, Interested  60%, No Way group 33%. Laguna's cycling mode share < 1%, Costa Mesa is 2.8%
  • Business activity along LA's CycLAVia is up 10-50% 
  • The Active Transportation Program for bicycling/walking was enacted September 2013 SB-99 funded in Cal state budget for $130 million p.a.
  • To build an active transportation network successfully, raise the perception of safety and build-in street safety at the same time
  • 20-30 somethings demand new active mobility plans, not dad's plan
  • Google, Adobe, Yahoo are promoting active transportation at their campuses nationally because their tech employees demand it
  • Orange County businesses are leaving because of car congestion
  • OCTA does not hear input from city leaders about active transportation
  • Long Beach Mayor Bob Forster learned to ride a bicycle, he now challenges OC city mayors to ride the Long Beach active transportation network with him. From Bob: "Bring those candy-ass politicians up here to ride with us, see if they can keep-up."
  • Travel in Southern California: Walking and biking compose only 16% of all trips, but sadly 10% of all injuries and 25% of fatalities
  • Walking and biking compose 14% of fatalities but receive only 1.6% of federal transportation funding
  • Pamela Galera, City Planner, City of Anaheim: Transportation is moving people not their cars, cars are here to stay so to avoid CARMAGEDDON we need a better plan. The cities of Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Santa Ana show the same commitment.

A complete set of slides and data from this presentation will be offered here when they are available to post. Check back later this week. -LS

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