Saturday, October 17, 2015

SoCal Active Transportation Forum UCI

October 16 2015 The Active Transportation Forum is sponsored by the UCI Program in Public Health and the Orange County Transportation Alliance. This year's keynote speakers were Mark Fenton, engineer, community design and public health expert, and Leah Shahum, founder and director of Vision Zero Network. Altogether 22 invited guest speakers spoke on the state of active transportation particularly in Southern California and the consequences if a vibrant network is not adopted.

These are highlights from speaker's presentations.

  • The cost for treatment of Diabetes and Obesity is $245 billion and $475 billion nationally. 
  • The obesity rates of OC adults is 60% children 30%, the rate in disadvantaged neighborhoods is 72%. Obesity leads to type II Diabetes and the health costs are borne by the public sector.
  • We bear the health costs of dual epidemics, physical inactivity and poor nutrition, both are a result of our mobility system and lifestyle.
  • Fearing constant danger we coddle kids instead of raising old-fashioned free-range kids
  • We foster the first younger generation whose life expectancy will be shorter than our own.
  • Laguna and UCI share the same mobility crisis, over 30,000 enrolled students want to visit the beach with no alternatives to driving a car, and a destination beach town with no-place to park them. 
  • Across districts school staff are being used for traffic and parking management not teaching.
  • Funding grants 2014-15: OC-PITCH $50M, CAPOC $4M, Measure M. We do more than pot-holes. 
  • OC growth: expect 425,000 more people by 2035
  • Major European cities have adopted a Vision Zero policy to make traffic accidents intolerable, the major impediment to adoption is POLITICS.  
UPDATE: OC Register posts December article here.
Three residents of Laguna Beach attended the all-day health forum, no representative from the city of Laguna Beach attended.      -LS

1 comment:

  1. There is a simple answer to some of these problems and that is to re-normalize the idea of kids being outside, unsupervised, walking to school, riding their bikes, playing. Until we stop thinking of kids outside as immediately and inevitably in danger, we will keep them inside, on the couch, near the fridge. UCI did an amazing study of how we morally judge any parents who let their kids have any unsupervised time. This must change! Consider passing the Free-Range Kids and Parents Bill of Rights: "Our kids have the right to some unsupervised time, and we have the right to give it to them without getting arrested."