Monday, May 13, 2013

     The Transportation Prescription report engages the conversation about the future of mobility within the context on its inextricable  connection to policies concerning health, employment and equity amongst low-income and minority communities. Policy directed towards transportation will continue to have a direct effect on the overall health on the nation. If more people were on busses or riding bikes, there sure would be less drive-thru windows. As the report points out, "transportation changes not only landscapes but also culture and society. So we know there is a problem, there is the issue of funding as well as the real life concern of those already enduring the brunt of inequity in not only transportation policy by all policy essential to supporting neighborhoods in need. 
So what is to be done now? 
       The emphasis needs to be about accessibility.  Effective transportation isn't effective if those most in need are still in need of affordable and safe transportation. What can be impactful about adjusting the focus of where to take transportation development is that is will have a trickle down effect on other socio-economic concerns. If roads and planning were to be geared towards diversifying the actors from just cars to cars, bikes, busses, pedestrians and light rail, then people will be facing the option to live a healthier life. sometimes the option is not necessarily promoted for health but everyone benefits from getting away from driving. 
     Being able to get around, have access to the essentials as well as the choice to do it without the implications of a car can help build "healthy and opportunity rich communities". Connecting the dots between accessibility and socio-economic policies is key in order to have better control of issues like pollution, obesity and just plain old mobility. Transportation is a lifeline and much how we talk about health issues, mobility has been seen as an individual matter. In order to better our individual selves, we need healthier environments that provide for all, especially those in need. 
I think this idea of shifting focus is not only key but an angle that doesn't get much talk time. Aside from everything just being expensive, tackling transportation equity problems really does mean a shift in how our culture operates. It is going to take a level of engagement and participation that we usually leave up to powers that be. It will also take a alot  of people collectively making decisions to live healthy. This kind of decision making becomes easier when options are available to interact in other ways than just by behind the wheel. Peer review was carried out by Colleen. 

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