Flutterby™! : Transportation planning

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Transportation planning

2011-09-26 20:55:00.047919+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

$4 million to make walking to school safer - and few are walking, about the failure of the Safe Routes to Schools program in the Minneapolis area:

But after spending $820 million to promote walking to school and reducing childhood obesity, there is no sign the program has actually added any walkers at all.

Parents say the approach is wrong. They say their children don't walk because of fear of crime, Minnesota's harsh winters, and laziness. Parents like to pamper their kids by driving them.

And many schools are built to discourage walking.

Yep, and rather than doing this in a controlled way where we could actually figure out what worked we blew damned nigh a billion bucks to funnel into the pockets of consultants and who knows what other sorts of political cronies sucking off tax dollars. It's people like former Minnesota Rep. Jim Oberstar who lead to the sort of spending the Tea Party should really be targeting (once they cut military spending to sane levels).

Also from this Transportationist linkdump, I need to read The Future of Roads: No Driving, No Emissions, Nature Reconnected a little bit more closely before I snark on it solidly, but at first glance: separate high-cost infrastructure requiring multi-purpose vehicles... uh...

I think I need to make a "next generation transportation system bullshit" bingo card generator.

[ related topics: Children and growing up Politics Nature and environment Bay Area Software Engineering moron hubris ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-10-03 01:57:29.439834+00 by: jeff

I remember walking a full mile to elementary school in the dead of Winter. The snowball fights were fun! :)

#Comment Re: made: 2011-09-27 17:16:06.201887+00 by: Dan Lyke

I've removed the click_check thingie, let's see if this works better.

Charlene and I got to talking about this last night, and there's lots of reasons why a parent might drive a kid: Driving to work anyway, a chance for a little one-on-one time.

My complaint about local bicycle coalition organizations came from realizing that Deb Hubsmith, who was (and may still be) a driving force behind the Marin County Bicycle Coalition was also a strong force behind Safe Routes To Schools.

Not that the MCBC by itself is a good steward of government dollars, they seem hell-bent on several silly separate infrastructure projects, including the Alto Tunnel which is a third path where there are already two ways over that ridge, and connects two places which have lots of separate shopping opportunities. They've managed to gloss over that with some nebulous claims about bike commuting, but none of it really makes sense.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-09-27 08:22:02.586337+00 by: DaveP

Sigh. The original article is hidden behind a non-functional pay-wall (at least if you've configured your browser to avoid XSS attacks), near as I can tell, but if you manually remove the "? nclick_check=1" from the link, it'll work.

There's helicopter parents afraid someone wants to kidnap their little darlings. This is, after all, the state where Jacob Wetterling was abducted, as we frequently get reminded.

And there's the weather, although that makes about ten days a year when you can't walk to school if you're dressed properly.

And there are the poorly-designed schools set in a sea of asphalt full of idling cars both before and after school.

But Jim Oberstar, saw every problem as an opportunity to throw "government money" around, making sure that he brought home enough pork to get re-elected until a Tea Party candidate replaced him. Between Oberstar on Transportation, and Martin Olav Sabo on the Budget Committee, Minnesota had a pretty solid delegation for bringing home the pork.

But yeah, this wasn't about a controlled study, or actually learning anything. It was about using government pork to "save the chilllldrun."