Dependable Erection

Monday, December 15, 2008

Didn't see that coming

We need more parking decks in Durham!
New research illustrates the health benefits of regular biking, walking or taking public transportation to work, school or shopping. Researchers found a link between "active transportation" and less obesity in 17 industrialized countries across Europe, North America and Australia.

"Countries with the highest levels of active transportation generally had the lowest obesity rates," authors David Bassett of the University of Tennessee and John Pucher of Rutgers University conclude.

Americans, with the highest rate of obesity, were the least likely to walk, cycle or take mass transit, according to the study in a recent issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. The study relied on each country's own travel and health data.

Only 12 percent use active transportation in the United States — 9 percent walk, 1 percent ride a bike and 2 percent take a bus or train — while a quarter to a third are obese, the study said.

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  • Once again, please explain how building parking decks with the goal of eliminating surface parking, thereby allowing for a more dense and walkable environment, is incompatible with this.

    I defer to no one (well, to very few) in enthusiasm for walkability and for public transportation, but I maintain your connection of this to your opposition to new parking decks is non-sequitur.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 12:05 PM  

  • Parking decks encourage people to drive cars.

    Spending public money on parking decks, rather than other transportation options like more frequent bus service or, God forbid, streetcars, encourages people to drive rather than walk.

    Durham has increased the number of parking deck spaces available in the downtown area by a factor of what, 50? 100? over the past 10 years, and there are at least 3 new decks in the immediate future that i know about, maybe more.

    That's probably an investment of $150 million in parking over the past decade, possibly as high as $250 million.

    What's been the investment in non-car-centric transportation over that period?

    By Blogger Barry, at 12:10 PM  

  • Parking decks don't encourage people to drive cars. Building a transportation infrastructure that permits no other reasonable alternative permits encourages people to drive cars.

    Parking decks encourage people to drive to an area, park, and do many things at once while on foot. Surface lots encourage people to drive from place to place, even though they may be right next to each other. Parking decks also turn people into on-street pedestrians, so that stores that use the parking decks can be built to the curb, rather than set back behind an ocean of lined asphalt.

    Until Durham turns into New York City, downtown employers and residents will need additional parking, as the city's surface lots and existing decks are already largely full during the day. Building decks, on the other hand, will help us to convert some of the big surface lots created by urban renewal into actual buildings, which of course was the whole point behind Greenfire's recent proposal.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 4:43 PM  

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