I staffed Albuquerque’s bike safety table at a family health fair today. Talking bikes and healthy hearts to motivated people was a good way to start Saturday morning. The fair was hosted by the New Mexico Heart Institute on Johnson Field at the University of New Mexico.
I gave away hundreds of the new 2016 ABQ bike map and learned a lot from talking with citizens who love to ride. I was right across the way from the New Mexico Philharmonic’s table. NMPhil is doing great work, especially with education, outreach and engagement for kids. “Every fall and spring over 17,000 4th and 5th grade students attend live symphony concerts presented by the musicians of the NMPhil in Popejoy Hall”. Albuquerque’s bicycle safety education program has a similar strategy, delivering bicycle education for youth at schools, community centers, public bicycle rodeos, and summer camps. Through the bike safety program this week I helped get over 200 kids on bicycles, instructing them on traffic safety skills to help keep their cycling safe and fun.
Bicycles and music are pathways for building healthier hearts and joyful lives, and are both universal languages that connect people across cultures. I also met a ride leader from the CyclingPeeps, an all women’s cycling group with almost 400 members! Fairs are fun ways to learn, build partnerships, and strengthen networks essential for sustainable living. Safer cycling increases opportunities for everyone to live the healthiest life possible.
“Traffic safety solutions must be addressed holistically.” —Vision Zero, Wikipedia
Creating a movement toward healthier streets requires adjusting our expectations. Vision Zero is a multinational road safety project that does just that. It views crashes as preventable and uses a scientific, data-driven approach to identify causes and implement multifaceted solutions that combine education, engineering, planning and enforcement.
Vision Zero sets a goal of safeguarding human life on our streets. Data reveals strategies such as reducing speed limits in areas of high pedestrian activity makes crashes less likely and less severe. Redesigned streets and meaningful behavior change campaigns can create streets that are safe and more vibrant.
The Vision Zero movement is creating more political accountability to synch transportation with priorities in health and sustainability. Los Angeles’s Vision Zero program seeks to design streets that “encourage walking. Research has shown that there is a link between moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, to decrease the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and other health problems.” Portland, Oregon’s Vision Zero declares families “deserve safe streets” on which to walk and bike. The clear focus is protecting human lives.
Vision Zero started in Sweden in the 1990’s but more than a dozen U.S. cities have adopted it, and more are joining. Denver’s Mayor joined this year with the Director for Transportation saying “our streets are our most public spaces…our home.” Ask your mayor, city council, and governor to take this measure and increase their commitment to safeguarding the public.
from Vision Zero Network—