In Europe, people make 33 percent of their trips by foot or bicycle, compared with just 9.4 percent of Americans' trips.
Pucher said the extra activity had to be healthy, as life expectancy in the Netherlands and Germany is about two years longer than in the United States, and obesity rates are lower.
Why can these Europeans walk and bike more, and more safely, than Americans? It's not just travel distance -- 41 percent of U.S. trips are shorter than 2 miles, yet most are by car.
Instead, Pucher cited Dutch and German policies that encourage more sidewalks and bike paths; traffic-calming and auto-free zones in cities; extensive road-sharing education for drivers and cyclists; and pedestrian-friendly urban design.
Driving + downloading cellphone ringtones + killing = improper lane usage. WTF?
"I am appalled by your conduct and the manner in which you have driven in the short time you've had a license," Klaus told Stark, who had three prior convictions since May 2005 one for disregarding a traffic light and two for speeding. The last speeding conviction came about five weeks before she hit Mr. Wilhelm.
State's Attorney Julia Rietz made the call not to lodge any more serious charge than improper lane usage against Stark, saying that the legal definition of recklessness, to sustain reckless homicide or reckless driving, did not fit her actions.
"Julia Rietz said it would be hard to prosecute 'willful and wanton' (behavior) and the driver could have 'no reasonable expectation of a bike on the side of the road,' yet every single time we visited the accident site we saw bikers and joggers in the area.
- The News Gazette
* Cyclists who fail to use appropriate lights at night
* Cyclists who 'run' red traffic lights
* Cyclists who fail to wear helmets
* Cyclists who blatantly disobey road rules, e.g., 'running' red lights, failing to wear helmets, failing to use appropriate lights at night
Some interesting tidbits:
- Heavy vehicle operators are the most annoyed by cyclists, and motorcyclists are the least bothered -- even less than other cyclists. Motorcyclists are particularly not bothered by cyclists who don't wear helmets.
- Drivers over 35 are much more annoyed by cyclists than younger drivers. The annoyance is pretty level until age 35, but increases steadily with age thereafter. Older drivers are particularly bothered by cyclists without lights.
This Canadian on-line radio show puts the car on trial with facts and figures from both Canada and the United States. (In two parts under a half hour each.)
You will have an auto accident = 1 in 12
You will die in an auto accident = 1 in 5,000
You will die = 1 in 115
You will have a fatal accident as a skydiver = 1 in 1,000
You will die while riding your bike = 1 in 130,000
You will die in an airplane crash = 1 in 250,000
Source: Laudan, Larry. (1994). The Book of Risks.
Days off your life from various activities
Fatalities per million hours
Researchers at the University of Toronto, the London School of Economics and University Pompeu Fabra in Spain released a working paper entitled "Fat City: Questioning The Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Obesity" that found no evidence that urban sprawl affects weight.
The researchers found that people living in sprawling neighborhoods tend to be heavier than those living where development is compact and there are many shops and amenities within walking distance. However, this is not because sprawling neighborhoods cause people to gain weight, but populations are heavier because individuals more at risk for obesity tend to live in such places.
"Someone who does not like to walk is more likely to be obese and is more likely to live where one can easily get around by car," says University of Toronto economics professor Matthew Turner. "Thus, the finding that people in sprawling neighborhoods are heavier does not imply that sprawl causes obesity."
Published: November 12, 2006
<img width="141" height="74" align="left" src="http://www.baltimorespokes.org/images/articles/20061114073516271_1.jpg" alt="">Sustainable development is not the only factor driving changes to parking standards.