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Friday, August 12, 2022

Better Bike Policy Could Prevent 15K U.S. Deaths Every Year — And Not Just in Crashes – Streetsblog USA

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If U.S. leaders take aggressive but realistic action to replace car travel with bicycle travel by 2050, they could prevent more than 15,000 premature deaths each year – and not just road accidents, a new study finds.

In the first Study Ever to demonstrate the far-reaching effects on global public health of cycling to cycling, researchers from the University of Colorado State and a coalition of Spanish universities have researched two very different transportation futures for 17 states. They then estimated how much life might be saved by each approach when residents move (or not) from sitting situations to living on two wheels – and how many might be lost due to traffic violence and illnesses caused by inhaling air pollution on the road.

In the first option, which researchers called a “normal business scenario” – that is, if global transportation policy remains almost the same – premature deaths caused by road accidents, air pollution and sitting-related illnesses will, unsurprisingly, remain almost the same as they are Now in most countries.

However, the second option was based on the “High Cycling Scenario in Global Shift”, a 2014 model that quantified how often people in different countries around the world could be expected to conservatively cycle, walk and use the aisle if their leaders. Adopt a variety of advanced transportation policies. (Think about adding comprehensive bicycle infrastructure, and eliminating fuel and parking subsidies for drivers.) And if 100 percent of those estimated new bicycle trips were to replace car travel by 2050, researchers from the state of Colorado say this is amazing 205,424 Premature deaths can be prevented worldwide each year – and about 15,000 lives will be saved in the United States alone.

Even if just 8 percent Out of these new bike rides have replaced car rides – a particularly conservative estimate, given that in this hypothetical world, every urban area in the world will be equipped with bike paths at Amsterdam levels – researchers say 18,589 lives could be saved around the globe, 1,227 of them in the US alone. It erases about 850 deaths from cycling that occur here each year, and hundreds more other deaths caused by inactivity and air pollution.

“Even in those states that we typically see as more dangerous in terms of air pollution like India and China, the benefits of cycling outweigh the risks,” said David Rojas, a professor of epidemiology at Colorado State University. “And that was true in every country we studied.”

Premature Death Graph 1
Some premature deaths would be avoided by country if only 8 percent of future cycling trips under the World High Guard Scenario scenario were to replace vehicle travel. Through Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives

This finding dispels a perennial myth among active transport opponents that the benefits of public health from cycling, such as reduced sitting lifestyle, may be somehow offset by public health concerns of the situation, such as an increased rate of diseases caused by polluted air respiration – concern Special among developing countries with high rates of industrial emissions. These arguments were particularly common in the wake of the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which proponents said gave countries with lower industrial emission rates, such as the U.S., political coverage to focus solely on global climate commitments such as increasing adoption of electric vehicles, rather than adopting a status quo. Goals which supporters say every country needs.

“When we talk about transportation, we have targets for reducing global emissions,” Rojas added. “We should also talk about reducing bad health outcomes.”

Rojas makes sure to note that his research does not capture all the benefits of public health from cycling, as he does not capture some Drivers Life will be saved by reorganizing the global transportation hierarchy, or all pedestrians, wheelchair users, transition riders and other road users who will be spared as well.

“This study is very specific to [the public health benefits of] “Using a bicycle, but of course, improving mobility in general has other benefits – such as achieving a zero vision for everyone else on the road,” he added.

Of course, all those other travelers will experience their health benefits from the world of light cars. In addition to the effects demonstrated in his study, Rojas notes that bicycle-friendly communities typically have more green space, more real estate to devote to affordable housing, healthy food providers and other essential services in each neighborhood, and lower levels of noise pollution. All of these have an impact on physical health. And the mental of their inhabitants Studies Quantified the monumental health savings following public investment in sustainable transportation.

“We need to work together and not forget that improving mobility in cities and transportation is not just about traffic safety; It’s also about all the other opportunities for improving health outcomes, “he added.” It’s something we can decide to change, and it’s the right time to change it. “

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