The “Missing Link” Found In Tennessee

Construction of FOOT - Missing Link Bridge 2 with Gantry CraneEvolutionists often speak of “The Missing Link” as the link between humans and their ape-like ancestors. But there’s another “missing link:” a section of the 72-mile-long Foothills Parkway in Tennessee that was first commissioned by Congress in 1944.

The section in question is a 9.7-mile portion of the route comprised of a series of ten bridges cutting through some of the steepest terrain found along the entire Parkway.

Jeff Zagoudis, associate editor of Roads&Bridges magazine, has produced a short description of the “Missing Link,” detailing several of the challenges faced by the engineers and construction teams working on the project.

Download Roads&Bridges_Foothills_Parkway article

Alliance Releases Its 2014 Bike/Ped Benchmark Report

According to an April 16th email from Mary Lauran Hall of the Alliance for Biking and Walking, “How does your state stack up on bicycling and walking? Today, we are releasing Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2014 Benchmarking Report, a massive compendium of data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states, the 52 largest U.S. cities, and a select number of midsized cities.

“The Alliance produces the Benchmarking Report every two years in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Community Design Initiative. The report comprehensively examines bicycling and walking transportation across the U.S. and how these trends relate to public health, safety, and social and economic well being…

“For a sneak peek, check out four of the most fascinating facts from the report below.

1. We’re seeing small but steady increases in the number of people biking and walking to work…

2. There are lower bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities where there are more people are biking and walking…

3. More people tend to bike or walk to work when a city has strong biking and walking advocacy…

4. A large percentage of commuters bike and walk to work in Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New York, and Vermont… [Note: All are in Snow Country!]

Download the 2014 Bike/Ped Benchmark Report.

Safe Routes to Everywhere Platform—Partnership for Active Transportation

The Partnership for Active Transportation is a national network of nonprofit, for-profit and public-sector entities working together to build healthy places for healthy people by advancing active transportation networks. The organization describes itself as a national voice for trails, walking and biking—or active transportation—that reflects this diversity of affected interests.

The partnership has launched a campaign to drive changes in federal policy that encourage investments in active transportation as critical elements of our nation’s transportation system.

A recent press release from the group stated: “Trails, walking and biking help to advance many societal goals such as mobility, economic development, health, livable communities and equity. We invite you to join us.”

Organizations can sign on to endorse Safe Routes to Everywhere, the federal policy platform from the Partnership for Active Transportation.  The lead organizations responsible for developing the platform were Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, APHA, LOCUS (a division of Smart Growth America representing real estate developers), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and America Walks.

Download the Safe Routes to Everywhere platform.

Traffic Fatalities Involving Older Adults 2003 to 2012

According to a March NHTSA publication, Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data: Older Population, in 2012, there were 5,560 people 65 and older killed and 214,000 injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. These older people made up 17 percent of all traffic fatalities and 9 percent of all people injured in traffic crashes during the year.

Compared to 2011, fatalities among people 65 and older and injured people in this age group increased by 16 percent…

“…[A]mong the 65-and-older age group from 2003 to 2012, pedalcyclist fatalities increased by 80 percent (males increased by 83% and females by 50%)… [In this age group, total pedestrian fatalities decreased by 5 percent during this time, however male pedestrian fatalities increased by 6 percent while female fatalities decreased by 16 percent.]”

Download Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data: Older Population