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In the biggest change in local transportation policy in a generation, maybe two, "congestion pricing" will be instituted in Manhattan's Central Business District in early 2021. It is the first action in decades that could actually lower traffic congestion, and that could provide a stable funding for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It also transfers considerable power from the Mayor to the Governor. Vehicles entering Manhattan on or below 60th Street will need to pay a charge, probably through the E-ZPass system or, if the do not have such passes but their license plates are photographed, higher rates via "pay-by-mail." The program has three major goals- reducing traffic volumes on Manhattan's streets by making it more expensive to drive; reducing air pollution; and providing an assured source of capital funding for the transit system. The new program was enacted as part of the FY2020 State budget, Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2019. Most of it is codified in a new Article 44-C of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. This column discusses what the law provides, what is yet to be decided, and who will decide.
Live-near-your-work policies can benefit all stakeholders: shorter commute times and lowered housing costs save time and money for employees; improved employee morale, productivity, and retention reduce turnover and training costs for employers; communities can see better air quality, less urban sprawl and decreased traffic congestion.
This report evaluates the potential impact of automation in the trucking industry. It looks at the potential impact of driverless trucks in particular. It evaluates both employment impacts and potential policy solutions.
After increasing steadily for decades, the national childhood obesity rate has leveled off. This policy brief examines reports from across the country to learn more about where progress is being made to address childhood obesity.
Over the last two decades childhood obesity has risen at an alarming rate in the United States. In 1999, 13 percent of children ages six to 11 and 14 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 19 were overweight. This prevalence has nearly tripled. Now, the number of overweight children in the nation exceeds 12 million. Evidence shows that children who enter adulthood obese are unlikely to shed the burden. And they also have a higher risk of premature death and disability in adulthood. Sedentary behavior is partly to blame. Forty-three percent of adolescents watch more than two hours of television each day, according to a federal report. But excessive screen time - whether it's the TV or computer - is only one obstacle that limits children's ability to obtain the one hour of daily exercise recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General. The built environment surrounding a child's neighborhood and school can also help or hinder physical activity. Research shows that children who live closer to parks and recreational facilities are more active than those who live further away. And active living, along with eating nutritious foods, plays a key role in maintaining a healthy weight.
Missing Middle Housing is a term that refers to the types of residential buildings — those in the “middle” between single- family detached homes and large apartment buildings — that once were built in cities and towns across the country but are mostly outlawed today, and missing from the housing market. Zoning codes often prohibit Middle Housing from being built today, but most cities have neighborhoods where they still exist and are allowed. Existing Missing Middle Housing provides great potential for house hacking because they are often in walkable locations and because so many people — singles, young couples, teachers, professional women, and baby boomers among them — are looking to live without the cost of cars and the maintenance of a single-family home. House hacking, put simply, means finding a way to create income with a home to offset the costs of the mortgage. The most common methods of house hacking have historically been renting out extra rooms, renting an apartment above a garage, or living in a duplex or triplex. This manual aims to document a variety of types of house hacking, for both existing buildings and new construction opportunities.
What would have to happen for the city of Memphis to reduce poverty by 10% within 10 years – lowering it from 27% to 17% – and fundamentally shift economic opportunity and well-being for low-income residents? Today, there are 180,741 Memphis residents living below the poverty line ($23,550 for a family of four). Achieving a 10 percentage point reduction means moving 64,000 individuals out of poverty. It will require a combination of more and better jobs; better access to areas of job growth; lower household expenses for energy, transportation and water; and opportunities for economic advancement that are built on public safety, education, health, supportive services, and affordable housing. This report outlines key improvements that must be made in jobs, resource efficiency, transportation, and social services that Memphis must make to achieve this goal.
A child's health is a key predictor for his or her future success and well-being. Unfortunately, far too many children face barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential because of where they live, learn and play. The inequitable distribution of social, economic and environmental resources across communities - often called the social determinants of health - create challenges for healthy living. Socioeconomic conditions (e.g., concentrated poverty), access to health care and transportation options, educational and employment opportunities, and aesthetic elements (e.g., green spaces and vibrant public spaces) result in differences in opportunities and exposure to health-promoting resources such as child care, high performing schools, affordable housing, access to healthy food and safe spaces for physical activity. The availability and quality of these neighborhood resources and services have a major impact on the ability of children and families to make choices that support healthy growth and development. When children and families have access to these resources and services, children have more opportunities to thrive. On the contrary, children growing up in communities that lack these often suffer poorer health outcomes than their peers. These differences in health are known as health disparities.
The way we design and build our neighborhoods can affect our physical and mental health. In this time of rising obesity rates, traffic congestion, long work hours, high stress levels, and fewer opportunities to be physical active, finding creative ways to address these issues is important. We must also consider the changing weather patterns and the possible impact on our way of life. All these factors stress the importance of designing and building healthy and vital communities that promote health.
Many schools are surrounded by fast food restaurants, which provide students with easy access to unhealthy foods and undermine schools' efforts to offer nutritious meals. Prohibiting fast food restaurants from locating near schools is one strategy to help reduce childhood obesity and support schools striving to improve students' health. NPLAN has developed a model ordinance that creates a "healthy food zone" by restricting fast food restaurants near schools or other areas children are likely to frequent.