Wednesday, May 25, 2011
SAN DIEGO Senate takes up Complete Streets
The U.S. Senate is considering whether to require all states to adopt Complete Streets policies. A similar bill has already been introduced in the House.
Complete Streets is shorthand for an approach to transportation that favors pedestrians and cyclists. Completestreets.org says California already has adopted the approach at a state level, as have 23 other states.
Does this actually affect urban planning and funding? A policy analysis by movement backers claims state law is beginning to require inclusion of Complete Streets policies in general plan updates in California, Michigan and Minnesota.
Old Folks get a Hand Crossing Streets
Speaking of Complete Streets, NPR reports on lobbying efforts to make streets safer for the elderly. Legislative targets include the bill mentioned above and the U.S. transportation bill.
The elderly population of the U.S. will grow tremendously as baby boomers age. The AARP tells us the population, age 65 and older, is projected to grow by another 60 percent over the next 15 years. That means a lot more frail people navigating crosswalks and using public transportation.
Producing Green Energy after you enter The Great Beyond
I couldn’t resist mentioning this article, which speaks of a new development involving the no-longer-elderly. People who have died produce potential energy as they turn to ashes and dust. This is because crematories create and waste a tremendous amount of heat.
That’s why Redditch, England has decided to use heat from a local crematory to heat the water in a local pool. Supporters expect the project will go swimmingly and society should search for other applications.
“People are dying anyway,” one Redditch bureaucrat is quoted as saying. “Our options are to expel the waste heat into the atmosphere or to do something useful with it.”
People who choose cremation are already making an environmental choice by not taking up plots of land for graves. So you could argue this would be another expression of a dying wish.