Planning group: T cuts would increase deaths, obesity

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council is releasing a report today that says proposed massive cuts in T service and fare hikes would drive more people to cars, which in turn would lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in new health-care costs as drivers crash, die and gain weight. Mariana Arcaya, MAPC public health manager says:

Living in a health care hub, we often think of health as something that happens in a doctor's office. But this report highlights that the region's most important resources for health aren't limited to our world-class hospitals and doctors. MBTA service prevents accidents, reduces air pollution, and helps residents fit physical activity into their daily lives.

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Comments

Why not add in fast food drive thru in there.

I save an 1.5 hours a day driving over taking the MBTA. I spend that 1.5 hours excercising at my gym.

Of course I could add .7 hours a day biking to work and I could get more excercise that way.

Or I could bike to the MBTA stop and add 2.2 hours a day to my commute and get .4 hours more of excercise.

In all seriousness, I always wondered if they could somehow add bike lanes next to all train tracks in the state for a straight away bike commute.

Live closer to your job.

We could just live closer to where we work. Then you don't have to drive or take the T or even bike. I live where I work and its so less stressful to not worry about "commuting" in any form.

I agree with you but I hate

I agree with you but I hate when people use this one. It's lame. There are 100's of reasons why people can't. For me, my spouse works outside the city and needs easy highway access.

Ditto

I work in Newton, Roslindale and Arlington. My spouse works in Dorchester, Roxbury, Southie, Eastie, the South End and Back Bay. Where exactly are we supposed to live where we don't need some form of transportation?

Is that the point

Isn't that precisely the point- that if we were a world class city with decent transit, you wouldn't need to worry about highway access....even if you didn't live/work in the inner core. That not "lame". In fact the "100's of reasons" why the T doesn't work is exactly the problem that this whole discussion is all about.

(This is not to mention that I happen to live in the north end, work downtown and still don't find the T adequate...as a result I don't use it all that often either.)

We gave up freedom to move around ...

When rents went exponential in the late 90s. And when our kids reached school age ...

Such an easy response - if you are single and can afford the rental market near where the jobs are. If that is your situation, then moving makes a heck of a lot of sense. Otherwise, it isn't an option.

Consider as well that by national standards I already do live close to work - 6 miles as crow flies for me, 6.5 for my husband.

A question for Swirly (an honest one)

What was it about your children reaching school age that caused you to give up your freedom to move around? Reluctance to move them to different schools? A reluctance to live in certain communities that might be closer to work because of the quality of the school systems there? Other reasons?

I ask because I have been having discussions with others on this point and I'd like to compare notes. Thanks.

Reluctance to move the kids around

Definitely. I went to four different elementary schools, and it really sucked to change schools. I didn't want my kids to have to deal with that more than necessary.

We picked a community where we could afford a reasonable size house on one income or two reduced ones if need be, and where we would be well-located for when we had to change jobs (which has happened for my husband several times now).

We aren't exactly in an "upscale" district (Medford), although the academics are solid now, and the diversity made the school system deal with bullying long before it became newsworthy.

I'd love to. Now find me a

I'd love to. Now find me a place that's walking distance to both Waltham (for me) and Columbia Point (for my wife). And that also has decent service by MBTA. Hint: commuter rail service for reverse commuters is much too seldom as is and will likely get worse if either possible cut occurs. So instead I leave home at 530am to miss the early crunch and leave work about 4pm to miss the late crunch.

Moreover, I have no desire to live halfway between the two. My current town beats every option available in many ways.

what rubbish!

Wrong! I walk more than ever now that I've stopped taking the T due its utter unreliability to get me where I need to go in a timely manner. Definitely used to be fatter and more out of shape when I relied on the T years ago.