Sustainable Communities are Walkable Communities

People prefer walkable communities.

People prefer walkable communities.

From the inbox:

The Montgomery County Commissioners adopted Walk Montco, a new countywide walkability plan, at their February 18 meeting. The plan corresponds to the goals of Montco 2040: A Shared Vision, Montgomery County’s new, award-winning comprehensive plan. Montco 2040 advocates for more sidewalks and pedestrian-oriented developments to improve transportation quality and expand options.

nondrivableWalkability continues to be a key aspect of the growth and redevelopment of downtowns, residential neighborhoods, office parks, and retail destinations in the county. Walkability is not only good for the built environment, but essential for physical health. Walkable streets help decrease local traffic volumes, increase access to available public transit, and increase opportunities for healthier lifestyles. They support mobility for everyone throughout all stages of life and create safer communities, especially for children, the elderly, and those with mobility limitations. Walkability also has positive environmental benefits in that a reduction in vehicle trips equates to fewer vehicle emissions.

The entire study is lengthy, a little over 80 pages. It’s a thorough, well done plan, with a lot of illustrations and graphs. Walkability is an important concept; as a relatively new diabetic I can attest to walking as one of the easiest, and certainly the cheapest, form of exercise around. The best way to incorporate walking into a daily routine is for it to be a part of that routine – walking to work, to public transit, to the store, to school. For that to happen there need to be safe walkways between these points.

Eliminating Background Checks Puts Guns in Wrong Hands

handgun_sales[1](CeasefirePA) Last April, State Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) introduced legislation that would eliminate the state background check system.

Do you know what happened with the Charleston shooter’s background check? Did he pass it? Did he fail?

This is what happened: The background check was never completed. Most background checks take just minutes for an approval or denial to register. But some take a bit longer, and under federal law, if a clear answer does not come back in three days, the seller can sell the gun.

Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) allows extra time for a background check to be completed. The default is to protect safety, not to let a sale go through in the absence of a completed check.

PICS and the federal system work in tandem to keep Pennsylvania safe. We are fortunate to have this system in Pennsylvania. But the gun lobby does not like it, and is pushing a bill that would eliminate it.

Moving forward with this means putting guns in the hands of people who are dangerous. As we saw with the tragedy in Charleston, allowing sales to go forward without a completed check can be a death sentence for mothers, fathers and children.