Traffic isn’t just a nuisance; it increases pollution and can make cities less competitive. New transportation strategies continue to be put in place to help redistribute the demand for space and time on roadways. Strategies to incorporate more access and connectivity to transit carry the potential to deliver better environmental outcomes, improved public health, stronger communities and more prosperous and livable cities.
Hong Kong, China
90% of travelling is done by mass transit, the highest rate in the world, moving commuters by rail, buses, bikes, ferries, air transport and cable cars. The 7 million daily riders have access to an “Octopus Card,” which is their transit pass, and also accepted as currency at parking meters, convenience stores and fast food restaurants.
Our state, along with others across the nation, has borrowed concepts from the mainstream transit planning from countries that have notably the best transit systems in the world. By modeling plans from the best, Denver, New York, San Francisco, and Portland are regarded by many as the top transit cities in the country. Future hopes and conceptual plans to build more transit infrastructure across Georgia have many sources worldwide from which to draw inspiration.
Heading into the Independence Day holiday week, several regions in Georgia have been dealing with sizzling temperatures that have triggered Smog Alerts to warn of unhealthy outdoor air quality. Here's a quick review of what has been going on the past few days and what we might expect for the week ahead:
The capital region logged its first Code Purple day in many years on Friday, June 29, indicating air quality was very unhealthy for all. There were also Code Orange days (unhealthy for sensitive groups) on Saturday, June 30 and on the first day of July. More unhealthy conditions are predicted for July 2. While the region has experienced many shades of unhealthy air in the past few days, the belief is that the Code Purple and Code Red conditions last Thursday and Friday were more exception than rule. Nonetheless, it's important to reach a little deeper into the suggested actions to help reduce air pollution. In addition to using commute options, look for ways to curb unnecessary idling, defer on yardwork projects involving gas-powered tools, combine errands and stay informed about air quality conditions.
Other Areas in Georgia
The Augusta area logged a couple of Code Orange days over the weekend. Macon and Athens also each encountered Code Orange conditions. With regard to weather patterns, many cities around Georgia approached all-time record-high temperatures in recent days. While we all continue to wait for a change in weather conditions, it's important to stay hydrated, stay informed about air quality and stay mindful of the actionable ways you can help reduce air pollution.