Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden)

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City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

Lawrence has joined over 1,200 other communities nationwide who now have smoke-free parks. Parks and Recreation officials have indicated that it is unlikely that users of parks in remote areas are going to be substantially effected by this policy. LPRD's primary interest is to keep tobacco from being used in high-traffic areas like band concerts or spectator areas around ball fields. The policy is just a piece of paper; enforcement is the real issue. I'm confident Lawrence Parks and Recreation will adopt and enforce this policy in an effective and reasonable manner.

January 13, 2016 at 8:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

The increase in advertising was for the period 2011-2014, according to the CDC.

January 12, 2016 at 1:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

Kristine, I laud you for your efforts to do your research to try to purchase a product you feel is safe; I hope all consumers do the same and know what they are buying. Lawrence Parks and Recreation is not trying to prohibit you from "vaping;" they simply want to eliminate the use of tobacco (including e-cigarette) use on recreation grounds. As for "big tobacco," nearly all of the major tobacco companies are producing electronic cigarettes. It is not hurting their bottom dollar; they are using these products to create nicotine addiction in their next generation of customers. In the U.S. expenditures for e-cigarette product advertising increased from under $7 million to about $115 million. For big tobacco this is BIG business. As for busses, I have been part of the community's Safe Routes to School initiative, and am working on efforts to get more kids to walk and bike to school so as to eliminate congestion around schools, in part to reduce their exposure to automobile emissions. I am not trying to draw any lines, I'm just trying to do what I can to help make this a healthy community, in part by promoting evidence-based strategies that have proven effective. Public discourse on these issues is an important part of that process.

January 12, 2016 at 1:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

In the UK there are consumer product regulations on electronic cigarettes. In the United States, to date the EPA has not taken any steps to regulate them and they have not been approved as nicotine replacement therapy. I believe regulation (and more research) is important, but in either case I don't believe it is the right course of action to allow their use in public spaces.

January 12, 2016 at 11:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

David, I think there are two reasons to include e-cigarettes in the policy: first, their is limited research on these products, but given that they are unregulated we cannot be confident what is in the aerosol they produce; tests have shown the presence of nicotine, heavy metals, and other chemicals in the aerosol. More importantly, in my mind, is that we are seeing alarming increases in the use of e-cigarettes by youth. They are being bombarded by images of e-cigarettes in the media and exposed to their use in public spaces. I think it's important we minimize the exposure our children have to smoking, or a behavior that mimics smoking. This is not a ban on e-cigarette products per se. If you are a former smoker, kudos to you for taking steps to quit! It is incredibly difficult to do. It takes most smokers multiple attempts to quit. KAN-QUIT is a free resource to help smokers develop and implement a plan to quit. 1-800-QUIT-NOW

January 12, 2016 at 8:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

The economic vitality of Lawrence and Douglas County are greatly influenced by the health of our people, and unfortunately tobacco use is still the leading cause of death in Douglas County. There is ample evidence showing that strong tobacco policies for current smokers to quit. Talk to C.J. Alam. C.J., a former smoker, credits his employer (KU Endowment) and their tobacco-free grounds policy, for providing him with the motivation to quit. This is not an "anti-smoker" ban; it is a reasonable policy to limit use of tobacco in public spaces. Kudos to Lawrence Parks and Recreation for their leadership in this area.

January 12, 2016 at 8:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Parking plan

It is helpful not to always rush to the conclusion that we need 1:1 parking accommodations in all situations. A recent study in Philadelphia found that a reduction of public parking spaces did not result in worsened parking availability. At least in part, it appears that efforts to enhance walking and biking in the urban core, as well as improvements in public transit, have decreased pressure on demands for parking.

A link to study results: bit.ly/1RjJXdh

January 6, 2016 at 9:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence school board to review changes to school traffic and crosswalks

Zoe, the maps you reviewed were developed by an interagency team consisting of staff not only from the health department, but also transportation planning, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, the Police Department and Lawrence Public Schools. It is my understanding that the route along 18th was chosen, in part, because of parent concerns about traffic speeds and other safety concerns on the 19th Street corridor. These routes are subject to change, and I will be happy to share your observations with the Safe Routes to School staff team.

October 25, 2015 at 9:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence officials hear concerns over Kasold Drive reconstruction; project faces slight delay

Paul. Terry was quoting me. I'm the one that works at the health department. We support the LiveWell coalition because their goals are to address the 3 leading factors of chronic disease: lack of physical activity, nutrition, and tobacco. BOTH plans have bike lanes and sidewalks, however; I also support this project because evidence suggests "right-sized" roads are safer and more efficient. Sorry so late to respond!

October 15, 2015 at 3:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City proposes adding 74 bicycle parking spaces downtown

Ms. Mortinger is staff to the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Transportation Organization, which is responsible for maintaining the comprehensive transportation plan for Lawrence and Douglas County. This plan is a detailed, comprehensive transportation plan covering all modalities (cars, freight, public transit, bicycles, pedestrian - ALL modes of travel). It is also required for our city and county to receive transportation funding from state and federal agencies. Anyone using local roadways should be thanking Ms. Mortinger for her dedicated and tireless service to this community.

October 13, 2015 at 11:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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