Fun with Maps is back! If you’re excited, so am I. If you’re not excited, close this page, open it again, and repeat those steps a couple dozen times over the next week (I could use the page visits despite your lack of excitement). Map 27 is about public transit while Map 28 concerns the danger of measles! How can you not be excited?! Okay, about the maps, not the measles.
Map 27A and B shows current and proposed public transit lines in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The Blue Line of the Light Rail opened in 2004 and the Green Line followed in 2014. The Red Line is part of a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service recently introduced. The buses make less stops than existing bus lines, have wider aisles, and offer more amenities at stations and on-board.
Wow, look at all the new transit opportunities coming in the near future! Both the Blue and Green lines have proposed extensions to the West and North and more BRT lines may pop up all over the place. I’ve used both modes of transportation in the past and have appreciated the ability to move from place to place without having to waste precious gasoline. It’s also possible to be more productive on public transit. Just thinking about it really brings me back to my college days. I had to walk pretty far to the nearest bus stop so I eventually started driving to it instead and parking for free all day at the Menards hardware store. Once I was on-board I popped open a book and, depending on the type of reading, grabbed a highlighter. I wasted no time in those days.
I have experienced the public transit systems in New York, Boston, Washington D.C, London, and Paris. Those cities are much bigger than the Twin Cities, obviously, but I know how useful full train coverage is to have. If each of the colored lines in the mixed transit map above was a train line, I believe we would have full coverage. Luckily for me, even though only two train lines are planned, the proposed extensions bring the train to my neck of the woods! Beth and I won’t likely live in Minnesota forever (she wants to live out West), but at least for now I feel good knowing our current city is getting better connected.
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Map 28 is very concerning. It shows locations of measles outbreaks so far in 2015. We have a vaccine for measles. I received it when I was young and so have most children since it was created in 1963. I’m not a scientist (clearly) but I know vaccines are good. Because I’m not a scientist, instead of using personal conjecture I will quote articles on the subject I found online (thus using the authors’ conjecture I guess).
“The United States has already had more cases of measles in the first month of 2015 than the number that is typically diagnosed in a full year. This follows a year in which the number of cases was several times more than the average since 2000, when the disease was declared eliminated in the United States.” ~The New York Times You read that right. There have been more cases in one month than a usual year. NOT COOL!
“Geographically, vaccination coverage is highly variable on the level of states, counties, and even schools. We’re fairly certain that opinions and sentiments about vaccination can spread in communities, which may in turn lead to polarized communities with respect to vaccination.” ~The Washington Post Come on California! Stop listening to Jenny McCarthy.
“Herd immunity against measles requires that 90 percent to 95 percent of the entire population are immune, whereas vaccination coverage is measured as the percentage vaccinated of the target population – which only includes people who are eligible for vaccination. This means that to achieve 95 percent immunity in the population for measles, vaccination coverage needs to be higher than 95 percent. This is the scientific argument for a public health policy that aims at 100 percent vaccination coverage.” ~The Washington Post Kids should be vaccinated unless they cannot be and an actual doctor is the one that says they cannot.
Thanks for reading another edition of Fun with Maps. Hopefully I didn’t bring you down too much by scaring you about measles. I only intend to scare you enough to get your kids vaccinated. In the words of celebrated philosopher, Larry the Cable Guy, “Git R done!”.