American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

NY Spending

Posted by Matt Cipriano | No Comments

MoneyWell, neither of these are particularly recent stories, but I was just going through a list of things I meant to blog about last month and never got around to.

I figure posting them together with some related topic will work for now. As for the others, I figure there is a reason I didn’t write about them then, and, well, they are kind of old news now. Moving right along…

First up, let’s look at what New York has decided not to spend money on anymore: As a state we will no longer receive nearly $4 million of federal funds for abstinence-only sex ed programs.

While we are losing out on $4 million from the government, conversely we will be teaching a sex-ed program that might actually be beneficial in the real world, focusing on teaching good sexual health and about how to avoid getting pregnant (and while I am guessing abstinence will be one such suggested method, it will no longer be the only one taught).

State Health Commissioner, Richard F. Daines commented on the abstinence only program, calling it “a failed national health care policy directive, based on ideology rather than on sound scientific-based evidence that must be the cornerstone of good public health care policy.” New York joins California, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Connecticut in rejecting federal funding for the program.

Next up we have what New York is spending cash on:
Recently the city ponied up $1 million on a campaign for safer bicycling. In 2006 the city conducted a study which found that in the past “10 years, 225 cyclists were killed and 3,462 additional cyclists were injured on the streets of New York.” To help curtail this problem the city decided to invest in advertisements. The ads have a picture of a street with a bicycle lane obstructed by a car with a smashed window, the lines of the bicycle lane continue over the car and the ad line reads “Avoiding a crash comes down to one simple action: LOOK,” or at least the ones I have seen at bus stops look like that.

This reminds me of the city’s Green efforts. Rather then actually doing anything to improve bike safety in the city, such as creating more bike lanes, or even bike lanes in different locations (I saw a proposal to move bike lanes between parked cars and the sidewalk, creating a buffer between bikers and traffic), the city has thrown money at posters to inform people that they should be more careful (or in the case of green movement, more environmentally responsible). Maybe the city needs to actually do something rather then just throw money at ads to advertise what they would like to do.


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