2010 Forecast: Heavy (!) traffic in Rancho Cordova’s drive-thrus

Getting too big for its boundaries
If you’re a sacrilegious, unemployed heathen who happens to be in Rancho Cordova at any point in time, please disregard this post.

As reported by the Sac Bee, the mayor of Rancho Cordova has big plans for the fair-sized denizens of his city:

Rancho Cordova’s “Great Health Challenge,” planned for announcement at tonight’s City Council meeting, calls for members of the community to drop a combined 40,000 pounds – 20 tons – over the next 10 months.

A rather ambitious objective, I would say. More info is available on the city’s web page devoted to the challenge, 20tonsin2010.com, which states who qualifies and the goals of the initiative:

For individuals who live, work, play, or pray in Rancho Cordova to lose 10 pounds in 10 months (February thru November 2010)
For the Rancho Cordova community as a whole to lose a combined total of 20 tons in 2010. That’s a minimum of 4000 people losing 10 pounds in a city of over 50,000 people!

And, how will the mayor reward his citizens to motivate them to lose weight?

You will be 10 pounds lighter and that much HEALTHIER. NOTE: we are not limiting you to 10 pounds. There will be prizes for the “biggest losers”! You will be eligible for monthly PRIZES donated by local businesses. ALL registered participants are entered each month and you don’t even have to LOSE to WIN! You will be part of a city-wide effort to get fit and HAVE FUN! There will be events, giveaways, incentives, and some fabulous prizes. (Worth repeating!)

Apparently, there will be prizes.

This is all fine and good. But, it’s made all the more interesting when you juxtapose this initiative with the realities of our area, as reported in another Sac Bee article back in October:

The five largest fast food and coffee chains in Sacramento County collectively have grown 4 percent during the past year and 21 percent since 2005, according to a Bee review of records from the county, which tracks every restaurant so it can undergo food safety inspections.

Let’s pile on some metaphorical blue cheese dressing on Rancho Cordova’s salad:

Nine out of 10 people in the county now live within two miles of either a Subway or a Starbucks, property records show.

And about eight out of 10 people live within two miles of any of the county’s other most prolific quick-serve restaurants: McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Carl’s Jr.

Let me add a few bacon bits:

Sacramento County has a higher obesity rate than the state average, and a higher number of fast food restaurants per capita than the state average. But several urban counties like San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles have a lower proportion of obese residents but a similar number of fast food restaurants per capita…

Yeah, the hungry person in the county is going to pass by more than their share of fast food, and even more so in a recession:

The fast food segment has propelled right through the recession, with many chains posting gains and adding new locations as diners eschew more expensive options.

So, who thinks Rancho Cordova has got what it takes?

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3 thoughts on “2010 Forecast: Heavy (!) traffic in Rancho Cordova’s drive-thrus”

  1. Let’s use math:
    Caloric intake from fast food
    +Sedentary lifestyle
    -Calories expended during all night meth use
    = total waste of time with this endeavor, I want to be optimistic but I just can’t see it happen.

    Gold River on the other hand, could pull it off – but that’s because those stock up soccer moms and rogaine using dads are paying plastic surgeons to remove their pounds via plastic surgery!

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  2. I appreciate this post because for the reasons so carefully laid out, an effort like we’ve proposed can seem like spitting into the wind.

    We see the same challenges – but the fact is, my City has been steadily investing in mobility and fitness assets, and has much more planned, since we became a city in 2003.

    This “Great Health Challenge” effort does not involve city funds as much as a city commitment to promote and support people who live or work in our City and our many businesses, including our many Fortune 500 firms, in their own healthy lifestyle plans, programs and choices. Our venture in cityhood has been all about accepting and taking responsibility for our own future, and this is just an extension of this basic “support the exercise of personal responsibility outlook”. Every problem we face will get easier to tackle if governments find ways to release the energies of our people, rather than pretending “The government” can solve them singlehandely.

    Rancho Cordova is the county’s number two jobs center and when the dust of this recession clears, we want all the businesses we touch to be telling their jobs-creating colleagues that they ought to look at California’s capitol region, and especially Rancho Cordova, because it stands out from other spots they might consider bringing new jobs to.

    A recital of our past “health and fitness” investments and plans for the future would have to include:

    Roads and Infrastructure

    – The City has invested $5 million in bike, pedestrian, and traffic-calming improvements since incorporation; over 21 miles of bikeways have been added and 113 sidewalk locations have been repaired

    – Over $3.7 million has been invested in ADA improvements to encourage increased mobility for all residents

    – Current projects include $2 million in improvements the City’s bikeway network to the Folsom South Canal; and $10 million in investment for install sidewalks on the entire length of Folsom Boulevard to encourage greater walkability

    General Plan, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Master Plans

    – The General Plan calls for streets to be designed as pedestrian-friendly spaces and envisions Rancho Cordova as a premier walkable community with extensive, complete, and continuous pedestrian and bicycle networks

    – The General Plan encourages park development adjacent to school sites and other compatible uses

    – Also encouraged are connected open spaces such as greenways and trails in proximity to all new residences.

    – Newer developments, such as Capital village, demonstrate this type of walkable living space that promotes community interaction and proximity to business and retail centers

    – The Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan calls for over $55 million in new trail construction and over $161 million in grade separations to eliminate barriers to bicyclists over the next 20-30 years. One of the goals of the Plan is to increase all trips made by bicyclists in Rancho Cordova by 40% in 2020.

    – The Pedestrian Master Plan supports over $2.8 million in pedestrian-friendly improvements to the City, including those that promote safe walking routes to schools for students

    Other Ways

    – The Rancho CordoVan provides alternatives to driving for workers by providing accessible service to 20,000 Rancho Cordova employees within a 1/4 mile walk to a shuttle stop; there over 500 businesses located along its route

    – The City regularly sponsors community events that encourage health lifestyles, including the Veggie Chase, Eppie’s Great Race, and Kid’s Day at Hagan Park; the City has provided logistical support to various atheltic competitions such as a bicycle race and inline skating race on the City’s wide business park streets

    Onward and Upward,

    Rancho Cordova Mayor Ken Cooley

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