March 27, 2004

Federal Transportation Bill Funds Highways, Not Mass Transit or Walking/Biking Infrastructure

"At a time when the nation is obsessively worrying about obesity, [the pending federal transportation bill] seems to do everything it can to make sure that Americans continue sitting in their cars for as much time as possible," the New York Times wrote in an editorial this week.

About 80% of the proposed $300 billion would go toward building roads. Less than 1% would go for pedestrian and bike paths.

"By giving Americans more reasons to pick up the car keys instead of their sneakers, the bill gives new meaning to the word pork," the Times notes.

If you want more livable communities -- with more options to get out of traffic and out walking or biking -- let your Congress(wo)man know now!

Need some ammunition? Check out the Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity and Morbidity study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which found that "Residents of sprawling counties were likely to walk less during leisure time, weigh more, and have greater prevalence of hypertension than residents of compact counties."

Ellen Goodman wrote a column on this issue recently, Warning: Your Car Will Make You Fat.

Sprawl is costly -- in dollars and our health!

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