April 4, 2004

Investing Beyond Highways Makes America Healthier

"The Congressional sponsors of the 'Cheeseburger Protection Act' are probably right about the obesity epidemic: We shouldn’t be suing fast food marketers. Instead, we should prosecute the transportation engineers and suburban developers who have made it nearly impossible to walk in most neighborhoods built since World War II," writes David Goldberg, one-time member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial board and now communications director for Smart Growth America.

"Thanks largely to the shift to auto-only design, incidental daily exercise – the kind that melts fat and helps ward off high blood pressure without a trip to the gym – has dropped like a stone over the last 50 years. Certainly, if more of us could stroll to the store or bike safely to work, we could easily burn enough calories to offset the odd Super Slurp or Boffo Burger. "

The piece goes on to highlight some of the absurdities in current planning, the need to return to walkable comunities and the urgency for the current federal transportation bill "to support what has become a nationwide clamor for communities that encourage more walking and bicycling."

Great quote from Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer: “Let’s have a moment of silence for all those Americans who are stuck in traffic on their way to the gym to ride the stationary bicycle.”

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