Path to good health, less pollution is the sidewalk: report

November 9, 2009
New York residents walk on the sidewalk in Manahattan in New York, in 2007. US pressure groups joined forces Monday to urge authorities to spend more to improve Americans' health, a call for state and local authorities to spend more to make US streets safe for pedestrians and cyclists.

US pressure groups joined forces Monday to urge authorities to spend more to improve Americans' health and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

But it was neither health care reform nor cap-and-trade that they were talking about, but a call for state and local authorities to spend more to make US streets safe for pedestrians and cyclists.

Designing towns and cities to make it more appealing and safer to walk or ride a bike would not only help fight the US and improve health but would also reduce and , a report issued by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and Transportation for America said.

Currently, no state spends more than five percent of federal transportation funds on projects that could improve and cyclist safety, such as building more sidewalks or "zebra crossings," the report said.

Groups including the influential AARP seniors' group and the American Association contributed to the report, which showed that the 52 largest urban areas in the United States spend just 1.39 dollars of federal funding per person on projects for cyclists and pedestrians.

And that despite the fact that nine percent of all trips in the United States are made on foot and 107 million Americans walk to work each day.

Too often, walkers take their lives into their hands in the United States, where streets are "engineered for speeding cars and make little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on a bicycle," the report said.

More than 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along a street in their community.

Forty percent of US communities either don't have sidewalks or have inadequate ones, the report pointed out.

Pedestrians comprise nearly 12 percent of all traffic deaths in the .

But less than 1.5 percent of funds authorized under a 2005 federal transportation law have been allocated to projects to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, the report said, calling for government funding for walker and bicycle infrastructure to be boosted to match, in percentage terms, the ratio of traffic fatalities.

(c) 2009 AFP

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Juul e-cigarettes pose addiction risk for young users, study finds

October 19, 2018
Teens and young adults who use Juul brand e-cigarettes are failing to recognize the product's addictive potential, despite using it more often than their peers who smoke conventional cigarettes, according to a new study by ...

Adding refined fiber to processed food could have negative health effects

October 19, 2018
Adding highly refined fiber to processed foods could have negative effects on human health, such as promoting liver cancer, according to a new study by researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Toledo.

Self-lubricating latex could boost condom use: study

October 17, 2018
A perpetually unctuous, self-lubricating latex developed by a team of scientists in Boston could boost the use of condoms, they reported Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

Engineered enzyme eliminates nicotine addiction in preclinical tests

October 17, 2018
Scientists at Scripps Research have successfully tested a potential new smoking-cessation treatment in rodents.

Nutrition has a greater impact on bone strength than exercise

October 17, 2018
One question that scientists and fitness experts alike would love to answer is whether exercise or nutrition has a bigger positive impact on bone strength.

How healthy will we be in 2040?

October 17, 2018
A new scientific study of forecasts and alternative scenarios for life expectancy and major causes of death in 2040 shows all countries are likely to experience at least a slight increase in lifespans. In contrast, one scenario ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.