Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Transportation and Health

The Centers for Disease Control has been studying the linkage between our transportation system and health. "In 2007, representatives from CDC created a Transportation Policy Group to develop a more comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing issues related to transportation and health. Their efforts have extended to include work with the U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as non-federal partners such as the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Healthy Eating, Active Living Convergence Partnership (Convergence Partnership)."

CDC just released their transportation policy recommendations, that stress the need for better active transportation options, including bicycling:
The current U.S. transportation infrastructure focuses on motor vehicle travel and provides limited support for other transportation options for most Americans.
  • Physical activity and active transportation have declined compared to previous generations. The lack of physical activity is a major contributor to the steady rise in rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other chronic health conditions in the United States.
  • Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of injury-related death for many age groups. Pedestrians and bicyclists are at an even greater risk of death from crashes than those who travel by motor vehicles.
  • Many Americans view walking and bicycling within their communities as unsafe because of traffic and the lack of sidewalks, crosswalks, and bicycle facilities.

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