Monday, September 14, 2015

Let's try to make "walking American again."

If we designed ourselves into this box, we can redesign ourselves out of it. What must come first is an overt, open state of intent: This WILL be a walkable (and bikeable) city, and here's how we are going to proceed toward the goalposts.

The government is trying to make walking American again, by Emily Badger (Washington Post)

The U.S. Surgeon General on Wednesday proposed a radical idea wrapped in a banal government document, a 72-page "call to action" with 359 tiny-font references: Americans, Vivek Murthy said, should walk more.

We should walk to the grocery store, and to school, and to the bus stop. We should take "walking meetings" at the office and spend more time walking in parks. And, because nearly a third of American adults report living in a neighborhood without a single sidewalk, we should rethink how we design communities so that it's actually possible to walk them.

Maybe this sounds like obvious advice, a health tip right up there with admonitions to eat right and wear sunblock. But for much of the last century, the federal government has backed a different idea — cars running on cheap fuel and fast asphalt should carry us everywhere — that has largely proved incompatible with walking.

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