CDC: Build bike lanes, lose weight

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report called Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States.

In the report, they recommend the following strategies:

Communities Should Enhance Infrastructure Supporting Bicycling

Enhancing infrastructure supporting bicycling includes creating bike lanes, shared-use paths, and routes on existing and new roads; and providing bike racks in the vicinity of commercial and other public spaces. Improving bicycling infrastructure can be effective in increasing frequency of cycling for utilitarian purposes (e.g., commuting to work and school, bicycling for errands). Research demonstrates a strong association between bicycling infrastructure and frequency of bicycling.

The report also cites evidence that “improving bicycling infrastructure is associated with increased frequency of bicycling.” In other words, if you build it, they will bike it.

Also their suggested means for measuring success is the “total miles of designated shared-use paths and bike lanes relative to the total street miles (excluding limited access highways).”

Note that shared-used paths are trails that are nearly always within their own right-of-way (e.g. rail trails.) They should not be confused with side paths or sidewalks, often called safety paths within Oakland County, which should not be designated bicycle facilities according to national guidelines.

Other related suggested strategies include:

  • Enhance infrastructure supporting walking.
  • Improve access to public transportation.
  • Zone for mixed-use development.
  • Support locating schools within easy walking distance of residential areas.

If this sounds like the CDC is promoting Complete Streets then you’re certainly in agreement with Barbara McCann from the National Complete Streets Coalition.

And if you’re interested in staying on top of the Complete Streets movement within Michigan, visit the relatively new Michigan Complete Streets web site.

(via Streetsblog)

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2 Responses to “CDC: Build bike lanes, lose weight”

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