New urban designs sought in obesity fight - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-16-2006, 01:20 PM
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DENVER - It'll take more than public service campaigns to solve the nation's obesity problem, according to fitness experts who say neighborhoods must be designed so people can get around without their cars.



Virtually everything American society has done for the past 100 years has made it easier for us to be fatter, said James Sallis, a San Diego State University psychology professor, and others who gathered recently at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting.



"We've built an unhealthy world in a lot of different ways," said Sallis, who was once dubbed an "obesity warrior" by Time magazine.



Sallis contends change will come only when the public demands walkable development, more federal money for parks and bike paths and even a tax on industries that promote sedentary lifestyles (he pointed to video game makers, movie theater chains and even electric Segway scooters).



Proof that people will accept an active lifestyle and walk to parks and shopping if they can is found in the "new urbanism" style of planned communities, the experts contend. They pointed to Denver's Stapleton neighborhood, an enclave of new homes built where the city's old airport used to be.



The neighborhood is a mix of shops, offices, parks, apartments and houses linked by wide sidewalks and meandering bike paths. Architecture varies from single-family homes to rows of brownstones. Tom Gleason, a spokesman for developer Forest City, said the design has been a hit.



"People will walk if you give them that opportunity," he said.

Full Article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060616/...s_urban_design



I'm all up for getting people off their asses. We could at least shut down drive throughs so people actually have to get out of their cars.



However I don't necessarily think people will walk if given the chance. For example, my mother drives to work despite the fact that she works about 1 block away from her house. It probably takes longer to drive than it would to walk. She claims it's so she can actually leave her work building during lunch because she only gets 30 minutes. I think people will drive somewhere when given the chance.

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#2 Old 06-16-2006, 01:46 PM
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I would love to live in a community like that. To be honest, it's just plain dangerous to walk or bike to a lot of places around my area. It's like the whole place was designed specifically to drive everywhere. Aside from your neighborhood residential streets (that don't lead anywhere), all the roads are big, multilane, high-speed limit (45mph+) roads with no bike lanes, dim and scarecly placed streetlights, very narrow shoulders, and miles-long stretches with no sidewalks or crosswalks. I'm constantly just barely missing crazy peds and cyclists (who, for some reason refuse to use the state-mandatory blinking lights and reflective clothing) on the roads at night... and I am a very aware and courteous driver. I would hate to be in their position, constantly dodging some of the INSANE drivers that are around here....



I always find myself thinking "if only I could bike to work," "if only I could just walk here or there..." It stinks.
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#3 Old 06-16-2006, 02:18 PM
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even a tax on industries that promote sedentary lifestyles (he pointed to video game makers, movie theater chains and even electric Segway scooters).



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#4 Old 06-16-2006, 04:55 PM
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You know, once upon a time, I lived in Denver. I used to bike everywhere. I am in central CA now and it's hard to find places I can bike now. I will admit the city is trying to help us out, but they're slow in the processes. It's rough bike lanes most of the time. BEWARE.....

I miss Denver's ability to bike most of the year round without having to beware of cars....
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#5 Old 06-17-2006, 08:14 PM
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I desperately want to live in a place where I don't have to drive. I didn't drive until I was 26, after my daughter was born and it became clear that I couldn't drag a newborn, premature baby on a city bus (when buses were available).
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#6 Old 06-17-2006, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Katt Fink View Post

I would love to live in a community like that. To be honest, it's just plain dangerous to walk or bike to a lot of places around my area. It's like the whole place was designed specifically to drive everywhere. Aside from your neighborhood residential streets (that don't lead anywhere), all the roads are big, multilane, high-speed limit (45mph+) roads with no bike lanes, dim and scarecly placed streetlights, very narrow shoulders, and miles-long stretches with no sidewalks or crosswalks. I'm constantly just barely missing crazy peds and cyclists (who, for some reason refuse to use the state-mandatory blinking lights and reflective clothing) on the roads at night... and I am a very aware and courteous driver. I would hate to be in their position, constantly dodging some of the INSANE drivers that are around here....



I always find myself thinking "if only I could bike to work," "if only I could just walk here or there..." It stinks.

My neighborhood is exactly the same way. There is also no public transportation. I with everything was more accessible for people without cars especially since I can't drive yet so I need an adult to take me everywhere.
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