Livable Streets Are Good for Health in the Heartland, Too

399503445_55d8419bf0.jpgThe roadscape in Nebraska, built for one thing only. Photo by jWiltshire via Flickr.

The health benefits of livable streets don’t always get enough attention. Today on the Streetsblog Network, we’ve got a story from Missouri Bicycle News about a new study from the St. Louis University School of Public Health documenting how the health of people in rural communities suffers for the lack of biking and pedestrian infrastructure:

Nearly half of the participants reported lack of sidewalks on most streets and stated they felt unsafe from traffic while walking or biking. Those who expressed concerns about traffic safety also were more likely to be obese, the study found.

If you want to drill deeper on the connection between sustainable transportation and public health, download the PDF of a report from the American Public Health Association entitled "At the Intersection of Public Health and Transportation: Promoting Healthy Transportation Policy."

We’ve also got a cool virtual tour of the future streetcar system in Forth Worth, plus an action alert on a petition drive to "Keep the Stimulus Clean" from Friends of the Earth. And, as always, much, much more.

Are you on Twitter? So is the Streetsblog Network. Follow us.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

A Livable Streets Renaissance in Savannah?

|
The last time we checked in with the folks down at Sustainable Savannah, it was to get an update on the jaywalking ticket blitz that the city was conducting — not exactly evidence of a progressive attitude toward traffic safety. Today, we’ve got better news. Biking in Savannah: the future is looking brighter. Photo by […]

Marketing Bike Boulevards to Non-Bikers

|
Today from Biking in LA, some thoughts on how to sell the idea of bicycle boulevards to non-cycling homeowners: Wouldn’t this street look nicer as a bike boulevard? The simple fact is, not many people want a bike boulevard on their street. At least, not until they understand what it actually means. And that’s our […]

T4America on How to Create Safer, Healthier Streets

|
As the reauthorization of the federal transportation bill draws nearer, the need for clear, simple explanations of why reform is important grows greater. The folks at Transportation for America have stepped forward to make the case with Route to Reform: A Blueprint for a 21st-Century Transportation Policy, a 100-page document that lays out the most […]

Centers for Disease Control: Transportation Reform is Health Reform

|
The connection between transportation and public health has slowly edged into the mainstream since Streetsblog Capitol Hill began covering it last year, first through a billion-dollar grant program added to Congress’ sprawling health care bill and now in a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) brief that connects existing U.S. infrastructure with chronic disease, obesity, and […]

Does the Gender Disparity in Engineering Harm Cycling in the U.S.?

|
A study published in this month’s American Journal of Public Health finds that highly influential transportation engineers relied on shoddy research to defend policies that discourage the development of protected bike lanes in the U.S. In their paper, the researchers point out that male-dominated engineering panels have repeatedly torpedoed street designs that have greater appeal […]