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Monday, April 16, 2012

Americans Do Not Walk The Walk, And That's A Growing Problem


Americans walk less than the citizens of any other industrialized nation, says Tom Vanderbilt. In this file photo from last summer, pedestrians and a cyclist cross the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
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Americans walk less than the citizens of any other industrialized nation, says Tom Vanderbilt. In this file photo from last summer, pedestrians and a cyclist cross the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
"Americans now walk the least of any industrialized nation in the world," says writer Tom Vanderbilt. To find out why that is, Vanderbilt has been exploring how towns are built, how Americans view walking — and what might be done to get them moving around on their own two feet.
Talking with Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep about what is wrong with Americans' relationship with walking, Vanderbilt says, "The main thing is, we're just not doing enough of it."
"We've engineered walking out of our existence and everyday life," Vanderbilt says. "I even tried to examine the word 'pedestrian,' and it's always had sort of this negative connotation — that it was always better to be on a horse or something, if you could manage it."
In a series of stories for Slate about "The Crisis in American Walking," Vanderbilt writes about pedestrian life in America, from "sidewalk science" to possible ways to make the U.S. less car-centric. And he finds that what started as a push for convenience has become a difficult problem, as many parts of the country are now designed specifically for cars, not pedestrians...
Keep reading at NPR.org

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