Travel by car, even when the destination is only a few blocks away, is commonplace in suburbia.
Many people enjoy or would like more local sidewalks and trails for pedestrian and bicyclist use and do not consider them trivial items. Communities should have or promote those alternate means of transportation, especially given concerns about rising fuel costs, pollution and obesity.
However, some community residents don’t want sidewalks or are reluctant to pay for them.
That's a shame. Have you ever tried to push a wheelchair or stroller on grass, gravel, busy roads, or around parked cars, because there were no sidewalks? I have and it can be quite difficult, not to mention hazardous.
My grandchildren do not live in New Berlin. In their neighborhoods, sidewalks are prevalent. That's great because sidewalks are obviously better for kids than the streets.
In his blog piece titled “Sidewalk Talk”, New Berlin NOW blogger Keith Hastings offers a poignant example of an older gentleman who would benefit from sidewalks.
Taking a walk is generally easier and safer on sidewalks than roads---and walking is a healthful activity that should be encouraged.
If a daily fitness walk could be put in a pill, it would be one of the most popular prescriptions in the world. It has so many health benefits. Walking can reduce the risk of many diseases—from heart attack and stroke to hip fracture and glaucoma. These may sound like claims on a bottle of snake oil, but they’re backed by major research. Walking requires no prescription, the risk of side effects is very low, and the benefits are numerous:
· Managing your weight
· Controlling your blood pressure
· Decreasing your risk of heart attack
· Boosting your “good” cholesterol
· Lowering your risk of stroke
· Lowering your risk of breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes
· Avoiding your need for gallstone surgery
· Protecting against hip fracture
And so on.
Additionally, AARP says many other studies indicate a daily brisk walk also can help:
- Prevent depression, colon cancer, constipation, osteoporosis, and impotence
- Lengthen lifespan
- Lower stress levels
- Relieve arthritis and back pain
- Strengthen muscles, bones, and joints
- Improve sleep
- Elevate overall mood and sense of well-being
Well, as you can see, walking is good for you. And so are sidewalks and trails.