I’ve already posted links, comments, and excerpts for Tom Vanderbilt’s 4-part series at Slate about the state of walking and pedestrianism in America.
This morning he talked to NPR’s Morning Edition about these issues — and made a compelling case for a renewed emphasis on the values of walking and the need for public spaces designed for it.
Read and hear Americans Do Not Walk The Walk, And That’s A Growing Problem.
From the NPR piece:
“Walking is really as natural as breathing,” Vanderbilt says. “We’re all born pedestrians.”
Talking with Steve, Vanderbilt cites a thought on walking from philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, who said, “I’ve walked myself into my best thoughts.”
“I think we’ve all had that experience, of just taking a walk to clear your head. And it lowers your stress,” Vanderbilt says — then adds, “hopefully, it lowers your stress. Some places we have to walk in the U.S., it doesn’t lower your stress.”
As he writes in the final installment of his series, “There is not a single dollar in the U.S. federal transportation budget dedicated strictly to walking.”
Later in the same paragraph, Vanderbilt writes: “As a Federal Highway Administration study noted, ‘In 2009, about 2.0 percent of federal-aid surface transportation funds were used for pedestrian and bicycle programs and projects. However, those two modes are estimated to account for almost 12 percent of all trips and represent more than 13 percent of all traffic fatalities.'”