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Infographic: U.S. DOT Promotes the Health Benefits of Active Transportation

Photo: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

"Transportation investments that support active travel -- like greenways, trails, sidewalks, traffic-calming devices, and public transit -- create opportunities to increase routine physical activity, improve health, and lower health care costs," writes U.S. DOT's Todd Solomon this morning on Secretary Anthony Foxx's Fast Lane blog. "The same investments promote sustainability."

All of these numbers are testament to the importance of street design and transit service in how we make our transportation choices and how healthy we are. The statistic about route selection in Portland particularly illustrates how significant good bike facilities are. The same study that found that 49 percent of bike commuters' miles were ridden on roads with bike facilities also found that 10 percent of utilitarian bicycle travel -- as opposed to bicycling just for exercise -- occurred on bicycle boulevards, even though bicycle boulevards make up less than 1 percent of the region's bicycle network. Cities can keep this in mind if they're wondering whether anyone will use the new bike infrastructure they're thinking of investing in.

Kudos to U.S. DOT for publicizing these important facts!

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