Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TN Doc Wants Health Reflected in Transportation Policies

An influential East Tennessee doctor suggests that, while his state is successful in getting federal transportation funds, it fails to address transportation challenges in a comprehensive way that address health-related concerns.

"The right kind of streets allow kids to burn those calories by bicycle, foot or skateboard to school, recreation, social engagements and the like," Dr. Anthony DeLucia, a member of the faculty at East Tennessee State University and former chairman of the American Lung Association, wrote in an op-ed published in the Johnson City Herald. "For our growing senior population, some of whom cannot drive, a complete street and sidewalk system with amenities like crosswalks, raised medians, trees, fountains and benches is a thing of beauty and utility."

"Instead, we have provided an illusory and one-dimensional economic stimulus," he writes. "In transportation policy, 'my way or the highway' literally means 'my way is the highway.' We need a fresh look at policy, funding and accountability that addresses the challenges of local metropolitan planning organizations, state departments of transportation and the Federal Highway Administration."

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