Residents of Glenside and Jenkintown often list walkability among reasons for their strong affection for these communities. According to a study published in the journal of Preventative Medicine, living here might also make you healthier than our automobile-dependent neighbors.
This study was distilled into a brief article found at StreetsBlog.org. It cited positive health effects as a result of the new Comox-Helmcken Greenway in Vancouver B.C., which provided a protected biking and walking corridor. People who lived closer to this new greenway were “twice as likely to get the recommended 20 minutes of physical activity daily. The effect declined as the distance from the greenway increased.”
As great as it feels to live in a traditional older suburb with all of its charms, are we doing enough? With the limited funds available, would you spend them on wider roads or better sidewalks?
Incidentally, in Canada, the municipalities pay not only to build but also maintain all residential pedestrian infrastructure. Not so in Pennsylvania.
Chime in at the comments.