To the Editor:
I support the ideas expressed in Nis Kildegaard’s article [Soundings: Obesity and Infrastructure, November 7]. Priscilla Leclerc of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and I just returned from the Cape Cod Bicycle Summit: Healthy Cyclists, Healthy Communities to learn how the Cape is building infrastructure to support people using human power to get from place to place. Speakers including our state senator, Dan Wolf, the MA DOT, Steve Welfel, the advocacy group MassBike, David Watson and Price Armstrong, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Wendy Northcross, the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, Thomas Cahir, and the Cape Cod Commission, Martha Hevenor, told us how they work together to accomplish the goal of creating a safe infrastructure to allow people of all ages to walk and bike. They also mentioned Complete Streets, a national movement which communities across our nation are joining because they believe, like our Vineyard communities, that. “The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams.”
As a health educator and health services researcher, I have learned that moving our bodies is the one best thing we can do for ourselves to stay healthy. To inspire all generations to be active we need more education, motivation, and good infrastructure to accomplish this goal. I would like our citizens to encourage our Island towns to adopt a Complete Streets policy, which will lead to incremental improvements to our communities. We can also join MassBike to support the educational and advocacy work they are doing for all of us.