My pal B2 at NorthofNormal sent me an interesting link today to a Treehugger post about the walking lifestyle of New Yorkers and the impact on health and longevity (thanks Bri!). Bottom line: they walk fast. Real fast.
And because they walk fast, they’re actually getting greater benefit from the walk than most other americans in major cities.
According to New York Magazine, A New Yorker born in 2004 can now expect to live 78.6 years, nine months longer than the average American will. The traditional ways of dying young in New York (homicide, AIDS, and drugs) continue to decline, but so does cancer and heart disease. One reason: people not only walk, they walk fast, faster than anywhere else in the country. “Walking speed absolutely reflects health status,” [epedemiologist Eleanor] Simonsick says. So when you irritatedly blow past a trio of ambling visitors from Ohio or Iowa on the subway platform, you’re not just being an obnoxious New Yorker. You’re demonstrating that you’re going to outlive them—and enjoy better health while they slowly degrade.
Traffic in New York is also as jammed or more so than in other major cities, so walking is a reasonable alternative transportation option. So, healthy, faster, better–go New York!
Speaking of alternative transportation…Seattle has apparently been busy upgrading its byways to make them safer for bicyclists. I’m witnessing this effort here in West Seattle, with dubious results (hate to say it Mayor Nickels, I’m just not convinced). Basically there are teams painting thick white lines to demarcate the margins in either direction where I guess bicyclists should be safe to ride. No big improvement there.
The one that’s confusing me: the universal stencil of a bicyclist in the middle of certain roads, especially around the beach and park areas. I guess the message is Share the Road, but I gotta say, it looks a lot like target practice–won’t all drivers merely be driving right over the stencil of the person on the bike? Color me confused.
Daily Stats: (Tues and Wed)
Bike: 6 miles
Ped: 3 miles
Bus: approx 15 miles