Walking And Cycling Lessons From Netherlands And Germany

What lessons can be learned from the Netherlands and Germany on promoting safe walking and cycling to improve public health?
November 30, 2003, 7am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Professor John Pucher of Rutgers University publishes his recent paper, "Promoting Safe Walking and Cycling to Improve Public Health: Lessons from the Netherlands and Germany" on the web with a personal note. The article previously appeared in the September 2003 issues of the American Journal of Public Health and the American Journal of Health Promotion, which are available only to subscribers. From the journal article abstract: "Objectives. We examine the public health consequences of unsafe andinconvenient walking and bicycling conditions in American cities and suggestimprovements based on successful policies in The Netherlands and Germany.Methods. Secondary data from national travel and crash surveys are used tocompute fatality trends from 1975 to 2001 and fatality and injury rates for pedestriansand cyclists in The Netherlands, Germany, and the USA in 2000.Results: Whereas walking and cycling account for less than a tenth of all urbantrips in American cities, they account for a third of all trips in Germany and for half oftrips in The Netherlands. American pedestrians and cyclists are much more likely to getkilled than Dutch and German pedestrians and cyclists, both on a per-trip and per-kmbasis. They are also far more likely to be injuredDiscussion: On the basis of Dutch and German experience, we propose a widerange of measures to improve the safety of walking and cycling in American cities, bothto reduce fatalities and injuries and to encourage more walking and cycling, thus providing much needed physical exercise for increasingly overweight Americans." [Editor's note: There is a link to the full PDF of the article at the bottom of the Pucher's personal note.]

Thanks to Congress on New Urbanism

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Published on Friday, November 28, 2003 in National Center For Bicycling And Walking
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