Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How We Walk

This week Slate Magazine features a four-part series on walking by Traffic/How We Drive author Tom Vanderbilt. It's full of interesting details about the science of walking (e.g. people walking up escalators instinctively sway--even when the escalator is broken) and insights into why Americans don't walk more:

" an America enraptured by the cultural prosthesis that is the automobile, walking has become a lost mode, perceived as not a legitimate way to travel but a necessary adjunct to one’s car journey, a hobby, or something that people without cars—those pitiable “vulnerable road users,” as they are called with charitable condescension—do. To decry these facts—to examine, as I will in this series, how Americans might start walking more again— may seem like a hopelessly retrograde, romantic exercise: nostalgia for Thoreau’s woodland ambles. But the need is urgent. The decline of walking has become a full-blown public health nightmare."

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