A city that works to make itself more friendly for fitness

A Salt Lake Tribune article details the efforts of Salt Lake City to make itself more friendly for fitness activities like bicycling, walking, and running:
Now, it seems even rising gas prices are conspiring to get people to think in terms of "walkable communities" and "active community environments," she says, using the language city planners use to describe modern designs.

Health department officials, hoping to improve the health of all Utahns, formed the alliance in 2000. Members include transportation officials, mayors, park and recreation managers and city planners who brainstorm ways to get cities thinking about making their cities more amenable to foot traffic.

"Putting parking and crosswalks in the middle of the blocks - all those things that are frustrating to drivers are actually beneficial for people who are walking or who try to lead physically fit lives," she says.

"Maybe it was done to bring shoppers downtown, but anything that encourages walking is going to help. Whether it's reducing pollution or increasing the health of the public, there are so many benefits."
When are Missouri's large cities going to see the benefits and put such an ambitious plan into action?

Just ten years ago, Salt Lake City--like today's Kansas City and St. Louis--had a very poor record for pedestrian safety. Ten years of enlightened policies have turned this around.

It could be done in Missouri, too.

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