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Broad Coalition Praises Complete Streets Bill Introduced in Minnesota Legislature
Date:2/8/2010

e abilities of seniors, children, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders," Obermueller said.  

"Minnesota seniors and children are especially vulnerable to transportation systems that are designed almost exclusively for moving automobiles," said Bob Geyen, State Volunteer Leader for AARP, one of 48 organizations supporting the bill.  Geyen pointed to the example of an 86-year-old Chaska man, who was struck and killed by a car as he tried to walk across busy Highway 41 to go to church.

"That very unfortunate outcome could have been prevented had the road been designed for all users, regardless of age or ability," Geyen added.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) also backs the bill. Blue Cross' Chief Prevention Officer, Dr. Marc Manley, cited the more than 60 percent of adult Minnesotans who are overweight or obese and said that if left unchecked, obesity will add another $3.7 billion in health care expenses for Minnesotans by 2020.

"Current road designs often create barriers and discourage people from walking and biking," Manley said, "We need to make it easier for people to be active and achieve or maintain a healthy weight.  This Complete Streets policy is a creative solution that not only can make our transportation dollars stretch farther, but also encourage more people to lead an active lifestyle, thereby improving health and saving health care dollars."

The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a state-mandated report last year in favor of a state Complete Streets policy.  Nationally, eighteen states and more than 100 communities have policies supporting complete streets.  In Minnesota, Rochester, '/>"/>

SOURCE Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition
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