A couple months ago, I saw a mother pushing a stroller through the median of an overpass while three small children walked around her. I’ll be honest, my first thought was why would a mother choose to put herself and her young children in the middle of traffic like that? And then it dawned on me.
The median had a sidewalk. The sides of the road did not. In order to cross the bridge, she would have needed to walk along the narrow shoulder and then push the stroller through the grass once she reached the other side to get off the road. Sadly, the median was the safer option.
In April, we celebrate physical activity and encourage all Americans to commit to being more active on a regular basis. But the reality is that it’s not so easy to do in some communities.
From our world of advocacy, we’ve been working to help communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic live healthier lives by increasing access to safe spaces for physical activity. We’ve seen policy passed in Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro, NC for the creation of walking and biking paths. The work continues as we focus on Howard County, Montgomery County, and Baltimore City, MD, as well as Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Loudoun County VA.
Though we may not be working on this issue in your community, we’re not ready to give up on health and safety there either. You can help us by letting us know if your city or county is considering a similar policy. We’d love to work with you to help your community move more and live healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke!