The American Heart Association is excited to support Question 6 on the Maine ballot, because it invests in the health of our communities.
We all know how vital physical activity is to healthy hearts. Maine is a very rural state with an elderly population, and we have the highest obesity rate in New England. In order for all of us to be able to get the activity we need, we need safe spaces to walk, bike and run. Question 6 helps fund our walk-able communities, and make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Did You Know?:
Nearly 80% of U.S. adults and 75% of adolescents do not currently get the recommended amount of physical activity each week. To compound the problem, traditional transportation and community planning often overlooks the effect on health.
Research consistently shows that how communities are built influences whether or not people drive, walk, bike or use public transportation. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association encourages all Mainers to walk or bike if feasible.
Research indicates that building bike and pedestrian trails reduces health care costs associated with physical inactivity. For every dollar invested in building trails, nearly three dollars in medical cost savings may be achieved.
People who have parks or recreational facilities nearby and live in communities with well-connected streets exercise much more than those who do not have easy access.
Environments that are safe and built with walking, biking and other physical activities in mind are correlated with lower body weights and reduced cardiovascular disease.
Community-based physical activity interventions are cost-effective, reducing new cases of many chronic diseases and improving quality of life.
Details on the Bond Referendum:
The Maine Department of Transportation submitted a request for a $100 million bond to the legislature. The legislature approved the measure, so now it goes before voters, like you, for approval. Below is the question language from the ballot:
"Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and
rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities, equipment and property
acquisition related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger
railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an
estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds?"
Part of that $100 million would go to fund infrastructure improvements that will enhance our statewide efforts to get everyone moving.
For more information on the ballot question, please visit the Maine Secretary of State’s referendum voter guide (pages 55-58 cover Question 6).