Great models for living abound with our Canadian neighbors to the north, who are building wonderful mixed-age, mixed-use communities that offer independent living for their elders. Consider the municipalities of Vernon and Langley in British Columbia, where I recently spent time helping them lay out walkability ground rules for age-friendly neighborhoods.
Active transportation connects people and places. It provides access to jobs, education, shopping, transit and recreation. In short, trails, bike pathways and greenways make for great places to live and to visit.
Cost can sometimes be a deterrent for many seeking to ride the bus or train. Luckily, various communities around the country have an easy solution to this problem via free bus systems.
When people use trails for recreation, exercise or transportation, they improve their health by lowering their risk for heart and weight-related problems. Regular walking or bicycling also has been shown to be very beneficial to mental health, reducing stress and combating depression.
If there were an award for the most under-appreciated trail network, Indianapolis would be a contender. Home to some of the fastest race cars on earth, many Hoosiers leave their cars behind to enjoy the city's futuristic people-mover system, or to walk and bike on what is undoubtedly one of the best trail systems in America.
All Sarah Clark Stuart wanted was for her family to be able to safely access the Schuylkill River Trail, just across the tracks from the Philadelphia neighborhood where she lived.
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