Bike paths what the doc­tor or­dered

Edmonton Journal - - EDITORIAL -

The new bike lanes the city is in­stalling are get­ting a lot of at­ten­tion. As a fam­ily physi­cian, I am ex­cited. Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity is as­so­ci­ated with lower risk for chronic disease, in­clud­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar disease, di­a­betes, obe­sity, high blood pres­sure, de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and some types of can­cer. With the cost of health care grow­ing ev­ery year, we need to be putting more ef­fort into preven­tion.

I spend most of my day work­ing with pa­tients to find ways to in­crease their phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. Ac­tive trans­porta­tion is an im­por­tant so­lu­tion for their phys­i­cal and men­tal health. My fam­ily prac­tice is down­town and many of my pa­tients live in the core. These lanes will al­low my pa­tients to get ac­tive in a safe, pro­tected en­vi­ron­ment.

By build­ing safe cy­cling paths, more peo­ple will leave their cars at home. Ev­ery per­son who uses the bike lanes is one less car stuck in traf­fic. These bike lanes are the re­sult of many meet­ings in­clud­ing in­put from in­ter­na­tional ex­perts on ur­ban de­sign and plan­ning.

I look for­ward to bike lanes be­ing ex­panded to other parts of the city. I en­cour­age Ed­mon­to­ni­ans to try the new bike lanes, but be warned, you may just pre­fer it to your car. Dr. Doug Klein, Ed­mon­ton


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