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Our past and current paradigm of transportation investment has created a transportation system that is focused on road building and the private auto. This system has given our country an unprecedented level of individual mobility and facilitated economic growth from coast to coast.
As important as these benefits are, they have come at a high price—costs to our environment and the health of our communities.U.S. residents—especially our children—are more obese and overweight than ever before due in part to sedentary lifestyles and the lack of opportunity for everyday physical activity. Traffic crashes cause close to 40,000 deaths a year, and exposure to air pollution from traffic results in high rates of asthma and respiratory illness. These negative outcomes have the largest effect on those who are most vulnerable—the elderly, children, and traditionally underserved and disadvantaged (low income and non-white/ethnicminority) communities—themost, through greater adverse health impacts and through a relative lack of
access to economic, recreational, and social opportunities.