ODOT partners with federal, state and local advocates to promote healthier choices for Ohioans
First statewide conference on building healthier communities
COLUMBUS (Tuesday, March 30, 2010) – Joining the fight against inactivity and obesity, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) partnered with federal, state and local advocates for a first-of-its- kind conference to promote healthier choices for Ohioans.
The Healthy Communities Active Transportation (HCAT) Conference in Columbus brought experts in health, transportation, environmental policy, land use and economic development together to share ideas and plans on how to build healthy communities and encourage active transportation, such as biking, walking and transit.
The Federal Highway Administration, Ohio departments of Health and Natural Resources and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, the Ohio Association of Regional Councils were among the advocates promoting healthier options.
“In the future, more people will walk, bike and ride mass transit to reach jobs, healthcare, education and other essential services” said ODOT's Kelly Brooker-Scocco, Co-Deputy Director of the department’s Division of Transportation System Development. “Significant investments are needed now to ensure that our community infrastructure, health, transportation, recreation – or otherwise – keeps pace with the demands of the 21st Century.”
In the past year, ODOT has adopted “Complete Streets” – a concept based on the premise that a complete street includes sidewalks, bike lanes (or wide paved shoulders), special bus lanes, comfortable and accessible transit stops, frequent crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions and more – where safe and appropriate.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, nearly two-thirds of Ohio’s residents are overweight (38 percent) or obese (28 percent), making Ohio the fifth-heaviest state in the nation.
Today’s conference builds upon Governor Strickland’s “Healthy Ohio” initiative aimed at creating changes in communities, work sites, schools and health care settings that lead to better health for all Ohioans. More information can be found at www.HealthyOhioProgram.org
For more information contact:
Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640