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Resident sparks conversation after calling attention to signs posted around neighborhood: 'I have never seen anything like that'

"This is disgusting."

"This is disgusting."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Forget personal preference: In some cities, it's illegal to choose to walk instead of drive. 

TikToker rocks (@yourneighborwthecutedog) posted a video of Whistler, British Columbia, which said: "Why build walking infrastructure when you can just put up some anti-pedestrian signage and criminalize crossing the street instead?"


whistler, like many adventure destination cities, could be an active transportation playground! yet as soon as we come down from the mountain everyone wants to drive cars and huge trucks?! whyyyy??? outdoorsy, kind and adventurous until they take their skis off.

♬ original sound - rocks

In the caption, the uploader said Whistler "could be an active transportation playground! Yet as soon as we come down from the mountain everyone wants to drive?!"

Viewers were similarly frustrated. "This is disgusting. Wow," one wrote. 

"That's true freedom, not being allowed to walk!" another joked.

It's "such a strange concept," one person commented. "I have never seen anything like that in other countries."

When it comes to being walkable — defined as accommodating short, safe walks to goods and services — many countries outside of North America score highly. But in much of the U.S. and Canada, if you don't own a car, you're out of luck.

Unwalkable cities are characterized by a lack of sidewalks and crosswalks, poor signage, and little public transportation. It makes for a frustrating commute, as one commenter attested: "I've got what would be something like a 10-minute walk if we had the proper infrastructure but instead it's like a 45 minute walk."

And it's not only inconvenient — it's dangerous.

Vehicle fumes are a major source of air pollution and noise pollution, both of which have been linked with adverse health effects including higher risks of cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. Compounded with the risk of being hit by a car, the obsession with car-centric cities feels counterintuitive.

"If we are serious about the dangers of the health risks of our unwalkable cities, we should slap a surgeon general's warning on every apartment, condo, and house in neighborhoods with poor walkability," wrote Eric J. Walters for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

On the flip side, cities that focus on improving walkability have seen improved health indicators in their residents.

One recent study from Boston University found that adults who live in walkable neighborhoods are 1.5 times more likely to engage in sufficient levels of daily physical activity, reducing their risk of developing obesity by 76%. Riding the bus has even been found to improve mental health and reduce depression in adults.

Fortunately, there are several successful approaches to facilitating more environmentally friendly cities, from building out more greenways and bike trails to introducing electric buses or installing widespread electric vehicle charging stations.

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