Los Angeles County is getting serious about the health & fitness of it’s citizens.
Yesterday, it approved an ordinance that requires new developments to have wider sidewalks, bicycle parking and other changes to promote exercise and reduce obesity.
The ordinance also would make it easier for communities to start community gardens and hold farmers markets.
“We are trying to send a very clear message to every county department that if we are going to start making a difference, everyone has to work together,” said Ben Saltsman. “Obesity rates go up where people have no choice but to get in the car. Wider sidewalks and bike lanes will help give people another option.”
Public health officials, who worked with the planning department on the ordinance, said it’s important to have the changes codified by policymakers.
“We can talk until we are blue in the face about eating healthier and the need to exercise more, but if they don’t have an environment that supports that, it is going to be harder for that to happen.”
And while access to healthier food and neighborhoods doesn’t guarantee that people will take advantage of them, it’s a step in the right direction.
And that’s pretty awesome.