Metro Atlanta’s Cul-De-Sacs are Bad for Your Health

Things I learned from reading Why Cul-de-Sacs Are Bad for Your Health on Slate.com:

  • The average working adult in Atlanta’s suburbs now drives 44 miles a day. (That’s 72 minutes a day behind the wheel, just getting to work and back.)
  • 94% of Metro Atlantans commute by car.
  • Metro Atlantans spend more on gas than anyone else in the country.
  • Georgia Tech researchers found that a white male living in walkable Midtown Atlanta was likely to weigh 10 pounds less than his identical twin living in a car-dependent place like Mableton.

Also found in that Tech study on Metro Atlantans:

Six out of every 10…couldn’t walk to nearby shops and services or to a public bus stop. Road geometry was partly to blame…that iconic suburban innovation — the cul-de-sac — has become part of a backfiring behavioral system.

Basically, building roads entirely for cars — with cul-de-sac subdivisions being the height of car-dependency — makes for unhealthy people, not to mention unhealthy urban places. Unfortunately, Metro Atlanta has bought into that style of road building big time.