To the editor:
A front page article in J-W April 7 dealing with Americans' lack of physical activity and how it relates to our health should encourage every citizen to become involved in a search for a solution to the problem.
First, we need to look at the way our cities are structured. The National Trust for Historic Preservation published a report entitled "How Superstore Sprawl can harm communities." It describes how big box retail stores build at the edge of cities, where land is cheaper, encouraging people to travel by car to do their shopping.
The American Farmland Trust claims we are losing about 400,000 acres of open land to sprawl development each hour. It seem to me, we Americans spend too much time in our own cars. If our trips could be destined to our downtown sectors, then we would do more walking and bicycling which would improve our health.
How could we correct this problem? Perhaps if we could persuade our politicians to increase the gas tax like Europe and Japan, then we could use that money for tax abatements to encourage more retail stores closer to where we live. If this sort of plan could work then we could follow Katharine Alvord's plan she proposes in her book titled "Divorce Your Car."
Lester C. Marsh,