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Published on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Protected bike lanes promote better health

Following is a transcript of a speech given by St. Louis County Public Health Nurse Josh Gorham during a news conference regarding the protected bike land pilot project on Duluth's Michigan Street.


Bike Lane news conference Josh Gorham


I work under the Minnesota Department of Health and Healthy Northland’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership. The protected bike lane demonstration project is bringing forward a very important conversation in the Duluth metropolitan area.

Michigan Street protected bike laneThere are many people in the community bringing up the need for safe and fair transportation options for all people. Protected bike lanes provide an option that is safer and more comfortable for a greater percentage of people. For many in this community, widespread use of safer bicycle routes as demonstrated by this project will help provide another transportation option that provides transportation to work, school, and the many goods and services business owners and other service providers have to offer in our community.

Over the last thirty years in the United States a serious public health threat has emerged: disease brought on by physical inactivity. From recent community assessments, we know that many people in Duluth and St. Louis County do not have the time to be physically active nor the access to fitness classes and centers. We also know that some people lack transportation options, and this impacts their daily lives, and ultimately their health. Utilizing active modes of transportation, such as bicycling, is an effective way to build physical activity into your day while getting to the places you need or want to go. When bicycling for transportation is a safe option, more people have an opportunity to build physical activity in to their daily schedule.

I commend the partners in this project: the MIC, the Center for Prevention at BCBS, The City of Duluth, the Greater Downtown Council, Duluth Bikes, and many more who are opening this conversation in Duluth. Approaches such as this demonstration project reflect the values of health and fairness. This is something Saint Louis County certainly supports. Thank you. 

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Author: Dana Kazel

Categories: St. Louis County Spotlight



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Public Information
Dana Kazel 
Room 213
100 N 5th Ave W
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 725-5049
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