A new study claims that making fifty percent of short trips by car could save billions of dollars a year in reduced mortality and health care costs, and advocates say that's a good argument for restoring state funding cuts for bicycle infrastructure. "Investing in more bicycling can save lives, reduce health costs, traffic and air pollution," said State Representative Brett Hulsey of Madison.
Governor Scott Walker's budget zeroed out bicycle programs in the state budget, although lawmakers were able to restore two million dollars. Dr. Jonathan Patz of the University of Wisconsin says the study shows how making fifty percent of short trips by car could save billions of dollars a year in reduced mortality and health care costs. "Overweight and obesity are our number one epidemic in this country," said Patz. "It's estimated that two thirds of our citizens are overweight, and fifty percent of Americans do not meet our recommended level of exercise."