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Sigh. It seems that the world's view of fat, lazy Americans is about to get yet another image-draining hit to the shapely round gut. According to a study led by Dr. David R. Bassett of the University of Tennessee that was published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Americans lag far behind other highly developed nations when it comes to walking.

Just a few days ago, the Federal Highway Administration released "The National Biking and Walking Study: a 15-year Status Report." The study covers walking and bicycling trends in the U.S. from 1990 to present. As the chart shows and the study reveals, more and more Americans are hitting the streets either on two feet or with two wheels a-rolling. From the launch of the study in 1990 to the last update in 2009, the number of trips traveled on foot have increased more than twofold from 18 to 42.5

I've been having fun experimenting with a variety of transportation alternatives in the month since I began my low car diet. I've bussed a lot, taken the light rail known locally as the "Max," even riding transport for free in "Fareless Square." My husband had made plentiful use of the bike and ride option (he sticks his bike on the front rack on the bus before work, then rides home late at night when the schedules are inconvenient or nonexistent). We've done the Flexcar thing, and I've biked a