Fitness buffs may think his heart is in the right place but some New Yorkers are decrying the increasing nanny state in their city as Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed new legislation asking for residents to forgo elevator and escalators and use the stairs.
After his previous assault on smoking, as well as the consumption of Big Gulps, trans-fats and sodium, Bloomberg is turning his eye to new buildings where he wants easier access to stairways and signs that encourage residents to walk rather than ride their way to their floors, The Washington Times reported
"What we've got to do is just make it cool, if you will, or socially more the norm to exercise, and that's what you see here," Bloomberg said in announcing his newly proposed legislation on Wednesday.
"The whole idea is not to change what you have to do, but to give you the idea and the impetus to do something that is in your best interest," Bloomberg said.
A new city project, the "Center for Active Design," has been established as a nonprofit effort that will help building designers create spaces encouraging healthier living.
"Whether you’re tall or short, fat or thin, you’ll be healthier and you’ll live longer if you’re more active. But the problem is we’ve been lulled into a sedentary lifestyle," said David Burney, the commissioner of the city's Department of Design and Construction.
The city's health commissioner, Thomas Farley added that the city was filled with too many buildings with poorly lit, locked, and difficult-to-locate stairways. New programs would help to improve those, making walking up a safer option, Politicker.com reported.
Another facet of the mayor's proposed legislation would be hold-open devices for elevator doors, which would close automatically in the event of an emergency.
Bloomberg, who offered that he tries to stay active himself, says it's crucial to make such measures hipper and pushed back on the "nanny-state" criticism, Politicker reported
The mayor said: "Somebody asked me the other day: 'Well isn’t all this nanny … stuff hurting business?’ And I pointed out we had a record number of companies moving here, we had record-number of private-sector jobs here, we had record-number of tourists."
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