Healthy Transportation Plan Updates
Cities can use their transportation plan update process to increase options for active transit, such as biking, walking, and public transporation, and to improve access to public buildings, commercial amenities, and recreational and natural areas. One way to do this is to add health goals and policies to the transportation plan during the required updates.
Goals and policies that increase options for active transit include:
- Taking the ‘complete streets’ approach to all planning
- Encouraging compact, mixed-use and transit-oriented development
- Establishing dedicated pathways for pedestrians and cyclists
- Addressing pedestrian and bicycle safety at crossings, along traffic corridors, on routes between residential areas and schools, and in other public transportation projects
- Establishing, increasing, or improving public transit options
- Improving access for all residents to existing public buildings (e.g. schools, city hall), commercial entities (e.g. drugstore, grocery, cafe), and recreational and natural areas (e.g. parks, ball fields, playgrounds)
Examples of Local Policies:
Getting Involved in Transportation Planning. ChangeLab Solutions. 2011. This fact sheet discusses the important link between transportation planning and health, describes the key players and processes of local and regional transportation planning, and suggests ways to advocate effectively for healthier transportation policies.
Transportation and Health Toolkit. American Public Health Association. This toolkit is an attempt to build a bridge between the public health and transportation communities, to create a common language for use by public health advocates that ensures our voices are heard by those who need to hear them.
Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and Research. PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Convergence Partnership. In this project, leading academic researchers and advocates working at the intersection of transportation policy, equity, and public health identify opportunities for creating transportation systems that promote health and equity. This report synthesizes their insights and offers concrete recommendations for change.
Creating Healthy Regional Transportation Plans: A Primer for California’s Public Health Community on Regional Transportation Plans and Sustainable Communities Strategies. Transform. 2012. The guide is intended for public health and sustainable transportation professionals as well as local government officials. Ultimately, the guide should help decision-makers focus on strategies that not only improve transportation efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also have dramatic health and health equity benefits.