Government Issues

New U.S. DOT tool promotes health through transportation

Posted on November 4, 2015

Greg Griffin AICP_PBIC
Greg Griffin AICP_PBIC

The U.S. Department of Transportation joined with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch a new online tool that provides profiles of how transportation may be affecting human health in each state and region.

The Transportation and Health Tool provides a single site for state and local transportation decision-makers and health officials to understand how their transportation system may affect health. For the first time, this site compiles data on how all states and communities are performing on a range of health-related transportation indicators.

“This tool provides transportation and public health officials with a starting point for a dialog on how transportation investments can help protect human health,” said Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enhance our communities and improve health.”

The indicators help communities see how they perform in comparison to other states or communities on a variety of transportation measures that affect health. Walking, bicycling, and transit provide healthy physical activity, so indicators in the tool provide various measures of how many people are using these methods of transportation.

Transportation decisions also affect the surrounding community, so several indicators measure an area’s housing and transportation affordability and proximity to roadways with heavy traffic. Indicators also measure an area’s safety performance through road traffic fatalities and seat belt use.

After looking up state or local indicator results, users are directed to 25 strategies that states and communities can use to improve health outcomes through transportation investments, including by expanding walking, bicycling and transit infrastructure, promoting connectivity, and improving roadway safety.

To view the new online tool, click here.

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