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Transportation is the linchpin that allows us to function in our daily lives. Whether we move by foot, bicycle, car, bus, skateboard, or wheelchair, we all need to travel to meet everyday needs. We use transportation to buy food, find housing, get to school and work, access recreational opportunities, visit friends and family, and obtain health care and government services - as well as get to literally everything else we do outside our homes. But our society suffers from considerable inequity, and transportation is no exception. Low-income people and people of color in the United States face transportation hurdles that can mean that just accessing basic needs is time consuming, dangerous, and sometimes almost impossible. Instead of travel time allowing people to safely and conveniently get the physical activity they need while accomplishing daily objectives, travel is instead a source of stress that undermines health. Without safe and convenient transportation, low-income families can remain trapped in poverty, unable to access the employment and educational opportunities necessary to succeed. Healthy food, safe playgrounds, high-quality schools, health care, and other services - our transportation system allows some to access these with ease, but creates significant impediments for others.
Increasing walking and bicycling improves health and livability for community members. Cities and counties that go about making improvements to walking and bicycling in their communities must make sure that improvements are well-thought out, community supported, and effective. This guide can help decisionmakers follow a comprehensive streets policy while still advancing the interests of bicycling and walking, ensuring that residents are able to safely use streets regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. Recommendations include city-level ordinances and department policies, and the report includes successful case studies from cities around the US.
The Engineering Solutions Guide presents street design strategies to address traffic safety concerns commonly identified in school areas and along the routes to school. The guide includes evidence-based strategies that keep children safe by constructing streets, sidewalks, and paths that reduce or eliminate unsafe behaviors and conflicts between drivers and people walking or biking. Recommendations are organized into four categories: reducing vehicle speeds, pedestrian crossings, bicycle connectivity, and intersection safety.
Health impact assessments are a useful tool to help make the case for the many benefits of safe routes and park access. Decisionmakers often want data to help weigh costs and benefits of a change. This factsheet can help advocates engage stakeholders and gather data in support of park access and provides further resources for local decisionmakers interested in conducting an impact assessment in their community.
This report provides an introduction to metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) for those who want to influence regional planning to benefit health, active transportation, and equity. The report details the structure of MPOs, the relationship between MPOs and other agencies and organizations, and the roles that MPOs play, with a focus on how MPOs can support equitable communities. The report includes recommendations for stakeholders seeking to interact with MPOs and influence transportation reform in their community.
In California, communities with populations that are predominantly Latinx and low-income suffer the greatest burden of pollution and bad air quality, in addition to lacking infrastructure that makes streets safe for walking and biking. Yet for many residents, walking or taking transit are their only options for transportation. For advocates working to advance policies and programs that support healthy, active communities, it is crucial to connect active transportation issues with environmental justice. In Muscoy, CA, grassroots efforts focused on improving walking and bicycling conditions, safety, and reducing local air pollution.
This guide provides a framework to increase safe and equitable access to parks and green spaces. It focuses on access to parks via active transportation as well as ensuring a high-quality, safe experience within the park itself. The guide includes recommendations to help local decisionmakers identify goals and actionable steps, utilize data to drive the decision-making process, and find partners within their community.
No one should have to risk their life or spend hundreds of hours a year traveling simply to access healthy food. In too many neighborhoods and communities, local stores do not sell fresh produce or other healthy options, and transportation obstacles make getting to healthy foods dangerous, time-consuming, and expensive. This report reviews the problem of transportation access to healthy food, describes a vision for addressing it, and lays out a set of recommendations for policies and practices that can let people safely access healthy food by foot, bicycle, or transit.
Transportation plays a critical role in the health and economic development of a metropolitan area. When people have the ability to walk, bike, or take transit safely to a destination, the whole region benefits from healthier people, better air quality, and reduced traffic fatalities. This guide provides recommendations metropolitan planning organizations can undertake to increase funding and community approval for projects.