Mapping the connection between transportation and public health
- By Derek Major
- Nov 05, 2015
The Transportation and Health Tool -- a joint creation of the Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- provides online information to help officials gauge how transportation issues affect public health.
The web-based tool provides data on a set of transportation and public health indicators for both cities and states, showing how the transportation environment affects safety, air quality and connectivity to destinations. Officials can use the tool to quickly see how their area compares with others in addressing key transportation and health issues.
The THT assigns scores on 14 indicators, including alcohol-impaired fatalities, proximity to major roadways, seat belt use, vehicle miles traveled per capita and use of federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian efforts. Users can see the results of particular indicators by state, urbanized area or metropolitan statistical area at the THT website, or they can download a spreadsheet of the data.
The site also offers a list of 25 strategies that states and communities can use to improve public health through transportation investments, such as expanding biking and walking lanes and improving roadway safety.
The THT is available here, and a DOT-CDC webinar offers an overview and demonstration of the tool.
Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.