The Built Environment Impacts Health Equity
The built environment impacts health equity. If someone lives next to a trail or a park, they may be more inclined to get exercise than someone who does not. If public transit is available, more people may be able to make medical appointments to receive care that may otherwise go unattended to. If a community road system has bike lanes, more people might use their bikes to go to work, thereby minimizing their impact to the environment while getting physical activity.
Transportation options are indicative of community values and equity. Providing a variety of transportation options for all populations, including vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, promotes health equity. If driving is the primary modality then lack of mobility can cause further disparities.
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Personal responsibility plays a key role in health, but the choices we make depend on the choices available to us. We must work together to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to make healthy choices, and to achieve better health for all.” Equality simply isn’t good enough.
If you’re interested in learning more about transportation planning efforts in Franklin County, check out the following!
Countywide Long-Range Transportation Plan – Public Comments Accepted Until Nov. 5
In Franklin County, many local governments are responsible for transportation planning and providing services and infrastructure that supports multiple transportation modes and multiple user groups. While Franklin County is considered rural, it is the 4th fastest growing County and must work to balance growth with demands on the transportation system.
Franklin County Government is charged with creating a Long-Range Transportation Plan which details transportation goals and objectives and considers issues and opportunities over a 20-year planning horizon. The LRTP identifies proposed projects aligned with the goals. The plan guides investment in transportation improvements; LRTPs are required in order to qualify for state and federal transportation funding. A Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) oversees the development of the LRTP. The 2013 plan was recently updated and a draft is currently available for review.
The LRTP includes a transportation analysis of the transportation system in Franklin County, including road conditions, traffic volume, bridge conditions, public (para) transit services, pedestrian and bike crash hot spots, commuter modes and flow patterns, rail and freight network, economic drivers, crash statistics and more. It also includes projects that will be funded in the short –, mid – and – long term.
Public comments are being submitted through November 5.
South Mountain Partnership Trails Workshop: Building Strong Community Connections – Registration Deadline Nov. 5
Registration is now open for the South Mountain Partnership Trails Workshop: Building Strong Communities Connections. This one-day workshop will take place at Shippensburg University on November 20, 2018. The cost is just $10, which includes breakfast, lunch, and reception! Less than 100 spots are available, so register early. The deadline is November 5 or until tickets sell out.
The workshop is open to all, especially people who are involved in designing, building, and maintaining trails and/or bike lanes. One track is geared toward trail building and maintaining groups while the other is geared toward municipalities and government agencies. An optional mobile session will take attendees out onto the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail.
Workshop sessions include:
– Designing trails for local needs
– How to work with PennDOT to get bike lanes funded, designed, and built
– How to engage and retain volunteers
– Building municipal and community support for trails
– And many others
To learn more about transportation planning for all, check out these resources: