Although transportation and public health are often viewed separately, transportation has a direct impact on public health.
The addition of bike lanes and sidewalks encourages exercise while reducing emissions and the impact of asthma, allergies and other respiratory conditions.
Expansion of public transportation allows greater access to parks, jobs, healthy food stores, and health care facilities, which are all intimately tied to well-being.
Increased use of public transportation also reduces injuries and fatalities caused by traffic accidents.
With the Governor’s transportation proposal currently on the table, it is important to identify policies and projects that will work to improve public health. During this legislative session there is a great potential for major progress to be made in creating more health-conscious transportation policies.
Toby Fisher MBA MSW
Massachusetts Public Health Association