The Alaska Public Health Association passed a series of resolutions at the Alaska Health Summit on Dec. 7-9 in Anchorage. One of the resolutions is about “improving health through transportation and land use policies” (link opens PDF file of resolution).
According to the resolution:
Transportation and land use policies are significant factors in the built environment and impact rates of injury and death due to traffic crashes, ease and safety of physical activity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and access to key community resources such as health care and healthy food. Transportation and land development patterns have historically favored automobile travel, spawned sprawling development, and have taken an unnecessary toll on human life.1
This resolution considers four major health impacts of transportation and land use policies that take the largest tolls on health, social equity, and the economy: (1) traffic injuries and fatalities, (2) physical activity and non-motorized transportation, (3) air and water quality, and (4) the disparate impact on vulnerable populations.
The five-page resolution (two pages are study citations) recommends more transportation funding for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, the use of the Complete Streets model when designing new streets, removing barriers for biking and walking while keeping bikers and walkers safe from motorized traffic, etc. The resolution also recommends involving community members more when planning improvements to a community, and it also recommends using Health Impact Assessments when planning to make sure a community’s health is part of the planning. To read the full resolution, click the link below to download a PDF file.