Finding strategies to improve transportation and community health
Each American takes an average of four trips a day, whether that’s by car, bus, train, bike or foot, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. And the ability to access and use systems that support daily journeys to work, school, the grocery store or a friend’s house can impact the health of individuals and communities.
The specific ways we travel and the systems that determine how we access transportation also play a role. For example, data show that dependence on cars leads to thousands of traffic-related deaths, higher rates of obesity and increased air pollution linked to asthma and other illnesses. People who live in rural areas without sidewalks or easy access to public transportation systems may disproportionately experience these impacts.
By adopting policies and programs related to transportation — making transit safer, shared, accessible, equitable, greener and more active — we can improve health in our communities. Our team recently updated several transportation-related strategies in our What Works for Health database. The strategies feature the latest research, evidence and implementation examples. They include:
- Complete Streets and streetscape designs
- bicycle infrastructure for enhanced cycling safety
- bike and pedestrian master plans
- carpool and rideshare programs
- individual incentives for public transportation
- Open Streets
- public transportation systems
- rural transportation services
- Safe Routes to Schools
- traffic calming
Click on a strategy to learn more, or search more than 400 strategies by topic in the What Works for Health database.