Developing Performances Measures to Capture the Effects of Transportation Facilities on Multiple Public Health Outcomes

Programs such as Safe Routes to School (SRTS), have received federal support to improve safety on walking and bicycling routes to school and encourage more children and families to travel using these modes; however, empirical evidence suggests this type of transportation facility investment may influence public health outcomes. The program is designed to work at the community level in five areas (evaluation, education, encouragement, engineering and enforcement) to address health, safety and traffic concerns that include: increasing safe, convenient physical activity for children; decreasing traffic congestion; and improving air quality for communities. While evidence suggests a relationship between the built environment, school-focused interventions, and public health outcomes, there is less evidence of the holistic effects of particular types of transportation facilities on public health objectives. For example, while active modes of transportation may improve physical activity, increasing physical activity might also expose students to higher levels of air pollutants or put children in unsafe conditions. The purpose of the proposed project is to develop performance measures that take into account the multiple public health goals of transportation facilities. The development of such measures can enhance knowledge in this area and improve the information available to decision-makers on the effects of transportation facilities on the multiple public health objectives of safety, air quality and physical activity. Specifically, the research team will develop performance measures related to air quality, safety and physical activity, pilot these measures in two locations, Kalamazoo, Michigan and Arlington, Texas, establish benchmarks for the measures that identify desirable and undesirable levels of performance, and develop a project-level performance tool. In addition, the research team will develop easy-to-understand educational materials that will be disseminated via a "Healthy Transportation Facilities" Web Page and through webinars to state and local policy decision makers.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


    TRC 14-2

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Western Michigan University

    1903 W. Michigan Avenue
    Kalamazoo, MI  United States  49008-5241

    Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities

    Western Michigan University
    Kalamazoo, MI  United States  49009-5316
  • Project Managers:

    Dunn, Denise

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas, Arlington

    Dept. of Civil Engineering
    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019
  • Principal Investigators:

    Williams, James

    Li, Jianling

    Mattingly, Stephen

    Casey, Colleen

  • Start Date: 20140701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20151231
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers
  • Subprogram: Research
  • Source Data: RiP Project 36932

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532770
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC60, TRC 14-2
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 6 2014 1:01AM