New Online Tool from USDOT Provides Health Info for Transportation Systems

New Online Tool from USDOT Provides Health Info for Transportation Systems
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November 04, 2015

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), transportation lovers now have a new tool that can be used to gather data on how transportation may be affecting everyone's health.

The site compiles data on how all states and communities are performing on a rage of health-related transportation indicators. The Transportation and Health Tool proves a single site for state and local transportation decision-makers and health officials to understand how their transportations system may affect the health of residents.

"This tool provides transportation and public health officials with a starting point for a dialog on how transportation investments can help protect human health," USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

The indicators help communities see how they perform in comparison to other states or communities on a variety of transportation measures that affect health. Walking, bicycling, and transit provide healthy physical activity, so indicators in the tool provide various measures of how many people are using these methods of transportation.

For example, North Carolina ranks in the 25th percentile for the percentage of people who travel by automotive vehicle (car, taxi, motorcycle, etc.) and the 31st percentile for those who travel by public transit. South Carolina, on the other hand, scored in the 17th and 19th percentiles, respectively.

More people in South Carolina, though, commuted by walking. South Carolina scored in the 26th percentile compared to North Carolina which scored in the 19th percentile.

Transportation decisions also affect the surrounding community, so several indicators measure an area's housing and transportation affordability, and proximity to roadways with heavy traffic. Indicators also measure an area's safety performance through road traffic fatalities and seat belt use.

Indicators can also be used to compare urban municipalities in a state.

After looking up state or local indicator results, users are directed to 25 strategies that states and communities can use to improve health outcomes through transportation investments, including by expanding walking, bicycling and transit infrastructure, promoting connectivity, and improving roadway safety.

For more information, the Transportation and Health Tool is available at: