In 2018, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Center for Health Impact Evaluation conducted an HIA using the Integrated Transportation and Health Model to quantify the health impacts of the City of Los Angeles Mobility Plan 2035—an updated transportation element of the city’s general plan—applying a health lens to the various policy, programmatic, and project options available to Los Angeles’ planning and transportation officials.
The report found that practices implemented outside the Mobility Plan, such as enhancing public transit and light rail access, will have the greatest effect on reducing vehicle miles traveled and promoting associated health benefits. And other research suggests that aligning multimodal transportation networks with existing and future commercial and residential development can also reduce car travel. The HIA’s modeling predicted that the increases in bicycling and walking promoted under the Mobility Plan could lead to high rates of traffic-related injuries or death, but those forecasts did not account for the road and sidewalk safety improvements included in the plan.
The HIA issued the following recommendations:
- Prioritize policies, projects, and programs that increase walking and cycling.
- Leverage transit infrastructure funding to encourage a reduction in car travel.
- Invest in strategies to reduce pedestrian and bicycle traffic injuries and fatalities.
- Promote equitable implementation of transportation policies, projects, and programs.
- Improve data reporting and sharing to facilitate assessment of health impacts for various local transportation planning efforts.
The HIA report was used to promote the implementation of transportation projects in the plan and increased awareness among Los Angeles transportation planners and policymakers about the health impacts of transportation plans.
This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.