Traffic Speed Impacts on State Highway 99 in Corvallis, Oregon

At a Glance:

Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Date: 2013

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Reliable Transportation

Determinants of Health: nutrition, active transportation, traffic safety, physical activity, traffic safety

Affected Population: Children and Youth

Research Methods: Primary research, Literature review

Community Types: urban

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Benton County Health Services (BCHS) conducted an HIA to assess potential impacts of a 25 mile-per-hour speed limit on a one-mile stretch of Highway 99W, which is South Third Street, in south Corvallis, Oregon. The HIA investigated potential impacts that a lower speed limit would have on active transportation, traffic safety, social networks, and access to goods and services. The HIA found that the BMI for south Corvallis adults is higher when compared to all adults living in Corvallis. The HIA also found that the rate of pedestrian and bicycle collisions on arterial roads (such as Highway 99W/South Third Street) is higher in south Corvallis when compared to all of Corvallis. Parents who were surveyed as part of the HIA cited volume and speed of traffic as issues that affect their decision to let children walk or bike to school.

The HIA recommended that the posted speed limit be lowered to 25 miles-per-hour and that the current school zone around Lincoln Elementary School be extended to include an activated crosswalk. The HIA also made several road improvement suggestions including extending the current median and planting trees; creating more sidewalks and expanding current sidewalks; and considering painted bike lanes and community signage.

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.

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