There is growing value in developing regional transportation plans that foster safer, healthier, and more environmentally sustainable communities. Greater rates of active travel (walking and biking) can lead to improved health outcomes due to increases in physical activity and air quality improvements, although they also increase risks of traffic injury. Analytical tools that evaluate the distribution of outcomes and the tradeoffs between transportation plan alternatives are needed to inform public debate and ensure that gains in some health outcomes are not being undermined by losses elsewhere. Additionally, there is a need to evaluate the impacts of transportation plans on different demographic groups to work toward more equitable outcomes.
This policy brief summarizes findings from a project that created a tool to investigate the distribution of public health impacts resulting from the implementation of a regional transportation plan in the six-county Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) region.