What is a healthy transportation environment?
Roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, and pedestrian crossings need to be safe and enjoyable to encourage people to walk or bike. How we get around has a profound impact on our health. People who walk, bike, or take public transit to work, get regular exercise that helps keep them healthy.
Much of our transportation environment is expensive to build and difficult to change. Careful county, city, and individual project planning is essential to a healthy transportation environment.
Examples of planning choices that can keep our transportation environments healthier are traffic calming features like trees and narrow lanes to discourage speeding, highly visible pedestrian crossings, protected bike lanes, and useable and attractive streetscapes.
To learn more about how communities affect a person's health, visit our Healthy Communities Washington website.
Why is a health transportation environment important to me?
- During the last five years, Washington State has averaged more than 41 fatal or serious crashes for every 100,000 people. That's more than ten times as many people killed or injured by a firearm assault.
- In Washington 72.9% of working adults commute to work alone in their cars compared to 4.4% who walk or bike.
- Crashes that involve alcohol tend to have greater rates in rural areas while crashes involving bicycles and pedestrians tend to be in urban areas.
View the Data
You can also explore WTN's Information by Location (IBL) mapping tool transportation measures along with community characteristics, social determinants, and health outcomes to see differences between communities in Washington.
For information or questions related to the Washington Tracking Network, email DOH.WTN@doh.wa.gov.
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