Mr. Sean Co, Active Transportation Planner, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Transportation and public health have been linked together with a common goal to reduce emissions from automobiles. In recent years, public health advocates looking for solutions to the growing obesity epidemic, have worked with transportation planners to encourage physical activity in daily travel. MTC conducted a benefit cost analysis for projects that defined transportation and land use decisions for the future. Projects were assessed based on the monetized benefits of transportation metrics but also included the health impacts of increased walk and bicycle trips to provide a direct public health benefit otherwise not considered in traditional transportation benefit cost analysis. In scenarios with high active transportation levels 14% fewer premature deaths due to cardiovascular disease and diabetes resulted in improvements in public health and reductions in health care costs.