(York County, SC) COVID has taught us to focus on our health and on public health. We learned that healthier people survived COVID better. We know that being productive and holding a job is easier when we are well. Healthier kids are more able to focus and study and do better in school. So many factors contribute to good health, such as access to work, education, healthy food – and some of these factors are predictable by zip code. In July’s Bike/Ped Coalition (BPC) of York County meeting, BPC member and transit consultant Steve Yaffe shared with us the connection between transportation and health. How can you get to a doctor’s appointment or supermarket if you don’t have transportation? How can you go for a walk if you don’t have safe trails or sidewalks?
Tangible Goals Would Benefit Our Communities
By presenting “Connecting Transportation and Health: A Guide to Communication and Collaboration,” Mr. Yaffe hopes to facilitate partnerships between health and transportation advocates and professionals. He also is advocating for transportation projects to include public health and equity perspectives, and public health projects to include transportation and equity. He recommends the guidebook as a resource – identifying challenges and best practices for successful communication between transportation and public health professionals.
Key intersections of transportation and health are: safety and injury prevention; physical activity / active transportation; air quality; connectivity and access; evacuation and emergency response; and equity.
What We Can Do – Speak Up!
Speaking up can make a difference! BPC suggested and successfully advocated for inclusion of a median bike/ped pathway on State Route 160 over the I-77 interchange. And supported local citizen’s efforts to get a Whites Road continuous sidewalk connecting multiple neighborhoods, including Dominion Bridge, with nearby schools, including Catawba Ridge High School.
Steve challenged each of us to take two actions over the next month: 1) Identify at least one way you can apply a lesson from this guide. 2) Have a conversation about collaboration with other health and transportation advocates and planners.
Other recent BPC advocacy efforts include:
- Input into York County Council public hearings, in collaboration with Eat Smart Move More York County, March 27, 2021
- Input into municipal planning organization’s long-range transportation plan Nov. 25, 2020
- Input on SC Department of Transportation’s multimodal transportation plan Aug. 23, 2020
Resources Recommended by Steve Yaffe
- TRBhealth.org – TRB welcomes your feedback, and asks, what collaborations are you undertaking in your community?
- https://www.nadtc.org/ – diversity resources
About Steve Yaffe
Steve Yaffe (Yaffe Mobility Consulting, firstname.lastname@example.org) oversaw planning and operations for Arlington County Virginia’s local fixed-route and demand response transit until retiring in 2018. He is a consultant and Easterseals contractor for the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center – www.nadtc.org. Mr. Yaffe is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Transit Data Committee, is a past member of the TRB Paratransit Committee, and co-chaired the 2019 TRB International Conference on Demand Responsive Transportation. He also was a member of the Fairfax Area Long Term Care Coordinating Council and the board of the ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia, a center for independent living. Steve chairs the Transit Family of Services Committee and is the Board Secretary of the International Professional Association for Transport & Health (IPATH) – https://www.ipathinc.org