Post Content

Proximity of transportation can have a major impact on people’s health for better or worse.  Having easy access to transportation is an important benefit to people, but proximity can work against health as well—it can impede quality of life in a number of ways, including air quality, noise, pedestrian safety, and aesthetically.

That is why the Transportation Reform Law in Massachusetts included not only realignment of agencies in order to make operations more efficient, but mandated that health be considered in future transportation projects.  By requiring that health impact assessments (HIAs) be factored in to decisions around transportation, Massachusetts has become a leader in the nation.

MA health and transportation officials are piloting an HIA as part of  the Grounding McGrath Highway  Transportation Study.  This is the first step of a  long-term project.  The Grounding McGrath Study and the HIA are not only looking at the best way to address traffic issues on a major thoroughfare, but is also focusing on reducing environmental hazards and safety issues associated with the current configuration, and ultimately creating a design that actually promotes healthy behaviors by encouraging physical activity with a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly design.

Critical to this process is a newly formed partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Department of Transportation.  Of paramount importance is the collaboration occurring right from the start with the community that is affected by these decisions.  By forming these partnerships to protect and improve the health of people affected by the McGrath Highway, Massachusetts is working toward goals set forth in the National Prevention Strategy.  Indeed Massachusetts is on the move. 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Asbestos: An Old Health Hazard Still With Us Today posted on Jun 20

Asbestos: An Old Health Hazard Still With Us Today

Think back to when you were in school – do you remember seeing pipes that looked like they were covered in white paper mache and those colorful floor tiles?  There is a good chance that those pipe coverings and floor tiles contained asbestos. Asbestos is   …Continue Reading Asbestos: An Old Health Hazard Still With Us Today

Highlights of the June 14th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Jun 14

This month’s PHC meeting included a single Determination of Need (DON) request, a series of updates on the status of proposed amendments to regulations, a vote on a final amendment, and an informational update for members on tickborne illness surveillance in Massachusetts. First, the Council   …Continue Reading Highlights of the June 14th Public Health Council Meeting

“Kids Can’t Fly: Window Safety for Warmer Weather” posted on Jun 6

“Kids Can’t Fly: Window Safety for Warmer Weather”

Warmer weather is here and it is time to open up the windows and let fresh air in! Sadly, while spring and summer bring warmer weather, this time of year we hear about children seriously injuring themselves or even sometimes dying from a fall. A leading   …Continue Reading “Kids Can’t Fly: Window Safety for Warmer Weather”