Taking a holistic approach to transportation planning improves quality of life and promotes better health outcomes for everyone in Central Florida. Transportation professionals and health practitioners join in a collaborative process aimed at developing travel options that promote healthy, active lifestyles. Here are some ways MetroPlan Orlando supports public health:
- Encouraging safe behaviors by everyone who uses our roads – motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
- Promoting transportation options that improve access to healthcare, education, jobs, recreational activities and healthier foods.
- Suggesting alternative options to single-occupant vehicles through rideshare programs or rail and bus transit, which helps improve air quality.
- Offering ideas on increasing physical activity through active transportation and recreational trails, which can help prevent weight gain and build stronger bodies.
- Inspiring sustainable land planning that focuses on developing walkable communities.
- Enhancing public spaces through the Complete Streets program, which considers the needs of all users.
As we pursue a Health in all Policies Through Transportation Planning approach, we are building on recent work:
- In the next five years, the region is investing nearly $600 million to support healthy behaviors, such as walking, biking, and using transit
- The adoption and implementation of local Complete Streets policies across the region
INVEST Research Project
In 2017, The Federal Highway Administration awarded MetroPlan Orlando a grant to implement the Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool (INVEST). MetroPlan Orlando is using the funds to incorporate measurable health and sustainability principles into our regional transportation planning. The project has three phases:
1) Evaluating Existing and Current Processes. INVEST has 17 best practices for regional planning, which build off MetroPlan Orlando’s health audit. These include such ideas as engaging local public health officials in transportation planning.
2) Hosting the Transportation Think-In: Making 2045 Healthy, Sustainability, and Resilient. This forum, held in February 2018, offered direction on how the regional transportation plan for the year 2045 can produce more return on investment through health, environmental, and economic benefits. Read a summary report from the event here:
3) Issuing Strategy Reports. These will provide data analysis and insights for the 2045 regional transportation plan, our public opinion efforts, and other documents.
SR50 Health Impact Assessment
MetroPlan Orlando conducted the region’s first transportation health impact assessment in partnership with the Winter Park Health Foundation and the University of Central Florida (UCF). The HIA studied the corridor covering SR 50 (Colonial Drive) from Powers Drive on the west, past downtown Orlando, continuing east and then turning north along SR 434 (Alafaya Trail) next to the UCF Main Campus and ending at Mitchell Hammock Road in the City of Oviedo in Seminole County. Read the final report below.
auditing our transportation plans
The region’s transportation system can promote healthy lifestyles in several ways, and it starts with plans that take public health into account. MetroPlan Orlando recently examined how existing planning documents perform under a health lens.
The audit analyzed five documents: Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Strategic Business Plan, Freight Plan, Prioritized Project List (PPL), and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Here is a summary of results:
For more information on MetroPlan Orlando’s efforts in this area, contact Elizabeth Whitton, AICP, at 407-481-5672 x312 or email@example.com.