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Incorporating "Health" and "Active Transportation" into Policies

This section of WhatWorks presents examples of policies as well as resources to assist decision/policy-makers, both government and school-based, in the development of policies and strategies that promote active transportation and/or health.

For purposes of this guide, active transportation is defined as walking, biking, and public transit. Public transit is considered active transportation because it most often involves an active mode at the beginning or end of the trip.

NOTE: By no means is the following intended to be all inconclusive nor serve as a regulatory function.

Best Complete Street Initiatives 2017

In lieu of its usual annual report of the best policies, to celebrate a new and important framework, this year the National Complete Streets Coalition is highlighting 12 of the best Complete Streets initiatives, projects, and champions around the country in The Best Complete Streets Initiatives of 2017. These communities exemplify what the Coalition suggests in all policies with regard to implementation and equity.

Source: Smart Growth America

Drafting Effective Policies – Public Health Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law

This fact sheet provides checklists and tools to help users understand the process of drafting policy and, further, how to draft well-written policies that will help achieve public health goals.

Source: Public Health Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law

Policy Options for Local Governments in Kansas: Increasing Walking and Bicycling, January 2015

This resource describes policies that can be used by local governments to increase bicycling and walking within their communities. It provides the context for policies being utilized across Kansas and elsewhere to increase walking and bicycling for both active transportation and recreation.

Source: Public Health Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law

Moving Toward Shared Responsibility for Population Health; Incorporating Health in All Policies

Integrating health into transportation and land-use policies and plans and, thereby, expanding the availability of safety for, and access to transportation options has the potential to save lives by preventing chronic disease, reducing and preventing motor-vehicle-related and deaths, and improving environmental health - all while stimulating economic development and ensuring access for all people. The focus of this policy brief is on the importance and value of institutionalizing health considerations into decision-making with specific focus on physical activity.

Source: University of Pittsburgh, Center for Public Health Practice

Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments

This resource was written by the public health facilitators of the California Health in All Policies Task Force and is geared toward state and local government leaders who seek to use intersectoral collaboration to promote healthy environments. It provides a broad range of perspectives and examples of the numerous ways to support such collaboration. While much of the information may appear intuitive or self-evident, the authors' experiences suggest that careful consideration of basic concepts, such as relationship building and decision making, is very helpful in pursuing the broad range of activities that fall within Health in All Policies.

Source: Rudolph, L., Caplan, J., Ben-Moshe, K., & Dillon, L. (2013). Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments. Washington, DC and Oakland, CA: American Public Health Association and Public Health Institute.

CDC Recommendations for Improving Health through Transportation Policy

This document identifies transportation policies that can have profound positive impact on health and, further, lists key recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for bringing public health considerations into transportation issues.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Walking School Bus: Combining Safety, Fun and the Walk to School

This guide outlines the benefits of starting a walking school bus as well as points to consider before launching it. Two general ways to conduct a walking school bus are described: (1) starting simple with a small group of friends or neighbors; and (2) creating a more structured program to reach more children. The benefits, considerations and variations -- of both options -- are detailed so that organizers can choose the approach that matches local needs. Examples of walking school buses and bicycle trains are included. This document would be useful to those schools considering the development of related policies.

Source: National Center for Safe Routes to Schools and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (both of the University of North Carolina)

Getting the Wheels Rolling; A Guide to Using Policy to Create Bicycle Friendly Communities

This guide addresses how policies can remove obstacles to bicycling, create incentives for bicycling infrastructure, and make it easier and safer to bicycle. It suggests to policymakers where to start and spells out how to effectively use policy to promote bicycling.

Source: ChangeLab Solutions

A National Joint Use Toolkit

This guide is designed to help school staff and other community leaders craft and implement joint use agreements. Complete with model agreement language and success stories, it provides an overview of the most common ways to finance joint use arrangements and guidance on how to overcome obstacles that may arise in negotiating and enforcing a joint use agreement.

Source:ChangeLab Solutions

Components of Local Land Development and Related Zoning Policies Associated with Increased Walking

This document provides a primer for public health practitioners and others interested in engaging with local planning and zoning officials. It outlines policy-related strategies that support walkability, including an overview of effects the built environment can have on increasing opportunities for walking. Strategies for incorporating pedestrian-oriented provisions into land development plans and zoning codes are also provided.

Last update: January 2019. New documentation shall be added as it is identified.