Safe Routes National Partnership connects public health to Complete Streets

by Stefani Cox

Safe Routes webinar

A recent webinar from Safe Routes to School National Partnership highlights the key role of cross-institutional collaboration in built environment work, particularly from public health professionals.

Leading with Health: Complete Streets and Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans on Tuesday, November 27th featured stakeholders from both the planning and public health worlds. They described how the tools of complete streets can be used to start conversations and pursue improved public health outcomes.

Michelle Lieberman, Senior Technical Assistance Manager with The Partnership, shared exactly how active transportation infrastructure and policies link up with public health. Initiatives that calm traffic and make cyclists and pedestrians feel safer encourage physical activity that leads to a healthier population. This is particularly important in low-infrastructure communities, including many low-income areas. A new report outlines how to pass active transportation policies and what should be in one.

Lieberman also emphasized that public health professionals are essential to built environment projects, since they are well-trained and adept at the process of evaluation. Additionally, they are skilled storytellers.

The webinar also hosted Melissa Henderson of Healthy by Design in Montana and Alexis Lantz with the PLACE program of LA County’s Public Health Department. They each described local efforts to help improve bike and pedestrian infrastructure and to make healthy choices easier.

>View a recording of the webinar here.

The Better Bike Share Partnership is funded by The JPB Foundation as a collaborative between the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the PeopleForBikes Foundation to build equitable and replicable bike share systems. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or sign up for our weekly newsletter. Story tip? Write