George Road Complete Streets Implementation Plan
- Published By
- Health Impact Project
The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) conducted a health impact assessment of the George Road Complete Streets Implementation Plan, which aimed to provide a safe bicycle and pedestrian connection between the Town ‘N’ Country Greenway and the Courtney Campbell Trail.
The study found that the plan would probably benefit residents’ health by decreasing stress and crime while increasing physical activity levels, access to nature, and use of the regional trail system. Potential harms include increased exposure to heat and pollutants and aggravating respiratory illnesses.
The HIA recommended several steps the county could take to promote positive impacts and mitigate negative effects, including:
- Increasing outdoor lighting along the corridor.
- Reducing speed limits and including traffic-calming features in the road’s design.
- Encouraging landscaping and planting allergy-friendly shade trees in the corridor.
- Providing education about how to avoid aggravating respiratory illnesses.
- Installing drinking fountains and park benches along the corridor.
- Adopting a binding complete streets policy, which would require new and redesigned roads to include sidewalks and bicycle lanes and would be stronger than the existing MPO resolution.
- Developing screening criteria for future HIAs based on the cost, location, and affected populations of MPO projects or plans and a Health in All Policies resolution.
- Representing the Hillsborough County Department of Health on the MPO’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory and Technical Advisory committees.
The county adopted the Complete Streets Implementation Plan and funded the George Road Complete Street project to begin in fiscal year 2023 as part of the 2019 five-year Transportation Improvement Plan. Since publication of the HIA, DOH-Hillsborough staff have joined the MPO’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory and Technical Advisory committees and the MPO adopted a Health in All Policies resolution.
This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.