ITE Journal - July 2020 - 23

A Call for Action
Though COVID-19 has highlighted many inequities in
our transportation system, we can use this time to rebuild
our communities with equity and people in mind.
COVID-19 has shown that there are new ways to
design streets at a rapid pace using tactical urbanism
tools and information at our fingertips to make quick
transportation decisions to create complete streets that
create complete trips for all road users. We can help support local businesses and restaurants by making it easier
and safer for people to walk and roll to those destinations.
We can build transportation projects and pass land use
regulations that build communities where your health
is a priority. We can reclaim our public realm for people
by redesigning our roads for all modes. We can work to
embed more inclusive practices into how we engage communities so we reflect the needs of all those historically
left out of the planning process into the rebuilding efforts.
We can make it easier for people to walk, roll, or take
transit to work, helping us meet our climate goals. We can
invest more funding into transportation projects that help
everyone, not just drivers, get to their jobs and healthcare
in a safe, affordable, convenient, and reliable way.
COVID-19 is challenging each of us to look at the
way we work and how we can help create resilient
communities. As transportation professionals, we are in
a unique place to help be part of the rebuilding process.
We should use our position to make sure we put people
and equity first now and in the future. itej

Seattle Department of Transportation

However, this is not because the virus targets certain
communities. It is because, in part, the race-based
policies and practices we used to build our communities
resulted in vast health disparities across neighborhoods.
COVID-19 is a wakeup call that we must focus our work
on undoing the harm caused by these policies and working with communities to co-create healthy places for all.
To continue to reduce health disparities, we should:
*		 Continue to track data and lift up the stories of
how certain communities are most disproportionately impacted by the built environment.
*		 Institutionalize the needs of the racial and ethnic
groups into all of our work. For example, we
should make sure all of our transportation and
land use plans prioritize historically marginalized
populations first.
*		 Partner with public health to align goals and priorities to support the health of all, with an emphasis
on those facing the greatest health disparities.

Seattle, WA, USA closed off 20 miles of streets permanently to traffic so that
residents can walk, bike, and recreate safely.

References

1.	 The League of American Bicyclists. 2018 Benchmarking Report on Bicycling and Walking.
2018. https://bikeleague.org/benchmarking-report (Accessed June 8, 2020).
2.	 National Association of Realtors. NAR Community and Transportation Preferences Surveys.
2017. https://www.nar.realtor/reports/nar-community-and-transportation-preferences-surveys
(Accessed June 8, 2020).
3.	 K. Swordfisk. "Portland State study finds bike
lanes provide positive economic impact."
April 22, 2020. https://www.pdx.edu/news/
portland-state-study-finds-bike-lanes-provide-positive-economic-impact (Accessed June 8, 2020).
4.	 S. Syed, B. Gerber, L.K. Sharp. Traveling Towards
Disease: Transportation Barriers to Health Care
Access. J Community Health. 2013. https://www.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265215
(Accessed June 8, 2020).
5.	 The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School. Non-Emergency
Medical Transportation: Past, Present, and
Future of a Critical Service. June 2018. https://
www.chlpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/
Non-EMT-Transportation_Issue-Brief-1.pdf
(Accessed June 8, 2020).
6.	 K. Gibbs, S.J. Slater, N. Nicholson, D.C. Barker,
and F.J. Chaloupka. Income Disparities in
Street Features that Encourage Walking - A
BTG Research Brief. Chicago, IL: Bridging
w w w .i t e.or g

J u ly 2020

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https://www.bikeleague.org/benchmarking-report https://www.bikeleague.org/benchmarking-report https://www.nar.realtor/reports/nar-community-and-transportation-preferences-surveys https://www.nar.realtor/reports/nar-community-and-transportation-preferences-surveys https://www.pdx.edu/news/portland-state-study-finds-bike-lanes-provide-positive-economic-impact https://www.pdx.edu/news/portland-state-study-finds-bike-lanes-provide-positive-economic-impact https://www.pdx.edu/news/portland-state-study-finds-bike-lanes-provide-positive-economic-impact https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265215 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265215 http://www.chlpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Non-EMT-Transportation_Issue-Brief-1.pdf http://www.chlpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Non-EMT-Transportation_Issue-Brief-1.pdf http://www.chlpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Non-EMT-Transportation_Issue-Brief-1.pdf http://www.ite.org

ITE Journal - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - July 2020

ITE Journal - July 2020 - Cover1
ITE Journal - July 2020 - Cover2
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ITE Journal - July 2020 - Cover3
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