Health Impact Assessment of Route 34 / Downtown Crossing Phase One: Promoting Pedestrian and Bicyclist Physical Activity and Safety

Report by Clara Filice, MD, MPH and Gregg Furie, MD of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program
April 2012

DataHaven   (New Haven - Connecticut)

Note: This is not a publication of DataHaven. DataHaven served on the advisory group for the report.

New Haven, Connecticut plans to redevelop Route 34 East in a project called the Downtown Crossing project. The full Downtown Crossing project will replace Route 34 East with ten acres of developable land. The first phase of the project, Phase I, focuses on converting the North and South Frontage Roads into city streets. These improvements will be completed in the next few years, and will lay the groundwork for the rest of the Downtown Crossing project. To contribute a health perspective to the Downtown Crossing project, the authors partnered with members of the City of New Haven government and the local organization DataHaven to think about ways to make it easier for people to walk, run or bicycle in a safe environment around the Route 34 East Corridor. We used a tool called health impact assessment (HIA) to guide our work. Health impact assessment is a systematic, evidence-based approach used to predict health impacts of public projects like the Downtown Crossing project. Based on its findings, recommendations to optimize health impacts are proposed to decision makers during the design process.