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BOTTINEAU TRANSITWAY HEALTH INITIATIVES
Health Impact Assessment (HIA)
An HIA is a new evaluation tool focused on the health of communities. HIAs study the potential effects that a proposed policy or project could have on the health of a population, and how those effects are distributed. These types of assessments are based on the principle that health starts in the environments where people live, work and play – long before illness begins.
The Bottineau Transitway HIA focuses on the connections between health, transit and land use along the Bottineau Transitway. Specific connections studied include physical activity, location affordability (the combined cost of housing and transportation in a given neighborhood), employment, access to education, traffic safety, and access to healthy food. The HIA includes recommendations for incorporating health into ongoing planning in this corridor. Hennepin County is the lead agency and is working in collaboration with community, government, and non-profit stakeholders. The draft HIA report was released for public review on July 15 and the public comment period closed September 27, 2013. A summary of public comments is being prepared and will be available in late 2013.
For more information and to view the Draft Bottineau Transitway Health Impact Assessment, visit www.hennepin.us/bottineauhia
Health Equity-focused Community Engagement
As a follow up to the HIA, Hennepin County and Nexus Community Partners will engage communities along the Bottineau Transitway around health as it relates to the transitway. This community engagement will begin in the fall of 2013, and continue for several years as the “station areas” – the areas around the proposed stations for Bottineau – are planned.
Station area plans will help inform and shape the built environment, areas of stability, and areas likely to change over time. Areas of change will be evaluated in both the short- and long-term. Health equity considerations play a crucial role in ensuring the Bottineau station areas support populations with higher risks for poor health including low-income and minority populations in these communities. Community engagement activities will begin with the communities around the Van White, Penn Avenue, Plymouth Avenue, and Golden Valley Road station areas. Engagement strategies will include hands-on experiences, educational sessions and conversations to find out first-hand from residents how their current and potential transportation options may impact their health. Hennepin County is the lead agency on the community engagement effort as well, and is working in collaboration with Nexus Community Partners and community stakeholders.