US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

US Department of Transportation

FHWA Planworks: Better Planning, Better Projects

Health in Transportation


Promoting health and quality of life for all individuals through organized efforts and informed choices is an interest in every community. Transportation decision making at the state, regional, and local level offers an opportunity to identify and consider the health implications of transportation options before making final decisions about infrastructure improvements. Specific concerns related to active transportation, safety, air quality, and noise are some common connections between transportation and public health. However, there are many other transportation-related health issues such as access to goods, services, and opportunities as well as health equity.

Specific health needs and priorities will vary by community. This means transportation practitioners must collaborate with health professionals, stakeholders, and other community groups early and often to identify transportation solutions that will support community health and help achieve shared goals.


Transportation agencies are investing in active transportation options, complete street design, safe routes to schools, and other programs that support healthy communities. One challenge to transportation practitioners is knowing when and how to specifically consider health implications. The Decision Guide contains useful information at individual Key Decisions during planning, programming, and project delivery. Hover over the highlighted Key Decisions in the image below to understand the specific relationship of health to the decision. Each highlighted Key Decision contains questions to consider, data, relationships to other planning processes, and examples from current practice to tailor to the specific health interests in any community. Key Decisions that are greyed-out have no specific relevance to the individual application or topic area but are still accessible from this graphic. Practitioners should also consider Safety, Human Environment and Communities, Stakeholder Collaboration, and Bicycles and Pedestrians Applications for additional health-related support. See Links to Applications in the Key Decision details.

Application Roles Example

The role of each partner changes from one Key Decision to another. Understanding partner roles and how they change throughout the process is essential to successful collaboration. The Decision Guide describes the four possible roles for partners at each Key Decision:

Application Role Index Table

lrp-icon
LRP

This is going to be replaced with a description for Long Range Transportation Planning.

pro-icon
PRO

This is going to be replaced with a description for Programming phase in the Decision Guide.

cor-icon
COR

Corridor Planning I'm sure has an important description that will be replaced with this sample text.

env-icon
ENV

Evironmental Review (NEPA) Merged with Permitting something something.

norole-icon
No Role

Does not participate because the resulting action is outside the agency’s interests and requirements.

LRP-1
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-1

Identify and invite health stakeholders to participate and define public health issues.Consider how transportation may influence health outcomes.
LRP-2
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-2

Consider the community’s health needs and goals when developing the transportation vision and goals.
LRP-3
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-3

Identify criteria, methods, and measures for evaluating potential health outcomes of various strategies and scenarios.
LRP-4
This Key Decision is not associated with application
LRP-5
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-5

Identify and consider options for financing health-related improvements.
LRP-6
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-6

Identify and consider strategies that address the community’s health needs and improve health outcomes.
LRP-7
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-7

Identify scenarios that address the community’s health needs and improve health outcomes.
LRP-8
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/LRP-8

Provide decision makers information supporting public health as the preferred plan scenario is selected. Communicate with health and community stakeholders about the reasoning behind the selection and discuss opportunities for ongoing involvement and cooperation.
LRP-9
This Key Decision is not associated with application
LRP-10
This Key Decision is not associated with application
LRP-11
This Key Decision is not associated with application

PRO-1
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/PRO-1

Identify and consider potential funding sources and partnerships to support projects that improve health outcomes.
PRO-2
This Key Decision is not associated with application
PRO-3
This Key Decision is not associated with application
PRO-4
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/PRO-4

Evaluate how project prioritization may affect health interests and outcomes.
PRO-5
This Key Decision is not associated with application
PRO-6
This Key Decision is not associated with application
PRO-7
This Key Decision is not associated with application
PRO-8
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/PRO-8

For non-MPO areas, engage health partners and stakeholders for project recommendations and input.
PRO-9
This Key Decision is not associated with application

COR-1
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-1

Identify and invite health and community stakeholders to participate and define public health issues in the corridor. Begin considering how transportation may impact public health outcomes and opportunities.
COR-2
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-2

Identify health needs and opportunities for improving health to consider in the corridor study.
COR-3
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-3

Relate health priorities to transportation needs and goals in order to promote health in the communities affected by the corridor plan.
COR-4
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-4

Work with health and community stakeholders to collect and prepare health-related information for resource agencies to consider during environmental review. This will ensure that health information will move from corridor planning to support individual projects.
COR-5
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-5

Identify evaluation criteria, methods, and performance measures to evaluate the health impacts of potential solutions on health in communities along the corridor.
COR-6
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-6

Evaluate the health impacts of individual solution sets to identify those that support community health in the corridor. Consider which solution sets are the highest priority for health stakeholders.
COR-7
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-7

When selecting the preferred solution set, consider how the individual solutions will influence health outcomes. Identify the solution sets preferred by health stakeholders prior to making the decision.
COR-8
This Key Decision is not associated with application
COR-9
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/COR-9

Consider how the implementation priorities may influence public health goals, plans, and specific populations.

ENV-1
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-1

Identify and invite health stakeholders to provide input on health impacts to inform the scope.
ENV-2
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-3
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-3

Identify and consider transportation-related health interests for the project purpose and need.
ENV-4
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-4

Review the geographic area for which health impacts should be analyzed.
ENV-5
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-5

Work with health and community stakeholders to develop evaluation criteria, methods, and performance measures to consider health impacts and outcomes.
ENV-6
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-6

Identify individual project alternatives that will improve health outcomes and those alternatives preferred by health stakeholders.
ENV-7
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-7

Evaluate alternatives to identify those that are likely to improve health outcomes.
ENV-8
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-9
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-10
https://fhwaapps.fhwa.dot.gov/planworks/DecisionGuide/Step/ENV-10

Consider potential health outcomes when selecting the preferred alternative.
ENV-11
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-12
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-13
This Key Decision is not associated with application
ENV-14
This Key Decision is not associated with application