California High Speed Rail: San Jose to Merced Corridor

San Jose, California
University of California-Berkeley

Graduate students at the University of California-Berkeley conducted an HIA to add value to decision-making regarding design alternatives for the San Jose to Merced corridor of the California High Speed Rail (HSR) by identifying opportunities for positive health benefits and recognizing the threats and negative health costs. The HIA found the direct employment benefits of the HSR development might not fully serve the needs of corridor residents; chronic unemployment or underemployment would likely have myriad negative health impacts among all residents throughout the corridor. The HIA also found that there would likely be an increased use of transit and active transportation options but the shift away from automobile use may not yield substantial in reductions in air pollution or mitigation of adverse health conditions associated with poor air quality. These findings apply only to this area, not the larger segment/corridor or state-wide project. The HIA made several short and long-term recommendations, including enacting a local hiring policy, working with regional and local agencies to ensure design mitigations of pedestrian risks from increased vehicle flow in and around parking lots and stations, and making all spatial and non-spatial data created and collected for planning publicly-funded project easily accessible by the public.

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At A Glance

Completion Date
2011, May
Organization Type
Educational Institution