The New Jersey Health Impact Collaborative, in partnership with Together North Jersey, completed an HIA to inform the development of a Complete Corridor plan for improvements to an arterial road, Bloomfield Avenue, which transects four towns in Essex County, New Jersey.
The HIA assessed the potential impacts related to road lane reductions and lane reconfigurations on safety, physical activity, mental health, social cohesion, and local economic development. The findings from the HIA will inform the future design and implementation of complete corridor elements, as well as applications for further funding to extend the planning effort. The HIA considered various health outcomes, including pedestrian and bicyclist safety, physical activity, air and noise impacts, and local economic outcomes, among others. Recommendations included opportunities to promote social interaction and use of local businesses, maximizing physical activity opportunities, and safety measures, such as incorporating methods to slow vehicle speeds and improving crosswalk safety.
Some of the HIA recommendations were incorporated directly into the final Complete Corridor Plan produced by the four towns. The process of conducting the HIA and the data collected brought attention to health, safety and to impacts on vulnerable populations that would not have been part of the process otherwise.