The University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health conducted an HIA to assess the potential health effects of a proposed subway and other mass-transit alternatives through Los Angeles’ high-density, highly congested Wilshire Corridor, running from mid-town Los Angeles to the city of Santa Monica. The HIA addressed a range of health risks and benefits, such as the potential impacts on a residents' ability to find a safe place to exercise; community cohesion and safety; traffic-related injuries; and problems related to air pollution such as asthma and cardiovascular disease. The HIA found that the Westside Subway Extension, along with integrated improvements to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure would likely improve health by increasing neighborhood walkability, providing increased opportunities for active transportation and providing greater access to health-related services. The Westside Subway Extension will likely bring changes in land-use and economic activity to the area, providing the potential for greater access to healthy foods, community connectivity, and increased social capital.
The HIA made several recommendations, including assessing and making applicable improvements to the active transportation infrastruture within a one-mile radius of proposed stations; modifying the fare structure to make accessing the subway cheaper by bus, versus by car; and using lighting, visual and acoustic design, and regular patrols by transit staff and police officers to ensure that the stations and adjacent public spaces are secure, inviting, and conducive to positive social interactions.