EnviroHealth Consulting conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) of the City Of Denver’s Community Planning and Development Department local area plan for the proposed Central Park Boulevard commuter rail station. The HIA study area is a one and a half mile radius around the station, which includes the residential areas of Northeast Park Hill, North Park Hill, Stapleton, and Northwest Aurora, and commercial and industrial areas.
The HIA team worked with stakeholders to identify key issues that would guide the HIA. These include how TOD at the Central Park Station will affect health overall, safety and connectivity for pedestrian and bicycle routes, connectivity to employment centers and other local services, and access to healthy and affordable food items.
The HIA recommended pedestrian connections to the Quebec Square commercial area and local hotels, and the addition of safe pedestrian crossings on major arterial streets around the new Swigert-McAuliffe International K-8 Public School. The HIA also recommended implementing the Denver Moves Plan, which focuses on improving pedestrian and bike access across major arterial streets. To ensure connectivity between the station area, employment centers, and other local services, the HIA recommended enhanced bus service and ensuring that bus service connects the station to the Fitzsimons medical campus and nearby shopping centers. The HIA also recommended transit rider focus groups or a community survey to ensure transit expansions are prioritized to have the greatest positive impacts on residents. The HIA found that there were five stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables within the study area but there are certain neighborhoods that lack access to fresh foods. The HIA made a number of recommendations to improve access including encouraging small scale grocery stores in the underserved areas to offer healthier options; creating community gardens in the station area and in underserved neighborhoods; and forming partnerships to create a farmers market at the station area.
This HIA was funded by The Stapleton Foundation.