In March 2012, project partners received funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health to conduct a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of key non-motorized transportation elements of the City of East Lansing’s draft Climate Sustainability Plan and Non-Motorized Transportation Plan along the Burcham-Hagadorn intersecting corridors. The funding for this HIA comes from a grant awarded to the Michigan Climate & Health Adaptation Program from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative.
The proposed changes to the Burcham-Hagadorn corridor aim to increase the walkability and bikeability, safety, and environmental sustainability of this busy intersecting corridor—a primary route between East Lansing’s core historic neighborhoods, primary schools, and Michigan State University. Examples of potential road crossing and sidewalk/path improvements included in the plan are crossing and bump-out islands; flash beacons and similar signals; traffic calming devices (such as plantings or other “vertical” elements like buffers between sidewalks and roadways); lane consolidation; additional bike lanes; and sidewalk connectivity.
The HIA found that if adopted, all the recommended measures in the non-motorized transportation and climate sustainability plans would likely increase the amount of residents utilizing non-motorized transportation and thus improve health outcomes. The HIA also made a number of recommendations, including prioritizing sidewalk improvements and creating additional crosswalk opportunities, as well as improving the existing crossings to make them highly visible, signalized, and include speed slowing mechanisms.