(For a description of the HIA project, CLICK HERE.)
On July 1, WABA received the exciting news that we have been chosen to move forward to the next round of the Pew Trust/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Impact Project. Out of nearly 250 applications nationwide, only 40 were asked to submit a full proposal. If chosen, this grant will fund a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment on WABA’s push to add an on-road bike facility on Alabama Avenue SE, from Martin Luther King Avenue to the Suitland Parkway. Ultimately, the Pew Trust and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will choose and fund just ten HIA proposals for this coming year.
The HIA is another piece of our outreach efforts in Wards 7 and 8, an area of the city underserved by bicycling infrastructure. WABA assisted in the completion of a “rapid” HIA with our partner Dr. Keshia Pollack at Johns Hopkins University and her HIA graduate students this spring, and those results formed the base of our Pew trust HIA proposal. The graduate students’ work provided a tantalizing glimpse into what could be discovered if a full HIA can be completed. More research to fully inform future bicycle policies and plans for Wards 7 and 8 is desperately needed.
This past weekend a teen bicyclist was struck and critically injured by a hit-and-run driver while attempting to cross Alabama Avenue in the immediate HIA area of study. With more cyclists taking to the streets daily, our road infrastructure has to do a better job of protecting them, throughout the city and in every ward.
Our full proposal is due to the Pew Trust on September 15th and they plan to announce the winning projects by the end of the year. If chosen, we will begin work immediately in January of 2012.