August 28, 2012
With just a few days left of the session, the California Legislature passed AB 441, authored by Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Carmel.
The bill would require that health criteria be included in the California Transportation Commission's regional transportation plan guidelines, meaning the CTC can't overlook potential public health considerations of transportation projects like new roads.
“If we get smarter about our growth and development planning, we can also realize better public health," Monning said in a statement. “Transportation planning decisions can improve the health of impacted residents by promoting bicycling and walking, as well as taking into consideration access to food shopping and other daily needs, especially for vulnerable populations such as low-income, elderly and disabled.”
In authoring AB 441, Monning relied on research showing neighborhood planning impacts health conditions like diabetes, obesity and asthma.
Using health criteria will remain voluntary for regional and local planning agencies, such as the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.
The 51-26 Assembly vote sends the bill to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for final approval.