Better Chicago public transit can improve public health

Nevertheless, Chicago’s inequities keep many residents from enjoying the benefits of public transportation. In high-cost communities, affordable homes near transit are scarce and housing choices are limited. In disinvested neighborhoods, train stations sit surrounded by empty lots and vacant buildings. And everywhere across Chicago, transit hubs are often dominated by cars, making the trip to and from stations unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and people using wheelchairs.

The Connected Communities ordinance introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on June 22 tackles each of these challenges. Developed collaboratively by city departments and transit agencies working with community-based organizations, public health institutions, climate change experts, racial equity advocates, transportation leaders, developers and artists, Connected Communities intentions are clear: bring more homes and jobs closer to transit, promote development without displacement and ensure that our transit hubs are safe for everyone.

This ordinance needs the City Council’s thumbs-up vote. We encourage our aldermen and alderwomen to put the health of our city first and join us in support of Connected Communities when it comes for a vote in the upcoming weeks.

A healthy city is a transit-oriented city. Let’s make equitable development near transit the norm and build a healthier Chicago.

Dr. Helene Gayle is past CEO of the Chicago Community Trust; Dr. David Ansell is senior vice president of Rush University Medical Center; and Dr. Allison Arwady is the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. All are members of Elevated Chicago’s leadership council.

via Crain’s Chicago Business

July 5, 2022 at 05:30PM

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