Located in Kane County, the Village of Carpentersville's Old Town area has many historic strengths and community assets that provide a high quality of life for its residents, shoppers, and employees. During peak hours, congestion near the intersection of Washington Street and Main Street in the Old Town Area and compromised visibility at the Fox River trail crossing cause traffic and safety problems for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The Carpentersville Old Town Plan, which was adopted in 2012 as part of CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, recommended transportation improvements for this intersection. The Village of Carpentersville, in partnership with the LTA program and Kane County, is now conducting a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Washington/Main Streets intersection to examine options to address traffic and safety issues at the intersection and nearby Fox River trail crossing.
Through various outreach methods, Village stakeholders -- including area residents, businesses, institutions, and leaders -- will have the opportunity to evaluate the health risks and benefits associated with the solutions proposed by the assessment.
What is a HIA?
A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is defined by the World Health Organization as "a combination of procedures, methods, and tools by which a policy, program, or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of those effects within the population." HIA helps policy makers analyze potential health impacts by bringing together scientific data, health expertise, and public input to identify the potential health effects of proposed laws, regulations, projects, and programs.
How will this HIA be conducted?
The Kane County Development and Community Services Department will lead the project, in collaboration with CMAP staff and the Village of Carpentersville, as well as staff from other relevant Kane County departments (such as the Kane County Health Department and Kane County Division of Transportation) and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.
Over a nine-month period, the HIA will follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's six-step process (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/hia.htm), which will involve public input at every step.
1. Screening: Identifying plans, projects, or policies for which an HIA would be useful.
2. Scoping: Identifying which health effects to consider.
3. Assessing risks and benefits: Identifying which people may be affected and how they may be affected.
4. Developing recommendations: Suggesting changes to proposals to promote positive health effects or to minimize adverse health effects.
5. Reporting: Presenting the results to decision makers.
6. Monitoring and evaluating: Determining the effect of the HIA on the decision.
More information on the Carpentersville HIA can be found here.