The Effect of Complete Streets Policy Implementation on Pediatric Emergency Room Visits for Pedestrian Injuries
Jordee M Wells1, Honggang Yi2, Jingzhen Yang2, D. Alex Quistberg3, Stephen J Mooney4, *Julie C Leonard2
1Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH;2Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH;3Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA;4Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background (issue): Thegoals of Complete Streets policies are to promote active transportation and improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Our purpose was to evaluate the effect of Complete Streets policies on pediatric pedestrian injuries.
Methods: Implementation of Complete Streets policies were coded for counties within PHIS hospitals’ catchment areas. Pedestrian injury-related emergency department (ED) visits were identified across 48 PHIS children’s hospitals from 2004-2014. We calculated the proportion of the population within PHIS hospitals’ catchment areas covered by policy by year and pedestrian injury visits per 10,000 ED visits by year. We evaluated the impact of policy on pedestrian injury-related ED visits using generalized estimating equation models with Poisson distribution.
Findings: During the study period, the proportion of the PHIS catchment covered by Complete Streets county policies increased by 23.9% and by 60.3% for either state or county policies (Figure panel A). Rates of pedestrian injury-related ED visits at PHIS hospitals decreased by 29.8% (Figure panel B). However, after adjusting for year, the proportion of the catchment population covered by Complete Street policies had no effect on the rate of pedestrian injury-related ED visits at PHIS hospitals.Conclusions (implications for practice): Complete Streets policy implementation was unrelated to pediatric pedestrian injury-related ED visits. This may be due to increased pedestrian activity in areas covered by these policies. Further research is necessary to fully understand the effects of these road safety policies on walking and pedestrian injuries.
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