Community Engagement at the Intersection of Public Health and Transportation: Highlighting Community Based Organizations’ Use of the Promotores Model for Engaging Community Members in the Field of Transportation


Under federal statutes, transportation planners have an obligation to actively engage community members and to conduct equity-based analyses on transportation plans to ensure that people of color, low-income people, and other historically disenfranchised groups are neither disproportionately burdened nor denied the benefits of transportation investments. Planning professionals have an ethical and moral responsibility to involve and engage the communities they serve—to intentionally center community members in planning decision-making processes regarding their communities and ensure equity within the field. Equitably engaging all community groups is critical because having a political voice may empower community members to voice issues concerning their community. For instance, they may raise concerns about safety at an intersection, which may result in further investigation by agency staff. Community participation may also result in a city’s Active Transportation Plan or Circulation Element in the General Plan to take a different form if planners apply the community’s priorities and visions in these plans.

The Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program (CPBSP), funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), offers SafeTREC and California Walks the opportunity to work closely with dozens of local community stakeholders, including community-based organizations (CBOs), businesses, residents, and local advisory committees, in jurisdictions across the state. Recently, SafeTREC had the opportunity to work in partnership with a few CBOs that are using a Promotores Model to deliver resources and programs in the communities they serve. This brief explores the use of the Promotores Model to engage residents in transportation safety campaigns in their community.

Ana Lopez
Publication date: 
October 9, 2023
Publication type: 
Research Brief