Pitt gets $1 million to increase active transportation


The Pennsylvania Department of Health gifted the Pitt Graduate School of Public Health $1 million this week to increase physical activity among people in the state. 

Pitt Public Health will put the funds toward its continued efforts with WalkWorks

WalkWorks is a four-year initiative that began in July 2010 and promotes active transportation — like walking, jogging or biking — in counties surrounding the city. WalkWorks is a collaboration between Pitt Public Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and local groups such as Washington County Health Partners, Inc.  

“WalkWorks promotes active transportation by identifying infrastructure needed for pedestrian activity. This is a goal of our multi-modal transportation system in Pennsylvania,” Mark Magalotti, co-director of the Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure, said in a University statement

The funding will assist school districts in Indiana County, McKean County, Blair County and Fayette County.

Linda Duchak, associate director of the Center for Public Health Practice at Pitt Public Health, said in a University statement that a team will work with health care providers, social service agencies and local governments to map and mark safe walking routes and establish walking groups, according to the University statement.

The Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering will assess the targeted districts for opportunities to improve pedestrian transportation.

“The goal is to influence local and regional planning efforts so that pedestrian facilities are considered and enhancements are made to the existing transportation network,” Duchak said.

Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said the Pennsylvania Department of Health is proud to partner with Pitt. 

“Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, can lead to improvements in health and aligns with the department’s mission to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent injury and disease,” Wolf said in a statement.