Date of Award
Master of Public Health (MPH)
John A. Steward
Physical Activity (PA) is one of the few ways to significantly reduce the risk of early death, by reducing the risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. One emerging community program that promotes PA is commonly called Ciclovía in Latin America and Open Streets in North America. This program closes a stretch of road to motor traffic for several hours on a particular day and opens the road to active transportation, such as cycling or walking. Atlanta Streets Alive (ASA) is an Open Streets program developed in Atlanta, Georgia by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC) in 2010. Although there have been several studies to evaluate Ciclovías programs, including ASA, a thorough evaluation of the effectiveness and public health impact is often not performed.
The purpose of this paper is to review the data collection and evaluation methods used by Open Streets and Ciclovías, to compare to data gathering methodologies used in Atlanta Streets Alive events, to analyze the quality and relevance of ASA data gathered, and to make recommendations to evaluate the effectiveness of the ASA program better.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition provided the data, including survey responses from five events and participant counts from 23 events between 2010 and 2017. The survey responses were analyzed, and demographic variables were isolated to describe participants. ASA program objectives were obtained from ABC and examined for program evaluability.
Based on participant surveys, over 35% of respondents reported an income between 51k and 99k, over 70% were white, and over 40% had at least a Bachelor's degree. ABC's participant count estimates were found to be potentially overestimated, and program objectives are not measurable.
As a community program that promotes physical activity, it is essential to learn more about Atlanta Streets Alive’s public health impact. It is recommended that quantifiable goals be identified, survey sample size is increased, and automated participant count methods are adapted to improve ASA's reception to program evaluation.
Ament, Rebecca A., "Program Evaluation Aspects of Atlanta Streets Alive." , Georgia State University, 2018.