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CHNA 27 Examines Cape Cod’s Transportation Challenges and Opportunities

At the April 13th monthly membership meeting, Community Health Network Area 27 (CHNA) hosted a panel of experts to discuss regional transportation.  CHNA’s 2016-2017 goal is to educate its members on the social determinants of health and highlight related local issues.  The transportation panel discussed both regional and local perspectives and identified ways to advocate for improvements to infrastructure. The three panelists listed below illustrated the complexities of maintaining the current infrastructure and planning for future transportation needs while demonstrating how to work together to serve Cape Codders.

Glenn Cannon, Technical Services Director for Transportation, Cape Cod Commission
Tom Cahir, President, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority
Kathi Bailey, Director of Yarmouth Senior Center, and Age-Friendly Yarmouth

MBTA-3 DiabetiesTo provide a foundation for the discussion, Barnstable County Department of Human Services’ Patty Watson reviewed the definition of social determinants of health (conditions in which people are born, grow, live and age and are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources) and shared research findings from BU School of Public Health: Health Inequalities in Boston by T-Stops: A Pictorial Essay – March 29, 2015.  Chris Morin of Independence House shared local models of innovative transportation and encourage the group to think out of the box while brainstorming together.

Addressing the obstacles to improve transportation infrastructure, Glenn Cannon stated: “We do not have enough funding or time to get all of our transportation needs met.  We have to prioritize our projects.”  He continued to say that Cape Cod’s government transportation funding is based on year-round population, and does not address the doubling in population during the summer months. Local community feedback is sought after during the planning process and Glenn is often surprised at how difficult it is the get citizens to attend planning meetings. To be added to Glenn’s email list for upcoming meetings, email Glenn Cannon at

Tom Cahir reviewed the extensive services that CCRTA provides and how the regional agency has expanded to serve the 50% increase in riders during the last ten years.  The CHNA members were most interested in learning more about Dial-A-Ride (DART). Kathi Bailey brought the conversation full circle to the concept of the “shared economy” that the millennials are entering.  Age-Friendly Yarmouth addresses community engagement through an intergenerational lens while promoting the behavioral changes needed to help individuals adapt to sharing a ride, sharing a house, or sharing a bike path. When it comes to town planning, what works for older adults tends to work for everyone.

To learn more about transportation on Cape Cod, view the presentations below:
Cape Cod Commission’s Regional Transportation Plan Presentation to CHNA, April 13, 2017
Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Presentation to CHNA, April 13, 2017

Find contact information for Cape and Islands Delegation here.
Download CHNA Advocacy Form Letter

BC DHS DockHealthy Connected Cape Cod is the conceptual framework that ties together the work of Barnstable County Department of Human Services. Our goal is to organize regional approaches by engaging residents, health, and human service organizations, coalitions and networks throughout Cape Cod to plan and implement activities that promote health and well-being for County residents.