School Proximity to Traffic

School proximity to traffic measures the proportion of neighborhood schools located near high traffic roadways, defined as freeways or major arterial roadways. A strong indicator of children’s health, this indicator attempts to identify schools where students are at high risk of near-road pollution exposure. Many studies have shown increased respiratory effects, such as asthma, in children attending school near major roadways. Posted under Environmental Hazards, this measure is also tied to education, transportation, economic health, and neighborhood characteristics. School proximity to traffic is an “inverse” measure, meaning the higher the value, the more negative the impact on neighborhood health. Computation of this indicator requires highway, traffic volume, and school location data which is available from the U.S. Census, state departments of transportation (DOT) or metropolitan planning organizations (MPO), and state or local school sources.

Neighborhoodsort descending Indicator Value Rank
Blackstone 0.0% 1
Charles 0.0% 1
College Hill 0.0% 1
Downtown 0.0% 1
Elmhurst 0.0% 1
Elmwood 0.0% 1
Federal Hill 66.7% 25
Fox Point 50.0% 24
Hartford 0.0% 1
Hope 0.0% 1
Lower South Providence 30.0% 21
Manton 0.0% 1
Mount Hope 0.0% 1
Mount Pleasant 0.0% 1
Olneyville 33.3% 22
Reservoir 0.0% 1
Silver Lake 0.0% 1
Smith Hill 25.0% 20
South Elmwood 0.0% 1
Upper South Providence 33.3% 22
Valley 0.0% 1
Wanskuck 0.0% 1
Washington Park 0.0% 1
Wayland 0.0% 1
West End 12.5% 19

Key Citations:
1. CARB (2005) Air Quality and Land Use Handbook: A Community Health Perspective. California Air Resources Board. April 2005. Available at:
2. HEI (2010). Traffic-Related Air Pollution: A Critical Review of the Literature on Emissions, Exposure, and Health Effects. Health Effects Institute, January 2010. Available at:
3. Zhou, Y. and Levy, J. (2007). Factors influencing the spatial extent of mobile source air pollution impacts: a meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-89. Available at