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Transportation and Public Health e-Newsletter

March 2011 Contact Us   |   Sign up for this E-Newsletter   |   Send to a Friend 


Greetings public health leaders and advocates,

It's been exciting to see the interest around our transportation, health and equity webinars. We thank everyone who participated in the first two webinars in our series: What Healthy Communities Need from their Transportation Networks. APHA invites you and your colleagues to participate in our next webinar on the use of health impact assessments (HIAs) in transportation; it will be on March 15, 2011 from 2-3 PM Eastern. Register here if you have not already done so.

We also invite you to complete a brief survey to help us best serve your needs. The survey should take only 2-4 minutes, and will help us plan for future events, discussions and resources at APHA:

We hope that you’ll share this e-newsletter with friends, family and colleagues.

Thank you,

The American Public Health Association



APHA Highlights



Seeking Internship Candidates

APHA seeks an intern to support its program on transportation and public health. This is an opportunity to work in a positive, professional and dynamic environment and to gain confidence and develop management skills in the workplace. Know of any excellent candidates? Please share the online transportation and health internship application with them!


APHA Lauds U.S. Senate for Support of STANDUP Act 

APHA commends Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) for introducing last week the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act (STANDUP) legislation that would dramatically reduce teen motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of death among teens. The legislation would establish minimum federal requirements for state Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws and encourage all states to adopt GDL laws that meet those minimum requirements within three years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if every state had strong GDL programs to help new drivers gain skills under low-risk conditions, 175 lives would be saved and about 350,000 injuries prevented each year. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 46 states and the District of Columbia have some components of a GDL program, no state meets all optimal guidelines. Read the STANDUP press release from APHA.

Preventing injuries will be the focus of National Public Health Week April 4-10, an annual observance organized by APHA that highlights public health achievements and raises awareness of issues integral to improving the nation’s health. This year, in partnership with CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, APHA will continue its broad vision to make America the healthiest nation in one generation by addressing the importance of injury and violence prevention through the theme “Safety is No Accident: Live Injury-free.”  Please join us in celebrating NPHW and helping create a safer, healthier nation; information is available at


Save the date: NPHW Online Twitter Chat to be held April 4

Join APHA and public health advocates from across the country on Monday, April 4, at 1 p.m. EDT for our first-ever live online Twitter chat about safety and injury prevention as part of National Public Health Week. Just include #NPHW in your tweet to chime in. Remember to join APHA’s social media safetycommunity and help spread the message about injury and violence prevention. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe to the NPHW Blog. Use our various interactive social media sites to retweet, like, post and comment to your networks and help us engage individuals in how they can help their communities along the path to a safer and injury-free America. 


APHA in Washington, D.C. — Be there!

Join your colleagues for the most important public health event of the year. The APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Convention Center Oct. 29-Nov. 2. The APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition is the place to experience cutting-edge public health education and networking opportunities. Learn from experts in the field; hear about the latest research and exceptional best practices. Discover the latest public health products and services and share new perspectives on public health with your peers. Now is the time to be involved. 


  Resources and News


HIA Guide Released

The California Department of Public Health published “A Guide for Health Impact Assessment”, which aims to support current and potential practitioners of HIA and to promote the idea of including health in all policies.


Statistics on Traffic Safety for Vulnerable Populations

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its 2009 Traffic Safety Fact Sheets on bicyclists, pedestrians and children. During 2009, there were 33,808 traffic fatalities in the United States. Click on the links above to learn how these three vulnerable populations were represented in that statistic.


The Economic Benefits of Trails

A study by the University of Minnesota Tourism Center found that recreational trails provide great economic benefits, in addition to opportunities for physical activity. Consumer spending by the trails and spending by out of town visitors were highlighted in this study that documented impacts from multiple modes and users (e.g., walkers, bikers, runners, skiers, horseback riders).


Rural Areas Impacted by Decreased Transportation OptionsRural road

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) released a report that shows how roughly 3.5 million rural residents lost access to intercity transportation in recent years.  In 2010, 89 percent of rural residents had access to intercity bus, rail, air or ferry transportation, as compared to 93 percent five years ago.


Sustainable Transportation in Urban Environments

Our Cities Ourselves, an urban visioning program created by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), showcases how, by implementing sustainable transportation solutions, cities can manage growing urban populations as well as address environmental concerns. Underpinning the program is a booklet titled “10 Principles for Transportation in Urban Life”, to help national and city leaders and private and public organizations realize the benefits of sustainable transportation in urban development. Visit for details.


Let’s Move Campaign Marks First Anniversary

The USDOT official blog by Secretary Ray LaHood recently gave kudos to First Lady Michelle Obama and the Childhood Obesity Task Force for completing a very effective first year on the Let’s Move Campaign. Read Secretary LaHood’s blog and learn about other related initiatives, including:

  • Encouraging children to walk and bike safely to school through Safe Routes to Schools programs. 
  • Promoting bicycle and pedestrian-friendly “complete streets” policies.
  • Using TIGER discretionary funds to support projects that benefit communities and create opportunities for increased physical activity.


NBMWhat Makes a City, Community or Neighborhood Intelligent?

Intelligent Cities, an initiative of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., explores the intersection of information technology and urban design to understand the myriad complexities of our neighborhoods, towns, and cities. Visitors to the website ( can participate in a poll to determine what makes an intelligent city.

Image courtesy of the National Building Museum (info-graphic by mgmt).


Support for Smart Growth Strategies 

A recent poll by Smart Growth America has found that despite a struggling U.S. economy, support for smart growth strategies remains high among Americans across the country and on both sides of the political aisle. Download the new poll: “Building for the 21st Century: American support for sustainable communities” (PDF). The poll focused specifically on support for sustainable communities: urban, suburban or rural communities that have more housing and transportation choices, are closer to jobs, shops and schools and help protect health.


  Get Involved


Federal Transportation Reauthorization Resources

Now that the federal surface transportation reauthorization discussion is unfolding, there are two new primers that explain what’s involved in the reauthorization process. Transportation for America developed a primer, “Transportation 101: An Introduction to Federal Transportation Policy” that aims to answer questions about funding sources, the many steps involved in the reauthorization and more. The Pew Center on Global Climate Change produced a useful primer as well: “Primer on Federal Surface Transportation Authorization and the Highway Trust Fund”.

The Equity Caucus will host on Friday, March 18th from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern a free webinar focused on how we can expand mobility and opportunity for all Americans, including low-income people and communities of color, through smart and equitable transportation investments. The Bus to the Capitol: Promoting Equity in the Next Federal Transportation Bill webinar will feature:

  • News about the Obama Administration’s blueprint for the transportation bill
  • An update on Congressional activity on transportation
  • Information on how to get engaged in advocacy for a transportation bill that creates strong, healthy, communities of opportunity

To register click here (URL:

You can also tell Congress that transportation policy is a public health issue via an APHA alert. 


Fund a Traffic Safety Event

If you are planning a traffic safety event in May (perhaps for National Youth Traffic Safety Month, National Bicycle Safety Month, or National Motorcycle Safety Month), $500 Road Safety Mini-Grants are available to assist with activities for the May 11th Decade of Action for Road Safety launch. Any non-profit organization may apply, and the due date is March 21, 2011. To apply, click here or visit


Multimedia on Transportation, Health and Equity

Dan Burden from the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute delivered a TEDx talk recently in Manhattan Beach (TEDx Manhattan), where this set of talks centered on health, healthy lifestyles and the built environment. To learn more, click this link to Dan Burden's TEDx talk.

Additionally, PolicyLink had the opportunity to speak with National Public Radio (NPR) for three different programs dedicated to transportation:


Upcoming Webinars on Health and Transportation

Join APHA for a free webinar series in 2011: What Healthy Communities Need from their Transportation Networks. This series explores the intersections between health and transportation, highlights innovative state and local programs that leverage opportunities in transportation that benefit health, and explains what the future may hold for the federal surface transportation authorization.

If you would like to register, please click here. Note: If you registered for the first or second webinar, there is no need to register for the remaining ones. You are on the roster!



Webinar 3: Health Impact Assessments (HIAS) in Transportation

The health impact assessment (HIA) is gaining huge momentum as a tool to address the social and environmental determinants of health, particularly on transportation-related projects and policies. Presentations by:

  • Jonathan Heller, Human Impact Partners
  • Megan Wier, San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • Heidi Guenin, Upstream Public Health

March 15, 2011: 2-3 pm EST

Webinar 4: Preventing Roadway Fatalities and Injuries

Understand the public health professional’s role in roadway safety and learn of innovative programs to prevent roadway fatalities and injuries, in particular for vulnerable populations. Presentations by:

  • Linda C. Degutis, CDC
  • Sandra Viera, Prevention Institute
  • Russell H. Henk, Texas Transportation Institute, Teens in the Driver Seat Program

April 5, 2011: 2-3 pm EST

See you at our webinar series in 2011! Please send this to any colleagues who might be interested! 



  Upcoming Events


March 27-29 - National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities: Lifesavers 2011: Phoenix

June 1-4 - Congress for the New Urbanism: Madison

July 21-23 - Re: Streets Conference: Berkeley

August 16-18 - Safe Routes to School National Conference: Minneapolis

October 29 - November 2 - APHA Annual Meeting: Washington, D.C.

November 9–12 - Rail~Volution Washington, D.C. 


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