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Transportation and Public Health e-Newsletter

October 2010 Contact Us   |   Sign up for this E-Newsletter   |   Send to a Friend 


Greetings public health leaders, advocates and supporters, Transportation and Public Health

The last month brought a flood of activities around transportation, public health and equity issues. Resources on topics ranging from distracted driving to asthma to active transportation became available and numerous conferences and online webinars are planned for the coming weeks.

The fall is a great time to get involved on these issues. You can join the newly-launched Equity Caucus or simply make improvements to your own health by seeking out ‘non-motorized’ ways of getting around. For example, did you know that you can download applications for your cell phone that will encourage walking and biking? Read more about all of these topics below and stay tuned for information about APHA’s webinar series in future eNewsletter editions.

We’ve also added a feedback mechanism to the eNewsletter and we would like to hear from you! Please click on the 'contact us’ link in this eNewsletter. We hope that you’ll share this e-newsletter with your friends, family and colleagues. Thank you!



APHA Highlights

Transportation and Public Health Intern Sought

APHA seeks an intern to support its program on transportation and public health. Know of any excellent candidates? Please share the online application with them!

News from the American Journal of Public Health and The Nation's Health

A new study is available through the American Journal of Public Health on walking and cycling for health. The study, "Walking and Cycling to Health: A Comparative Analysis of City, State and International Data", correlates increased active transportation and reduced obesity in all 50 states, as well as in 14 countries and 47 of the largest US cities.

At $500 per licensed driver, the annual cost of motor vehicle crashes is climbing, as shown in a recent study. Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is treated in an emergency room for motor vehicle crash-related injuries, and almost 40,000 people die from such injuries annually, reports an online-only article in this month’s issue of The Nation’s Health.

  Resources and News on Transportation and Health

Get the Facts on Distracted Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its Traffic Safety Fact Research Note on the dangers of distracted driving. Some startling safety statistics are revealed. For example, in 2009 nearly 1,000 people died in crashes that involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction.

How Smart Growth Can Reduce Deaths and Asthma AttacksBoulevard with walkers.

The American Lung Association (ALA) in California released new data that shows the public health benefits from pursuing smart growth policies. Some of the benefits include reduced asthma attacks and reduced premature deaths; the analysis found that driving less would avoid $1.66 billion in pollution-related public heath costs by 2035. There results show that remarkable public health benefits are achievable by pursuing more compact and sustainable development in California.

Women Cycling Survey Results Now Available

In the spring of 2010, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) performed an online survey to determine the factors that would induce women to bicycle more for transportation. The analysis from the survey is now available online as a 22-page report. Concerns about riding alongside motorized vehicles (in particular as related to distracted driving concerns) and having adequate cycling infrastructure (such as more bike lanes) are major factors to address among female cyclists.

CDC Selects Motor Vehicle Injuries, Obesity and Physical Activity as Winnable Battles

The Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Thomas R. Frieden, and CDC leaders identified motor vehicle injuries, obesity and physical activity as some of the Center’s Winnable Battles based on the magnitude of these issues and the CDC′s ability to improving outcomes on these issues. These strategies support other related Federal initiatives, such as Distracted Driving and Let’s Move.

Overwhelming Number of Applications for TIGER II Grants

The number of construction grant applications from across the US greatly exceeded the $600 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) II funds available from the US Department of Transportation (DOT). This repeats the notable trend observed in the first round of TIGER grants. The DOT is partnering with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to offer planning grants along with HUD’s Community Challenge Planning Grants. TIGER II grants fund various projects, some of which reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the safety of transportation facilities and/or enhance the quality of living and working environments of communities through increased transportation choices and connections.


  Get Involved

Equity Caucus Launched and Gaining Extensive Momentum

September 28th marked the historic launch of an Equity Caucus formed by the nation’s leading health, civil rights, community development, racial justice, economic justice, faith-based, housing, labor, environmental justice, tribal and transportation organizations. These organizations within the Equity Caucus support a surface transportation authorization bill that will:

  • Create affordable transportation options for all people.
  • Ensure fair access to quality jobs, workforce development, and contracting opportunities in the transportation industry.
  • Promote healthy, safe, and inclusive communities.
  • Invest equitably and focus on results.

Learn more about the Equity Caucus and its members, or click here to sign the pledge for transportation equity.

Apps for Walking and Biking

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) recently answered an important question at the intersection of technology and active transportation: what applications (or apps) promote walking and cycling? PBIC has listed online tools and apps around walking and cycling topics such as mapping/routing, fitness and health, safety, carbon capture and more.

Webinar Series on Reversing Childhood Obesity

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity is hosting a free webinar series, "Keeping Kids Moving: How Equitable Transportation Policy Can Reverse Childhood Obesity." The webinars are on Thursdays at 2 PM Eastern, and while past webinars in the series are archived online, interested parties may still register online for the final session:

Tell Congress Transportation Policy is a Public Health Issue

Join APHA in sending a message to your members of Congress urging that they ensure that strong public health provisions are included in the federal surface transportation reauthorization.


  Upcoming Events


October 17-21 - International Making Cities Livable Conference: Charleston, SC

October 18-21 – RailVolution: Portland OR

October 27-29 - International Conference on Urban Health: New York, NY

November 6-10 - APHA Annual Meeting: Denver, CO

November 14-17 - American Trails National Symposium: Chattanooga, TN


January 23-27 - TRB Annual Meeting: Washington, DC

February 3-5 - New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy, and Livable Communities: Charlotte, NC

March 8-10 – National Bike Summit: Washington, DC

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

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