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Transportation and Public Health e-Newsletter

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


Season's Greetings public health leaders, advocates and supporters,

Thank you for taking the time to check out our monthly eNewsletter, where we aim to provide you with a useful roundup of news related to health topics in transportation policy. We hope that you’ll share this e-newsletter with your friends, family and colleagues. And please visit our transportation website to find other APHA reports, news and information.

Have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!

The American Public Health Association



APHA Highlights



Safety is the theme for next year's National Public Health Week

Creating a healthier nation starts with creating a safer nation—and that means taking steps to protect neighbors, families and communities from harm. Unintentional injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, are listed in the top 10 causes of death for people ages 1-44. Injuries are not “accidents,” and we can prevent them from happening. Taking actions such as wearing a seatbelt, properly installing and using child safety seats and wearing a helmet are important ways to proactively promote safety and prevent injuries.

Join APHA during National Public Health Week (NPHW) from April 4-10, 2011 by:

NPHW Safety

  • Becoming a NPHW partner by signing up via the link above, linking to the site or organizing an event
  • Publicizing NPHW on your Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Link to and share APHA’s Facebook fan page, Twitter account and YouTube channel
  • Educating your members of Congress about NPHW and injury prevention via APHA’s Take Action page
  • Sending a message to the new Congress urging that they ensure that strong public health and safety provisions are included in the federal surface transportation reauthorization

Safety is a national issue that is gaining further momentum every day. APHA shares the concern over safety with myriad other agencies, such as the National Transportation Safety Board, which recently updated its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements (eliminating driver distraction and enforcing seat belt laws were included).


Mark Your Calendars: APHA’s 2011 Annual Meeting to be held in Washington, DC

The APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition is the premier public health educational forum! Learn from the experts in the field, hear about cutting-edge research and exceptional best practices, discover the latest public health products and services, and share your public health experience with your peers. The APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition will be held from Oct 29 through Nov 2, 2011 in Washington, D.C. NPHW

The meeting is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world, attracting more than 13,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists. Check our website often for Annual Meeting updates!


  Resources and News on Transportation and Health


The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a podcast on the topic of drowsy driving. A new study shows that driving while drowsy causes more than 1,500 deaths each year.


Transportation Safety in the U.S. and Abroad

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) released a report on the nation’s traffic safety efforts; it offers a comparison with other nations. The report, Achieving Traffic Safety Goals in the United States: Lessons from Other Nations, is available for free.


The Health Benefits of Walking To SchoolSignal

A research project at the University at Buffalo in New York tested girls and boys, ages 10-14, and showed that moderate-intensity exercise can reduce children's cardiovascular reactivity during later, stressful activities, and can reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, a new report from the National Center for Safe Routes to Schools shows how Safe Routes to School programs can increase safety by schools for students. Partnering with law enforcement, using walking school buses and teaching safety skills are included as strategies.


New Livable Communities Web Page

The Easter Seals Project ACTION has a new Livable Communities web page focused on how to include people with disabilities in the planning process. Several free resources are provided online.


Pedestrian Safety Research Plan Unveiled

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed a strategic plan to address pedestrian safety concerns; it suggests updates to current FHWA technology transfer tools and technology transfer resources.


  Get Involved


Learn More about APHA's Environment Section

APHA has 27 Sections that represent major public health disciplines or public health programs.  These Sections are designed to allow members with shared interests to come together to develop scientific program content, policy papers in their areas of interest or fields of practice, provide for professional and social networking, career development and mentoring. The APHA Environment Section focuses its attention on the human health effects of environmental factors; the Section organized a special tour at the recent Annual Meeting in Denver and has shared the story below. 

Can a defunct airport have positive economic, environmental, transportation and public health benefits?  How do you envision, communicate and implement the transportation needs of a growing metropolitan region? Getting these questions addressed was on the agenda of the APHA Environment Section at the recent APHA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colo.  

Sunday afternoon’s bus tour kicked off our activities. We passed a major brownfield, a historical African-American neighborhood now on the light rail, and then heard residents, elected officials and transportation experts explain the new urbanism (e.g., bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly streets, principles of smart growth) design of Stapleton, the former Denver airport.

As many of us walked, biked or even used transit to get around the Denver region, what emerged was a feeling that we really fit in. Whether discussing food deserts, childhood and adult obesity, better schools, affordability of housing, public safety, environmental justice or economic opportunity, the leadership that we saw in the Denver region seemed capable of connecting numerous health-related threads. The importance of transportation choice and policy was demonstrated in one session where our meeting attendees voted their preference for more compact development, moderately or significantly upgrading transit in the Denver region and an urban form favoring options besides the automobile. The full MetroVision 2035 exercise for Denver is available for download at  

To help plan future field trips for the Section or contribute to the session planning with a transportation theme, contact Tony DeLucia, Built Environment Workgroup co-chair at


U.S. DOT Seeks Your Comments on Transportation Regulations 

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood requested the public's input for a limited time on compliance dates for federal regulations on the MUTCD. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is routinely updated to address new safety technologies. Submit your comments via the Federal Register (visit  


See FHWA's Summary of Climate Language in Transportation Plans

Climate Change - Model Language in Transportation Plans provides excerpts from various MPO and DOT transportation plans that illustrate how climate change considerations have been integrated into the documents.  Given the unequivocal nature of the problem, climate change requires an immediate and committed response from the public health community. Adaptation to climate change will be the defining issue of the 21st century for public health and related workers and will require coordination on multiple levels from the public health system. Agencies that are looking for ideas about how to incorporate climate change into their transportation plans could find the model language very useful. (Reprinted with permission from the FHWA transportation and climate change newsletter)


  Upcoming Events


January 23-27 - TRB Annual Meeting: Washington, D.C.

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

February 22-24 - The Active Living Research Annual Conference: San Diego

March 8-10 – National Bike Summit: Washington, D.C.

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

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

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


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