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Transportation and Public Health e-Newsletter

November 2011 Contact Us   |   Join APHA   |   Sign up for this E-Newsletter   |   Send to a Friend 


Greetings public health leaders and advocates,

It's been an electrifying and eventful month! Thank you to all of our members, colleagues and friends who were able to attend the APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC this month. It was an incredible success, thanks to the participation of more than 13,000 attendees. This year’s program was full of new research, evidence and trends in the field. There were numerous outstanding sessions to choose from. If you want to revisit (or see for the first time) the Opening Session and more, take a look at these captivating videos via the Annual Meeting Blog. We invite you to enjoy the top sound bites from the Annual Meeting and read the news roundup.

In other news, our calendar of events has been expanded and updated to provide you with a list of dozens of conferences and events to attend in 2012. Many valuable resources and articles on transportation and health, in addition to original research published in assorted journals, have been released in recent weeks and are available below.

On the Hill, there has also been further movement on a draft federal surface transportation bill, with a mark-up on November 9th for the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. The Senate EPW Committee unanimously approved a two-year reauthorization of federal highway programs at current funding levels. The draft bill will move to the Senate floor calendar. Read a letter of response to the bill from APHA submitted jointly with partners such as Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. APHA serves on the Executive Committee of Transportation for America, so we also invite you to read the T4A public statement on the bill.

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

Thank you,

The American Public Health Association



APHA Highlights



Public Health Newswire: Stay connected!

Looking for a quick way to stay up-to-date on public health news? Stay informed by subscribing to Public Health Newswire, an online service that provides news of public health events, trends and advocacy. There you can read about topics and stories such as how female drivers experience greater vulnerabilities when involved in crashes. Or new research on teen driver safety. Or news about how federal agencies are collaborating to address environmental justice issues.


News from the Nation’s Health (log-in required for full access)

New survey finds health is major reason people choose to walk

Health impact assessments called important tool to improve health


National Public Health Week theme unveiledNPHW 2012

APHA announced the theme for National Public Health Week (NPHW) 2012: “A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement!” The annual health observance, which mobilizes communities across the country to recognize the contributions of public health, will be celebrated April 2-8, 2012. NPHW 2012 will build upon the National Prevention Strategy to create a healthier nation by promoting healthy behaviors in the following areas: active living and healthy eating; alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; communicable diseases; reproductive and sexual health; and mental and emotional well-being. 


   Resources and News


This is a list of diverse, new transportation and health-related resources and articles.

Have another to share? Please contact us!


Neighborhoods struggle with health threats from traffic pollution

America's commutes start earlier, last longer and have a toll on mental health

New report ranks deficient bridges  Bikes

Half of child booster seats need checking 

Issue brief released on safe teen driving

Children's lives are at risk from air pollution, and better traffic regulation can help

Better neighborhood lowers obesity, diabetes risk

Texting slows down driver reaction time

Combating obesity with street design

Commuting to work is ‘bad for your health’ (unless you cycle or go by foot...)


New research

Vulnerability of Female Drivers Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes: An Analysis of US Population at Risk. Bose D, Segui-Gomez M, Crandall JR. American Journal of Public Health, 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300275.

Changes in physical activity and travel behaviors in residents of a mixed-use development. Mumford KG, Contant CK, Weissman J, Wolf J, Glanz K. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2011; 41(5): 504-507.

The Residents' Benefits and Concerns Before and After a New Rail Stop: Do Residents Get What They Expect? Brown BB, Werner CM. Environment and Behavior. 2011; 43(6): 789-806.

The Street Level Built Environment and Physical Activity and Walking: Results of a Predictive Validity Study for the Irvine Minnesota Inventory. Boarnet MG, Forsyth A, Day K, Oakes JM. Environment and Behavior. 2011; 43(6): 735-775.

Crash and Risky Driving Involvement Among Novice Adolescent Drivers and Their Parents. Simons-Morton B, Ouimet MC, Zhiwei Z, Klauer S, Lee S, Wang J, Albert P, Dingus T. American Journal of Public Health, 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300248.


New Health Impact Assessment: the Potential Health Effects of Road Pricing 

By Megan Wier, MPH and Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH, San Francisco Department of Public Health

The San Francisco Department of Public Health recently completed a health impact assessment (HIA) of a potential road pricing program in San Francisco, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living Research program. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is studying a potential program that would charge $3 during AM/PM rush hours to travel into or out of the congested northeast quadrant of San Francisco. The road-pricing fee would fund public transit, road maintenance, and bicycle and pedestrian street improvements. The HIA used a variety of methods to assess potential transportation-related health effects - including air quality-related premature mortality, traffic noise-related annoyance and heart attacks, injury to pedestrians and cyclists, and health benefits from active transportation – and evaluated health-related equity effects and associated economic value.   

The HIA found that transportation system operation in San Francisco has substantial health burdens and benefits today. Road pricing, if implemented, could moderate but not entirely eliminate the changes associated with a future under “business as usual,” without new transportation policies or funding strategies. The HIA also estimated that the health-related economic costs of today’s transportation system are very high – as much as $1.12 billion/year. HIA recommendations included increasing congestion pricing fees where they can reduce health risks and investing in targeted infrastructure to reduce pedestrian and cyclist injury and increase active transportation. A summary and technical report for the road pricing HIA is available for free.



  Get Involved


Attend a Free Rail Accessibility Webinar

Easter Seals Project Action will host a webinar, Rail Accessibility: Ensuring Equal Access to a Growing Transportation Mode, on Thursday, December 1st from 2-3:30 PM Eastern. With the record ridership among rail systems in the nation, this webinar will shed light on how accessibility features are currently being included in the design of new rail projects. The call for more transportation options – such as rail - has been heard everywhere. Most recently, at Rail~Volution in Washington, DC, Secretary Ray LaHood remarked that “investing in transit is good business”. At another event, LaHood said that initiatives that provide more transportation options like the rail-to-trail program “have contributed so much to people’s good health”.


Submit Ideas to Every Day Counts InitiativeSchool bus shoe

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has released a request for information on innovations that can enhance roadway safety. Know of an innovative and proven process or technology? Submit your ideas online to the FHWA in response to their Every Day Counts Innovation Initiatives.


Join the Conversation on Environmental Justice

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has renewed its efforts to achieve Environmental Justice (EJ), and is offering a variety of ways for the public to provide insights for enhancing environmental justice in transportation related activities:



  Upcoming Events


Below is a list of upcoming events and conferences that may be of interest to you and your networks. Know of other conferences of interest? Please email us!






22-26 - Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting: Washington, DC


26-27 - EMBARQ - Transforming Transportation: Washington, DC


27-28 - Iowa Bike Summit: Des Moines, IA




1-3 - Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference: San Antonio, TX


2-4 - New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: San Diego, CA


21-24 - Public Health Preparedness Summit: Anaheim, CA




4-7 - Institute of Transportation Engineers Technical Conference: Pasadena, CA


12-14 - Active Living Research Conference: San Diego, CA


16-18 - Building Livable Communities: Yosemite, CA


20-21 - Smart Cities: Washington, DC


20-22 - National Bike Summit: Washington, DC




1-2 - National Main Streets Conference: Baltimore, MD

2-8 - National Public Health Week: National

3-4 – National Health Impact Assessment Meeting: Washington, DC

14-17 - American Planning Association: Los Angeles, CA


17-19 - Bicycle Leadership Conference: Monterey, CA


29-30 - National Organization for Youth Safety Spring Meeting: Washington, DC 




1-31 – Global Youth Traffic Safety Month: International


6-9 - American Public Transportation Association Bus and Paratransit Conference: Long Beach, CA


7-9 - Weight of the Nation Conference: Washington, DC


9-11 - Women's Transportation Seminar National Conference: Denver, CO


9-12 - Congress for the New Urbanism: West Palm Beach, FL


14-18 - Bike to Work Week: National


20-24 - International Making Cities Livable Conference: Portland, OR


23-26 - Neighborhoods USA: Indianapolis, IN




1 - Transport Chicago: Chicago, IL


2 - Trails Day: National


3-6 - American Public Transportation Association Rail Conference: Dallas, TX


14-16 - Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities: Orlando, FL


24-26 - Aging, Mobility, and Quality of Life: Ann Arbor, MI


24-27 - 4th Urban Street Symposium: Chicago, IL


26-28 – American Public Health Association (APHA) Midyear Meeting: Charlotte, NC


26-29 - Velo-City Global: Vancouver, BC, Canada




11-13 - National Association of County and City Health Officials: Los Angeles, CA


14-17 - International Urban Parks Conference: New York, NY


28-8/1 - Association for Commuter Transportation: Savannah, GA




6-9 - National Conference of State Legislatures - Legislative Summit: Chicago, IL


12-15 Institute of Transportation Engineers Annual Meeting: Atlanta, GA




10-13 - ProWalk/ProBike: Long Beach, CA


12-14 - Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities: Big Sky, MT


30-10/3 - American Public Transportation Association Annual Meeting: Seattle, WA




3 - Walk to School Day: International


14-17 - Rail~Volution: Los Angeles, CA


27-30 - American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting: San Francisco, CA



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