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Transportation and Public Health e-Newsletter

January 2012

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Greetings public health leaders and advocates, Crosswalk

Happy new year! 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.

On the federal transportation policy front, the Senate Commerce Committee passed its portion of the transportation authorization bill, which included national goals and performance measures designed to promote a more accountable and improved multi-modal transportation system. An amendment to provide safer streets for all motorized and non-motorized users (i.e., complete streets) was adopted by a unanimous voice vote.

In November, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee moved their draft transportation bill (MAP-21) out of committee with a successful bipartisan vote. We expect drafts from two more Senate Committees: Banking (which covers transit) and Finance (which covers funding). On the House side, Speaker Boehner expressed interest in a five year bill, with the potential for a draft to be released in late January or early February. See APHA's responses to the proposals over recent months:

  • Coalition letter in response to Commerce Committee's portion of the transportation bill 
  • Coalition letter in response to Chairman Mica's proposal for the House transportation bill
  • Health Partners' Letter to members of the Committee on Environment and Public Works supporting the development of a federal transportation bill that promotes public health 

If you'd like to speak-up to support policies that support health and equity in our transportation systems, please sign on your organization to the APHA principles; more than 30 national and local organizations are supporters. And please visit our public health, equity and transportation website at to find more reports, news and information.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2012,

The American Public Health Association



APHA Highlights


NH Cover, Nov. 2011 

News from APHA's Public Health Newswire and The Nation's Health

Read about the newly-released data on pedestrian fatalities; find out how to lead the way for safer routes to school. Also, get the news on how nearly one-third of drivers have been sleepy behind the wheel. Learn how shorter bike trips are a win for both health and the environment. To stay informed on new Public Health Newswire posts, subscribe directly via the website.



New Books from APHA Press 

The 2012 APHA Publications Catalog is now available. Use your APHA Membership to receive up to 30% off. Download the catalog to see all of the great new books, and familiar favorites, from APHA Press. Titles in the Publications Catalog include:


APHA Launches Changes to Membership

On January 1, 2012, APHA unveiled a revised membership structure with more streamlined membership categories and adjusted dues levels. One of the most exciting changes is the launch of a new “Early Career Professional” category for individuals who graduated in the last 24 months. Perhaps this could be a great gift to new graduates! Along with the traditional features of APHA membership, the Early Career Professional will receive benefits exclusive to new professionals entering the workforce. These changes are the first phase of a larger membership discussion that will continue throughout 2012. Learn more about the Early Career Professional category and other changes by visiting the membership website or by contacting the membership department (; 202-777-2400). 

   Resources and News


New Research

Traffic over bridge

Neighborhood green, social support, physical activity, and stress: assessing the cumulative impact. Fan Y, Das KV, Chen Q. Health & Place, 2011.

Neighbourhood development and public health initiatives: who participates? Fröding K, Elander I, Eriksson C. Health Promotion International, 2011.

Parental beliefs about supervising children when crossing roads and cycling. Soole DW, Lennon A, Haworth N. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 2011; 18(1): 29-36.

The perception of pedestrians from the perspective of elderly experienced and experienced drivers. Bromberg S, Oron-Gilad T, Ronen A, Borowsky A, Parmet Y. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 2012; 44(1): 48-55.

Vision Zero - a road safety policy innovation. Belin MA, Tillgren P, Vedung E. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 2011.

Weather factor impacts on commuting to work by bicycle. Flynn BS, Dana GS, Sears J, Aultman-Hall L. Preventive Medicine, 2011.

The Effect of a Neighborhood Built Environment on Physical Activity Behaviors. Vehige Calise T, Dumith SC, Dejong W, Kohl HW. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 2011.

Effectiveness of motorcycle protective clothing: Riders' health outcomes in the six months following a crash. de Rome L, Ivers R, Fitzharris M, Haworth N, Heritier S, Richardson D. Injury 2011.

Air Quality and Exercise-Related Health Benefits from Reduced Car Travel in the Midwestern United States. Grabow ML, Spak SN, Holloway T, Stone B Jr., Mednick AC, et al. Environmental Health Perspectives 2011.


New Resources

Livability tools at your fingertips

The Safe States Alliance recently developed the Livability & Smart Growth Assessment Tools Database, which includes assessment tools and checklists to assist users with evaluating their communities' degree of livability. The Database provides the information needed to create safer and healthier neighborhoods. The tools within the database are searchable by community size, assessment type, user role and six topic areas developed as a practical combination of the Livability and Smart Growth principles. 

TIGER grant funds announced for more than 30 states

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced the 2011 recipients of the TIGER 3 grant program, which provides $511 million to projects in more than 30 states and Puerto Rico. Many of the funded projects are supportive of multiple modes of transportation and complete streets initiatives. Learn more about the grants online

New health impact assessment (HIA) of a transit-oriented development policy

Three organizations - PolicyLink, ISAIAH and TakeAction Minnesota - have released a jointly developed health impact assessment (HIA) report that examines the complex benefits and challenges that low-income communities and communities of color face with light rail's arrival in their communities. The report, Healthy Corridor for All:  A Community Health Impact Assessment of Transit-Oriented Development Policy in Saint Paul, Minnesota, shares policy recommendations that support health and equitable development.


  Get Involved


Win up to $40,000 for your health department’s innovative policy idea

APHA is excited to announce a policy contest for health departments: The Power of Policy: Innovation to Improve Health. U.S. health departments at all levels of government are encouraged to submit a proposal for an innovative policy approach to a critical public health problem, with a focus on reducing health inequities and building policy capacity. Awards range from $25,000 to $40,000. Health departments may apply on their own or in partnership with non-profits. Note that a non-binding e-mail of intent is due January 18, 2012 and the applications are due January 31, 2012. Awards are expected to be announced by the end of February.

 2012 AM Side Bar

Call for Abstracts: 2012 APHA Annual Meeting

The American Public Health Association’s call for abstracts for the 2012 Annual Meeting & Exposition to be held Oct. 27–31 in San Francisco is now open. The theme of the meeting is “Prevention and Wellness Across the Lifespan.” Abstracts that focus on all areas of public health as well as those that focus on the Annual Meeting theme are encouraged. All abstracts must be submitted online and an easy to use online form facilitates the process step-by-step. 

Visit the abstract submission website at The deadline for submission of abstracts range from February 6 thru February 10, 2012, depending on the Section, Special Primary Interest Group, Caucus or Forum to which you wish to submit. All submissions will end at 11:59 p.m. (PST) on the due date listed on the Call for Abstracts.


Creating Healthy Communities Webinar

The next free webinar from the City of New York webinar series on Creating Healthy Communities is on Becoming a Fit City: Top Opportunities in Healthy, Active Design. It will be held on Wednesday, January 25th from 2:00-3:30 pm EST. This webinar will feature some of the top ways in which cities and towns can promote Active Design, which encourages walking, bicycling, stair climbing, active recreation and improved access to healthy foods. Successes and lessons learned in creating healthier communities will be shared. Register for the webinar online.


Submit a proposal on how to improve health via walking and biking

The National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) is collecting proposals for presentations at the 17th Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in Long Beach, Calif., on September 10-13, 2012. The conference will feature 1,000 participants and a rich mix of breakout sessions, interactive poster exhibits, mobile workshops and plenary speakers. Note that one of the Focus Areas for the conference is “Healthy + Safe”, which will explore ways to improve health and quality-of-life by making walking and biking trips convenient, pleasant and safe. Proposals from those working with low income/low resource communities are encouraged. Proposals must be submitted by February 1, 2012. Visit the call for proposals page or email Mark Plotz at


National Environmental Education Advisory seeking nominations of candidates

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education is currently seeking nominations from a diverse range of candidates to serve on the National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC), a federal advisory committee. In an effort to obtain nominations of diverse candidates, EPA encourages nominations of women and men of all racial and ethnic groups.  Candidates should possess the following qualifications: strong communication and writing skills, ability to evaluate programs in an unbiased manner and demonstrated experience and/ or knowledge in environmental education issues. Any interested and qualified individuals may be considered for appointment on the NEEAC. Applications should be submitted by January 15, 2012, in electronic format to the Designated Federal Officer, Javier Araujo ( The call for nominations is on the NEEAC website as well as more information about the program.


Mark your calendar for the release of the Bicycling and Walking Benchmarking Report

The "Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking Report" will be released by the Alliance for Biking & Walking on January 23, 2012. This reader-friendly report compiles data on biking and walking from all 50 states and the 51 largest U.S. cities. It includes information on bicycling and walking levels and demographics; bicycle and pedestrian safety; funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects and public health indicators. Download the report for free or order a hard copy on or after January 23, 2012.


  Upcoming Events in 2012



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


18-21 - Creating Partnerships for Rural Transit Solutions: Scottsdale, AZ


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 Conference: Los Angeles, CA


17-19 - Bicycle Leadership Conference: Monterey, CA




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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