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Transportation and Public Health e-Newsletter

July 2012

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Greetings public health leaders and advocates,

In late June, Congress approved the new transportation bill and it is not without controversy. There were expectations for a forward-looking 21st century transportation bill that provides equitable transportation choices and bolsters public health; the final version is far from this vision. Despite the setback, APHA sincerely thanks everyone who took time and action by writing letters, attending meetings and voicing your concerns along the way. As a silver lining, everyone's hard work helped to preserve funding and eligibility for some important programs that support walking and biking, as well as public transportation programs. We look forward to working with you further as the bill is implemented. For more details, America Bikes has developed a side-by-side comparison of SAFETEA-LU and the new law, MAP-21. Also, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy will hold two webinars to help people navigate the changes to the walking and bicycling programs of the new transportation law.

PedestriansThis month's e-newsletter brings you some new ways to get involved in the discussion around health and transportation. We have an additional APHA webinar to announce and several funding opportunities to note as well. We hope that you’ll share this e-newsletter with friends, family and colleagues. We also invite you to complete a brief survey so we can best serve your needs; it should take only two to four minutes to complete, and your input will help us plan for future events, discussions and resources at APHA.

As always, please visit our transportation website to find other APHA reports, news and information.


Thank you,

The American Public Health Association



APHA Highlights



APHA and PBIC offer webinar on pedestrians and bicyclists safety and health issues

APHA has partnered with the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) to host a free webinar that will explore what health impact assessments are and how they can be used to connect bicycle and pedestrian safety and health. Registration is now open, so please sign-up online:

The free webinar on July 24 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern will have three presenters. Bethany Rogerson, a senior associate for the Health Impact Project will provide an overview of HIA programs and how they can add value to a decision-making process. Brendan Haggerty, a planner in the Clark County, Wash. Public Health Department, will discuss how HIAs were used in the Clark County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan in 2010 and the lessons learned from that process. The county’s HIA was recognized as a model practice by the NationalStreet crosswalk Association of County and City Health Officials and won the 2012 Translating Research to Policy Award from Active Living Research. Jim Skoog, the community health specialist with the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services in Northeast Minnesota, and Ellen Pillsbury, a senior planner with the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission Regional Planning Division, will discuss how HIAs have been used in St. Louis County. Two other webinars will be scheduled for September and November, so please stay tuned for more details. 


APHA 2012 Annual Meeting: register today! 

Mark your calendar for the American Public Health Association 140th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Oct. 27-31, in San Francisco. Registration fees and hotel rates are available at The meeting theme this year is Prevention and Wellness Across the Life Span. Several sessions connected to the built environment, transportation and public health are planned, and include Aging and the Built Environment; Poster Session: Transportation and Public Health; Injury Control and Emergency Health Services: Transportation; Supporting Active Living: Influencing Physical Activity through Local Policy and the Built Environment; and Changing the Playing Field: Built Environment and Policy Initiatives to Promote Physical Activity.

   Resources and News


New resources from APHA

From The American Journal of Public Health: Helmet Wearing Among Users of a Public Bicycle-Sharing Program in the District of Columbia and Comparable Riders on Personal Bicycles. Kraemer JD, Roffenbender JS, Anderko L. American Journal of Public Health: 2012, ePub.

From Public Health Newswire (subscribe via email): Study: Cyclists using bicycle-sharing programs much less likely to wear helmets


Additional new resources 

Study links traffic noise and heart attack risk (also covered in Public Health Newswire

Analysis: Cities with More Walkers, Bike Commuters are Less Obese: How the built environment can be used to combat obesity.

TIGER 2012 Grant Awards: Of the TIGER 2012 funds available this year, more than $120 million went to vital transportation projects in rural and tribal areas. These grants will give rural residents and communities a wider variety of transportation options while improving safety, livability and access to education and community services. One such grant was awarded to the Yankton Sioux Tribe in South Dakota to build the Ihanktonwan Transit Facility. This transit facility is vital for connecting residents of the community to resources because 55 percent of adult tribal members do not have driver's licenses and many others do not own vehicles. Urban areas also benefitted from the TIGER program. For example, the Anacostia Bicycle and Pedestrian Project will “connect low-income neighborhoods to jobs and services in D.C. and Maryland while enabling bicycle and walking trips to schools, transit centers and training and social service locations for residents east of the Anacostia River.” The bike trail will enhance safety by providing cyclists with facilities that are removed from vehicular traffic. Also, the city of Birmingham, Ala. will receive grant funds to create a multimodal street network that supports various transportation alternatives and promotes active transportation. For more information about the grant awardees, visit


Additional new research

Are there racial disparities in the use of restraints and outcomes in children after motor vehicle crashes?. Lee SL, Yaghoubian A, Stark R, Munoz V, Kaji AH. Journal of Pediatric Surgery: 2012. Vol. 47, No. 6, pp. 1192-1195.

Case-control analysis in highway safety: Accounting for sites with multiple crashes. Gross F. Accident Analysis and Prevention: 2012, ePub. Four lane roadway

Helmet use among motorcyclists who died in crashes and economic cost savings associated with state motorcycle helmet laws - United States, 2008-2010. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: 2012, Vol. 61, No. 23, pp. 425-430.

Helmet use in BIXI cyclists in Toronto, Canada: an observational study. Bonyun M, Camden A, Macarthur C, Howard A. BMJ Open: 2012, Vol. 2, No. 3, ePub.

Implementation and early outcomes of a peer-led traffic safety initiative for high school students. Wermert AM, Mehl A, Opalek JM, Shaffer LE. Journal of Trauma Nursing: 2012, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 94-101.

Most older pedestrians are unable to cross the road in time: a cross-sectional study. Asher L, Aresu M, Falaschetti E, Mindell J. Age and Ageing: 2012, ePub.

Motor Vehicle Collision-related Emergency Department Visits by Older Adults in the United States. Platts-Mills TF, Hunold KM, Esserman DA, Sloane PD, McLean SA. Academic Emergency Medicine: 2012, ePub.

Motor vehicle fatal crash profiles of 13-15-year-olds. Williams AF, Tison J. Journal of Safety Research: 2012, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 145-149.

Pedestrian crossing location influences injury severity in urban areas. Rothman L, Howard AW, Camden A, Macarthur C. Injury Prevention: 2012, ePub.

Pedestrians' estimates of their own visibility: A simple and effective computer-based technique. Balk SA, Brooks JO, Klein N, Grygier J. Journal of Safety Research: 2012, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 101-106.

Perceived neighborhood environmental attributes associated with adults' transport-related walking and cycling: Findings from the USA, Australia and Belgium. Van Dyck D, Cerin E, Conway TL, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Owen N, Kerr J, Cardon G, Frank LD, Saelens BE, Sallis JF. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity: 2012, Vol. 9, No. 1, p. 70.

The importance of Active Transportation to and from school for daily physical activity among children. Pabayo R, Maximova K, Spence JC, Ploeg KV, Wu B, Veugelers P. Preventive Medicine: 2012, ePub.

The Maze Test: A significant predictor of older driver crash risk. Staplin L, Gish KW, Lococo KH, Joyce JJ, Sifrit KJ. Accident Analysis and Prevention: 2012, ePub.

Translating road safety into health outcomes using a quantitative impact assessment model. Dhondt S, Pirdavani A, Macharis C, Bellemans T, Putman K. Injury Prevention: 2012,ePub.

Vehicle surge detection and pathway discrimination by pedestrians who are blind: Effect of adding an alert sound to hybrid electric vehicles on performance. Kim DS, Emerson RW, Naghshineh K, Pliskow J, Myers K. British Journal of Visual Impairment: 2012, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 61-78. 


  Get Involved


APHA webinars on health and equity in transportation: Promising methods and modes to improve health outcomes   Transportation webinar Susan Polan Slides

APHA is hosting a free webinar series this summer on critical health and equity issues in the transportation sector. These three, 60-minute APHA webinars will explore the ties between public health and increased use of public transportation; reduced injuries, particularly for children and young drivers; and increased access to goods and services, such as healthy foods, jobs, employment and health care, for all communities. Webinar dates and times, as well as guest speaker details, are provided online. Participants must register to join the webinars. Registration is available online; it is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For those who missed previous webinars, they are archived on the APHA website.


Convergence Innovation Fund: Promoting Health and Equity through Built Environment and Healthy Food Access Policy

The Convergence Partnership invites local and regional philanthropic institutions to submit proposals that will support the launch of new grant-making initiatives designed to enhance the built environment and/or expand access to healthy food in low-income communities and communities of color in order to improve health and promote equity. The Innovation Fund provides 50 percent matching dollars, up to $200,000 total, for a three-year period. The goal is to engage philanthropic institutions in creating robust and sustainable support for multi-field, policy and environmental change efforts emphasizing equity and community partnership. Local organizations can initiate the proposal by approaching their local foundations to discuss healthy, equitable, built environment and healthy food access opportunities. Applications, however, must be submitted by the local foundation. In the application review process, priority will be given to applicants who apply in partnership with equity-focused community groups. The deadline to submit proposals is Aug. 9. For more details about this opportunity, and access to the request for proposals, visit the Convergence Partnership website at See the Request for Proposal for more information. For questions, contact


Two health impact assessment funding opportunities announced

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Community Design Initiative, will fund and support up to four state or territorial health agencies to conduct one Health Impact Assessment by May 31, 2013. The primary purpose of this RFP is to build capacity for conducting HIA among STHAs through a hands-on, project-oriented approach. HIA targets can originate from a variety of sectors, but those with an environmental health focus will be given preference (e.g., transportation, land use). ASTHO must receive applications by 5 p.m. Pacific on July 31. For more information, please visit

The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, announced a call for proposals for grants to conduct health impact assessments. HIAs identify and address the health impacts of decisions in other sectors. The call for proposals will support two kinds of awards: demonstration project grants of up to $75,000, which will each fund a single HIA to inform a specific upcoming decision on a proposed policy, program, plan, or project; and HIA program grants of up to $250,000, which will allow organizations with prior experience to conduct at least two new HIAs and to develop stable HIA programs that endure beyond the conclusion of the grant period. More information, including frequently asked questions, registration information for webinars, details about eligibility, and other resources are available at


Pro Walk/Pro Bike in 2012

Public health practitioners and professionals know that creating walkable, bikeable communities are helpful in the battle against national epidemics, such as obesity. Learn how to successfully work with transportation professionals, advocates and others to create more active, healthy places by attending the Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference in Long Beach on Sept. 10-13. The conference will include more than 100 panel sessions, poster presentations and mobile workshops, including a ‘Healthy + Safe’ conference session track. Register today at



  Upcoming Events in 2012-2013




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


6-9 - National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) - Legislative Summit: Chicago

12-15 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Annual Meeting: Atlanta


10-13 - ProWalk/ProBike: Long Beach, Calif.

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

30-10/3 - American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Annual Meeting: Seattle


3 - Walk to School Day: International

14-17 - Rail~Volution: Los Angeles

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




13-17 - Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting: Washington


7-9 - New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Kansas City, Mo. 


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