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Transportation and Public Health e-Newsletter

October 2012

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Greetings public health leaders and advocates,

The fall season is off to an active start as we find new resources on health and transportation ranging from APHA Annual Meeting sessions to emerging research to reports on active transportation, air quality, walking and much more.

As always, please share this e-newsletter with friends, family and colleagues. And visit our public health, equity and transportation website at

Thank you,
American Public Health Association

APHA Highlights

APHA 2012 Annual Meeting 

We are just a few weeks away from the APHA 140th Annual Meeting & Expo in San Francisco. Find out more about APHA’s Annual Meeting & Expo:San Francisco Cable Car

  • Online program — Search a comprehensive list of scientific sessions, business meetings and social hours by date, Section or keyword.
  • Public Health Expo — Search the virtual expo floor plan to view the 650 booths of public health services, information and state-of-the-art products.
  • Opening General Session speakers — Speakers include Gail Sheehy, best-selling author, and Dr. Reed Tuckson, executive vice president at UnitedHealth Group.
  • Closing General Session — The closing will focus on incarceration, justice and health. Keynote speaker Angela Davis will discuss research into prison systems around the world and the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice.
  • Awards reception and ceremony — On Tuesday, Oct. 30, join colleagues to recognize the APHA’s distinguished award winners.
  • Special sessions – Cutting-edge educational programming sponsored by APHA will feature public health experts worldwide.

The meeting will include more than 1,000 scientific sessions focusing on the latest public health challenges, 700 booths of state-of-the-art public health products, networking opportunities and more.

This year, the Annual Meeting will include numerous sessions on transportation, health and equity issues, on topics ranging from safety to access to non-emergency medical transport to physical activity and more. A selection of sessions is listed below, and dates and times are provided wherever possible:


Equal access for children with disabilities: Evaluating accessibility for Montana elementary schools' safe routes; Sunday, October 28, 2012

Obesity and the risk of death during traffic collisions; Sunday, October 28, 2012

Effectiveness of a parent-directed teen driver safety intervention translated for delivery by driver education instructors; Sunday, October 28, 2012

An analysis of the incidence and causes of road traffic accident in Kisii, Central district, Kenya; Sunday, October 28, 2012

Effectiveness of a Safe Routes to School Program in preventing school-age pedestrian injury; Sunday, October 28, 2012

Graduated Driver Licensing and Motor Vehicle Crashes involving Teenage Drivers: An Age-Stratified Meta Analysis; Sunday, October 28, 2012

Transportation Posters; Sunday, October 28, 2012: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.


Evidence to support the need to educate physicians and healthcare professionals about non-emergency medical transportation; Monday, October 29, 2012

Health Transportation Shortage Index (HTSI): A new measure of child health access; Monday, October 29, 2012

Assessing safe active transportation for youth of color in California; Monday, October 29, 2012

Active living in a dangerous world: Characteristics of the built environment surrounding pedestrian-vehicle collisions; Monday, October 29, 2012

Epidemiology and trends in law enforcement traffic collisions in California, 1998-2009; Monday, October 29, 2012

Childhood obesity and the built environment: The role of health impact assessment; Monday, October 29, 2012

Age-related trends in drug-involved driving in the United States, 2005–2009; Monday, October 29, 2012

An epidemiologic analysis of bicycle injuries at three U.S. National Parks; Monday, October 29, 2012

Working with non-traditional partners to develop recommendations for a Complete Streets policy; Monday, October 29, 2012: 8:30 - 8:50 a.m.

A state of good repair: Transportation life cycle financing and community sustainability; Monday, October 29, 2012: 8:50 - 9:10 a.m.

Sustainable return on investment: The economic, social, and environmental business case in a transportation infrastructure context; Monday, October 29, 2012: 9:30 - 9:50 a.m.

Matched case-control study of on-road bicycle facilities and bicycle crashes in Iowa, 2007-2010; Monday, October 29, 2012: 10:30 - 10:50 a.m.

Development of interactive geospatial PDF planning maps of traffic collisions near school sites to aid California SRTS funding applicants; Monday, October 29, 2012: 10:50 - 11:10 a.m.

Health equity through a disability lens - are we making progress?; Monday, October 29, 2012: 11:00 - 11:15 a.m.

California Safe Routes to School Technical Assistance Resource Center: A model for Safe Routes to School program promotion; Monday, October 29, 2012: 11:30 - 11:45 a.m.

Road safety behaviors among Zambian drivers and pedestrians, an observational study; Monday, October 29, 2012: 3:15 - 3:30 p.m.

TUESDAY Annual Meeting

Proposed alternatives to the data analysis techniques of a national road safety program in Brazil: Application of the population attributable fraction methodology; Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Understanding the role of community and expert knowledge in assessing local impacts of transportation infrastructure; Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Examining active transportation patterns in Kingston, Ontario, Canada: An analysis of socio-demographics, destinations, and duration by modal split; Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Examining access to trails in high and low income regions of the Las Vegas metropolitan area; Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Walk Your Heart to Health: Preliminary findings from a community-based participatory approach to promote heart health through physical activity in Detroit; Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Safe Routes To School workshops as a catalyst to sustainable Safe Routes To School program; Tuesday, October 30, 2012

San Antonio City Council adopts Complete Streets policy to promote healthy living and safe mobility; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 10:30 - 10:50 a.m.

Effects of an ED intervention to reduce risky driving and alcohol misuse among young adults: A randomized controlled trial; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 10:50 - 11:10 a.m.

Public transportation saves lives: A health in all policies approach; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 10:50 - 11:10 a.m.

Health Belief Model and attitudes and behaviors related to distracted driving with use of a simulation game to prevent distracted driving; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 11:15 - 11:30 a.m.

Health and community-based planning in the creation of transit oriented districts in South Los Angeles; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 11:30 - 11:50 a.m.

Youth VideoVoice engagement in healthy transportation equity; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 12:30 - 12:50 p.m.

Symposium: assessing the interaction between health and transportation among seniors; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Increasing access to physical activity through policy and built environment changes; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 12:30 - 12:50 p.m.

Mapping (un)safe routes to school: Using community-engaged mapping to inform safe passages program planning; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 12:30 - 12:50 p.m.

Inserting health indicators into California's climate change and regional transportation planning process; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Neighborhood built environment and leisure-time and transportation-related walking among older U.S. women; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 12:50 - 1:10 p.m.

Benefit cost analysis of active transportation impacts in long-range planning in the San Francisco Bay area; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 12:50 - 1:10 p.m.

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT): A critical component of the U.S. medical care delivery system; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 12:54 - 1:06 p.m.

Engaging the health community to influence regional transportation and land use planning to improve public health; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 1:10 - 1:30 p.m.

Increasing access to physical activity through evidence based strategies; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 1:10 - 1:30 p.m.

Utilization and cost of non-emergency medical transportation among older adults: A rural-urban comparison; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 1:18 - 1:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Active Transportation Community Planning Initiative: Engaging residents in low-income urban neighborhoods to improve the built environment and increase physical activity; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 1:30 - 1:50 p.m.

Targeting resources to support safe walking environments in all communities; Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 3:21 - 3:33 p.m.


A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of proposed road diet and re-striping project; Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trends in bicycling for transportation at an urban university; Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Diesel exhaust exposure in south Seattle's public parks: A community engagement study; Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ICount, a tool kit for community based documentation of bicycle and pedestrian environments and behaviors; Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Investigating the relationship between the built environment, air quality, and individual-level exposure: A land use regression approach; Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Safe Routes to School: Improving community health by shifting travel modes; Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Health benefits of the Atlanta BeltLine project on poor underserved neighborhoods: Case study of NPU-V neighborhoods; Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poster Session: Transportation and population health; Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

University-based program to increase professional capacity to address the global road safety epidemic; Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 9:30 - 9:45 a.m.

Creating a community that is healthy by design: Complete streets changing the face of Yellowstone County; Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 11:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Monetizing health co-benefits from transportation strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the San Francisco Bay Area; Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 11:30 - 11:50 a.m.

Healthcare in very rural and frontier communities: Balancing equity, effectiveness and efficiency; Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 12:30 - 12:50 p.m.

Collaboration Multiplier: Maximizing community efforts through multi-field partnership; Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 12:40 - 12:50 p.m.


New this year – APHA Mobile AppAnnual Meeting 2012

The complete Annual Meeting program is now available as a mobile app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices. The app is designed to enhance attendees meeting experience and provide valuable information in one place for all smartphone users. Those who download this free, easy-to-use tool will be able to search sessions, abstracts and author information, preview exhibitor information, create an event itinerary, connect with colleagues and much more. Search for APHAMeeting in your app store. Don’t forget to download the app before you leave home! Visit


Resources and News

New resources from APHA

Active transportation primerNew report: Public health professionals are vital to supporting active transportation

Citing the growing rates of obesity and physical inactivity, APHA and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership co-authored a primer to show how health can be considered in transportation planning and the role that public health practitioners can play — and in doing so, grow stronger and more active communities. “Promoting Active Transportation: An Opportunity for Public Health” explains how public health practitioners can understand how transportation is built in communities, regions and states; learn how transportation programs are organized and funded; and engage stakeholders to find effective calls for action.

 “Everyone travels. Whether it is for work, school or play, how we as individuals and as a society travel has impacts that go far beyond the seemingly simple and routine act of going from one place to another. This common trait provides an ideal intervention point for public health practitioners,” the primer states.

The latest federal transportation bill — Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century — begins in October 2012 and gives public health professionals means of affecting modern transportation practices. This includes their role in fostering change — for safe bicycling, improved sidewalks, multi-use pathways and other commuting practices — at federal, state, regional and local levels.

The increase of active transportation, such as walking or biking, has proven health and health cost benefits. According to the primer, the Federal Highway Administration found that when active transportation programs were implemented into four test communities, injuries were reduced and their economic cost of mortality declined by $6.8 billion. The primer finds the greatest opportunity for intervention at the planning stage of transportation development. It includes communication strategies, encouraging public health practitioners to understand the stakeholders involved and the roles different transportation modes play before engaging transportation decision-makers. Visit APHA’s transportation page for additional information on the links between public health, equity and transportation.


From the American Journal of Public Health, Public Health Newswire and The Nation's Health:

Walking to school in Japan and childhood obesity prevention: New lessons from an old policy

The Impact of free older persons’ bus pass on active travel and regular walking in England

Walkability, transit access, and traffic exposure for low-income residents with subsidized housing

The relationship between built environments and physical activity: A systematic review

How to identify food deserts: Measuring physical and economic access to supermarkets in King County, Washington

Many parents ignore child safety seat recommendations 

Community Transformation Grants advance public health in Calif., Mass.

Transportation options promote better health outcomes 

Groups concerned over Florida not having texting while driving ban 

Transportation programs promote active communities, reduced obesity


American Journal of Public Health seeks research on underrepresented, minority and vulnerable populations

The American Journal of Public Health has issued a Call for Papers on the ethical treatment of human participants from underrepresented, minority and vulnerable populations as research subjects. All papers will be subject to review and peer review defined by AJPH policy. For the full listing of intended topics, visit the upcoming issue of The Nation's Health, the September 2012 issue of the Journal or visit AJPH online. Click on the "Authors" button near the top of the screen, and click on the "Calls for Papers" link. Papers should be submitted no later than Oct. 12. Additionally, the Journal is planning a theme issue on improving birth outcomes.


Additional new resources


CDC releases new Vital Signs report on walking: Six in 10 adults now get physically active by walking

crosswalkSixty-two percent of adults say they walked for at least 10 minutes per day in 2010, compared to 56 percent in 2005, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, less than half (48 percent) of all adults get enough physical activity to improve their health, according to data from the National Health Interview Survey. The report notes that increases in walking were seen in nearly all groups surveyed. Listen to a podcast about the Vital Signs report to learn how communities, employers and individuals may help increase walking.


Guidance and Best Practices for Stakeholder Participation in Health Impact Assessments 

A new document created by a working group of several organizations provides guidance on stakeholder participation on HIAs and may be useful for other processes where health advocates are looking for strategies to implement stakeholder participation. The document, Guidance and Best Practices for Stakeholder Participation in Health Impact Assessments, primarily targets HIA practitioners who are working to improve stakeholder participation and leadership in the practice of HIA. The guide distills stakeholder participation techniques, case studies and guiding principles from various fields of expertise, including HIA, environmental and social impact assessment, land use and transportation planning, community-based participatory research and public health. HIAs are becoming more popular in the U.S. and, as more practitioners are leveraging this tool, participation of impacted communities and key stakeholders must remain central to the implementation of HIAs. This guide is the collective product of eight organizations who came together to create the Stakeholder Participation Working Group of the HIA in the Americas Workshop in March 2010.


Safe Routes to School and Traffic Pollution: Get Children Moving and Reduce Exposure to Unhealthy Air

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership has released a new resource guide, Safe Routes to School and Traffic Pollution: Get Children Moving and Reduce Exposure to Unhealthy Air. The guide aims to encourage practitioners to pursue actions that reduce traffic pollution while also enabling more children to safely walk and bicycle. This publication examines the health impacts on children from exposure to traffic pollution; how Safe Routes to School programs can potentially impact children's exposure to traffic pollution; and strategies and practice approaches that can mitigate exposure to traffic pollution.


Strategies to encourage walking in communities around the nation

America Walks has launched Steps to a Walkable Community: A Guide for Citizens, Planners and Engineers. This book and downloadable PDF is a collection of innovative tactics that have successfully improved walking in various communities across the nation. America Walks also has received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with APHA, to bring workshops, technical assistance and other support services to help local communities increase walking. Find out more information about these services and how to request a workshop for your community. There are a few ways to leverage this opportunity:

  • Conduct workshops in local communities. For communities seeking to generate interest in walking and communities with active walking organizations, this is an opportunity to develop a strategic action plan. America Walks will help bring together diverse community stakeholders to build support for walking and improve walkability in your community. See the Walk Friendly Program application to learn more.
  • Sponsor an electronic technical assistance center. Use the new resource, Steps to a Walkable Community - a Guide for Citizens, Planners, and Engineers, which serves as a first-stop shopping guide for choosing successful walking initiatives.
  • Support walking advocates through webinars and telephone conferences. The bi-monthly online presentations will feature the latest walking initiatives and key topics needed for success. Sign up to receive e-notices for walking initiative webinars and phone conferences. 


DMV records used to track population weight and obesity over time 

The Oregon Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, called Oregon Tracking, has released a report, “DMV records are valuable for obesity surveillance in Oregon," which presents findings from the largest validation study conducted on department of motor vehicle (DMV) records and demonstrates applications for the data. Oregon is the first state to enhance obesity surveillance with data from driver licenses and ID cards. Using height and weight data from DMV records, Oregon Tracking calculated community-level estimates of the population’s weight status for the entire state. The researchers found that DMV records are sensitive to changes in the population’s weight over time. The DMV report can be provided upon request in alternative formats for individuals with disabilities. Other formats may include (but are not limited to) large print, Braille, audio recordings, Web-based communications and other electronic formats.


Get Involved

Smart Growth Network - Share your thoughts about the future of our communities

Do you have ideas about what you want your community to be like? Can you envision new directions for development, transportation or public health? You are invited to submit a post to the Smart Growth Network's National Conversation blog, devoted entirely to ongoing conversations about the future of our communities. Submit your ideas to to help launch this conversation.


Upcoming Events in 2012-2013


October 14-17 - Rail~Volution: Los Angeles

October 27-31 - APHA Annual Meeting: San Francisco

November 17 - National Strategic Summit: Roadmap for Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Comparative Effectiveness Research: Phoenix

November 27 - December 1 - Congress of Cities and Exposition: Boston



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

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


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