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Transportation and Public Health e-Newsletter

January 2013

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Crosswalk with pedestrians.Greetings public health leaders and advocates,

Happy New Year! Thank you for taking the time to check out our monthly e-newsletter, where we aim to provide you with a useful roundup of news about health and equity in transportation. 

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2013,

American Public Health Association 


APHA Highlights


America’s Health Rankings report finds Americans living longer but unnecessarily sicker

Americans are experiencing improved survival in several key health measures, but unhealthy behavior and preventable illness threaten quantity and quality of life going forward, according to the 2012 America’s Health Rankings. The 23rd edition of the report, published jointly by United Health Foundation, APHA and Partnership for Prevention, finds that while premature, cardiovascular and cancer deaths have declined since 1990, Americans are experiencing troubling levels of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and sedentary behavior. To learn more, visit the America’s Health Rankings website.


APHA’s Call for Abstracts is now open

The American Public Health Association's Call for Abstracts for its 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition to be held Nov. 2-6, 2013 in Boston is now open. The theme is Think Global, Act Local, with a focus on best practices around the world. Find out more about the 2013 APHA Annual Meeting. We encourage you to submit abstracts in all areas of public health as well as abstracts that focus on the Annual Meeting theme. All abstracts must be submitted online. An easy-to-use online form will walk you through the process step by step. The deadlines for submission of abstracts range from Feb. 4-8, depending on the Section, Special Primary Interest Group, Caucus or Forum to which you submit your abstract. All submissions will end at 11:59 p.m. PST on the due date listed on the Call for Abstracts Web page. No late submissions will be accepted. Submission of an abstract implies a commitment to present at the Annual Meeting, therefore, please make sure you understand these requirements before submitting an abstract.

Banner, 2013 Annual Meeting


Resources and News


New resources from APHA:

From the American Journal of Public Health and Public Health Newswire:

Public Health Newswire is a leading source of news covering public health events, trends and advocacy, and reports on a wide spectrum of public health topics — from the latest research and national policy debates to disease outbreaks and resources for the profession. Read a few recent posts:


The January 2013 and the December 2012 issues of the American Journal of Public Health are now available online. Highlights include:

Formative process evaluation for implementing a social marketing intervention to increase walking among African Americans in the positive action for today’s health trial

Evaluation of an education, restraint distribution, and fitting program to promote correct use of age-appropriate child restraints for children aged 3 to 5 years: A cluster randomized trial

Visit AJPH on Facebook for updates on current research, a look back at earlier research and more. “Like” AJPH today!


Additional new resources and updates:

The White House has released an updated fact sheet on drugged driving. Learn why this issue continues to threaten public safety, and what can be done to address it.  

NHTSA releases new analyses of 2011 traffic fatalities, but improvements not seen across all modes.

A new study classifies adults by level of active transportation, which in turn was "associated with more-favorable cardiovascular risk factor profiles, providing additional justification for infrastructure and policies that permit and encourage active transportation."

NIH shared a new video on safe street crossings for kids


New book on cycling addresses the connection to public health

City Cycling book cover.In November 2012 MIT Press published "City Cycling," a book that examines the many different aspects of cycling trends and policies across the globe. Bicycling is booming in many of the world's cities, for many reasons, including health and environmental benefits.  It reports on cycling trends and policies in North America, Europe, and Australia, and offers information on such topics as cycling safety, integration of cycling with public transportation, and promoting cycling for women and children.

"City Cycling" emphasizes that bicycling should not be limited to those who are  highly trained, extremely fit and daring enough to battle traffic on busy roads. The chapters describe ways to make city cycling feasible, convenient and safe for commutes to work and school, shopping trips, visits to friends, and other daily transportation needs. One important theme throughout the book is the need to make cycling possible for everyone, as a matter of social justice and equity in transportation policy. That requires special attention to the needs of women, children and older adults, who are underrepresented among cyclists, and whose share of cyclists has even been falling in the United States. Equity and social justice in transportation policy demand that all modes of transportation made accessible and safe for all groups, especially those who are vulnerable, such as children and seniors. The rise in cycling in the United States has been dramatic and encouraging, but it has been focused mainly among young and middle-aged men. Infrastructure, programs, and government policies must be improved to broaden the appeal of cycling, so that it is more socially inclusive and provides greater mobility, independence and physical activity for all groups, not just for recreation, but for daily, utilitarian travel. 


National Health Impact Assessment Meeting coming in September

Building on the success of the Inaugural Health Impact Assessment meeting in April 2012, the second annual National Health Impact Assessment Meeting will convene policymakers, public health professionals, HIA practitioners and others with an interest in learning more about HIAs. It will be held in Washington, D.C. from Sept. 24-25, with post-conference discussions held on Sept. 26. The conference registration begins in February.


Get Involved
Bring Open Streets to your community 

You know the difficulties of transforming your streets into healthy places, where biking and walking are safe transportation options. Despite research showing the benefits of biking, walking and transit, decisionmakers often find it difficult to envision a street that prioritizes people’s health. What if you could show community members this kind of street: a place designed to keep your community healthly? Open Streets temporarily closes streets to automobiles so that people may use them for any activity but driving — walking, jogging, bicycling, dancing or any other physical activity. Open Streets show communities members what biking and walking feels like in a safe environment and gets people thinking about how they can make this change permanent. There are now more than 80 Open Streets initiatives across North America, in cities that are creating streets that encourage healthy decisions. Visit the Open Streets Project website to see if there is an initiative near you and to learn more about opening your streets for the first time. Contact Mike Samuelson at to learn how to get involved.


Call for Papers on “Developing Healthy and Livable Communities” 

The Transportation Research Board Transportation and Air Quality Committee, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) T&DI Planning, Economics and Finance Committee, the Air and Waste Management Association, and the Federal Highway Administration and other sponsors are seeking papers for 20 sessions for the 2013 Transportation/ Land Use Planning and Air Quality (TLUPAQ) Conference. The call is for papers related to the following topics: (1) smart growth implementation and evaluation; (2) scenario planning and livability design strategies; (3) intelligent transportation strategies and implementation; (4) climate change; (5) pricing strategies; (6) information systems; (7) MOVES model evaluations and data;  (8) technological innovations; and (9) health impacts of land use and transportation decisions. Guidelines to submit papers have been provided. Draft papers or abstracts for the 2013 TLUPAQ Conference must be submitted electronically no later than Feb. 8 to Srinivas Pulugurtha at


Upcoming Events in 2013

Jan. 13-17 - Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting: Washington, D.C.

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

Feb. 26-28 - Active Living Research Conference: San Diego
March 4-6 - National Bike Summit: Washington
April 13-17 - American Planning Association Conference: Chicago

April 14-16 - Lifesavers Conference: Denver

April 14-16 - Main Streets Conference: New Orleans

April 14-17 - International Trails Symposium: Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona

May 29-June 1 - Annual Congress for the New Urbanism: Salt Lake City
June 2-7 - Community Transportation Association Expo: Albuquerque, N.M.
June 23-27 - International Making Cities Livable Conference: Portland, Ore.
Aug. 13-15 - Safe Routes to School National Conference: Sacramento, Calif.
Nov. 2-6 – APHA Annual Meeting: Boston


Crosswalk with pedestrians. 


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