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Transportation and Public Health e-Newsletter

August 2013
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Greetings, public health leaders and advocates:
 
Thank you for taking the time to check out our monthly e-newsletter. Visit our public health, equity and transportation website at http://www.apha.org/transportation to find more reports, news and information.
 
Thank you,
 
APHA Highlights
APHA Annual Meeting: Early-bird registration discount deadline is Aug. 22
 
Attendees can now access the official registration and housing websites for the APHA 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition in Boston, Nov. 2-6. Register before Aug. 22 and save! Full registration fees become effective between Aug. 23 and Sept. 26. After Sept. 26, Annual Meeting attendees must pay the onsite registration fee. Visit http://www.apha.org/meetings/AnnualMeeting/ for everything you need to know about this year's meeting.
  
Highlights of the 2013 Annual Meeting:
 
• Opening General Session speakers announced – The Opening General Session will take place on Sunday, Nov. 3, noon-2 p.m. at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The opening will feature nationally known attorney and spokeswoman, Sarah Weddington, JD; internationally acclaimed epidemiologist, Michael Marmot, MD, PhD, MPH and Thomas Menino, mayor of Boston.
 
• Closing General Session – Featuring Evan Adams, MD, MPH, this session titled, “Improving the Health of Native People: A Public Health Approach,” will explore the health of Native people and learn about the strides health advocates are making in Canada’s Aboriginal population. The session will draw from Adams’ experiences as British Columbia’s first Aboriginal health physician advisor. Be sure to join us at the BCEC, Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 2:30-4 p.m.
 
• Online program - The Annual Meeting consists of more than 1,000 scientific sessions, roundtables, poster sessions, institutes and panel discussions at which more than 4,000 scientific papers will be presented. View the online program with comprehensive session details, abstracts and author information.
 
 
Resources for connecting with partners on Safe Routes to School
 
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership recently produced a series of new webinars and written action briefs to support Safe Routes to School partners and practitioners. These resources aim to educate practitioners on the role of school districts, governors and state leaders, metropolitan planning organizations and others; they also highlight communities with successful Safe Routes to School efforts. These new resources were developed with funding from CDC and support from both CDC and APHA.
Resources and News
pedestriansNew resources from APHA's Public Health Newswire:
 
 
 
Other resources and news: 
 
Cognitive performance is better in girls who walk to school
A new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that adolescent girls who walked to school had better cognitive performance than girls who traveled by bus or car. Further, cognitive performance was better in girls who walk more than 15 minutes to school. Authors of the study believe that inactive adolescents could be missing out on an important stimulus to improve their learning and cognitive functioning.  
 
A health impact assessment of bus funding and access
This report examines the connections between transportation, mobility and health of bus transit-dependent riders. The Alameda County Public Health Department partnered with 16 nonprofit organizations and public agencies between 2012 and 2013 to explore the health implications of bus service cuts and fare increases on transit-dependent bus riders 
 
YOURS: Youth and Road Safety Action Kit
This new Road Safety Action Kit was created by Youth for Road Safety and the International Union for Health Promotion and Education in an effort to introduce young people to road safety and motivate them to become involved. The kit provides information on the road safety crisis, basic information to implement road safety projects and a set of briefings on key actions and processes to make road safety projects a success. Visit http://www.youthforroadsafety.org/ to learn more.
 
Anthony Foxx states that safety is his top priority as next U.S. secretary of transportation
Anthony Foxx, former mayor of Charlotte, N.C., was sworn into office on July 2 as the new secretary of transportation. His top priority at the Department of Transportation will remain safety. He also stated he will “work to improve the efficiency and performance of our current transportation system while building the infrastructure we need for future generations.”
 
Driver and Pedestrian Guide to Sharing the Road Safely: Pocket Guide
A free pocket-sized safety guide from Easter Seals Project Action provides tips for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists about road safety in all seasons and weather conditions.  
 
Active transportation infrastructure can help prevent childhood obesity
According to a recent survey sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, 64 percent of adults and 68 percent of parents strongly favor building more sidewalks, paths, trails, and bike lanes in the community to help more kids to walk and bike to school.Bicyclist
 
Comprehensive bicycling education videos
The League of American Bicyclists has released an online Smart Cycling program offering videos, lessons and interactive components designed to educate bicyclists about safety on the road, types of bikes to choose from, techniques for improving your ride and more. Enjoy the videos at http://www.bikeleague.org/content/watch-video. 
 
 
New research:
 
A population approach to transportation planning: Reducing exposure to motorvehicles
When addressing common challenges with transportation planning and public health, theories and methods from both disciplines should be considered. By combining research in both areas, transportation practices can improve mobility and productivity while simultaneously reducing the public health burden. This paper provides an overview of Geoffrey Rose’s strategy of preventive medicine when applied to road traffic fatalities 
 
Driving on familiar roads: Automaticity and inattention blindness (login required)
In this study, participants drove a simulated road regularly for three months of testing and measured driving performance and detection task performance. These measurements were compared to a control group who encountered the road in a single session. The findings examine inattention blindness in familiar areas and may suggest why drivers are most likely to crash at locations near their homes
 
Association of street connectivity and road traffic speed with park usage and park-based physical activity
A new study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed that greater intersection density and slower traffic routes are associated with more park usage and park-based physical activity. The study suggests that ensuring direct and safe access to parks through street design and traffic speed reduction is key in facilitating increased park-related physical activity.
 
Cross sectional analysis of the association between mode of school transportation and physical fitness in children and adolescents
This cross-sectional study sampled children and adolescents from 40 elementary schools and 23 high schools representing all regions of Norway. Researchers tested anthropometry, cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness and compared the results to the participants’ mode of transport to school. The results showed that active commuting, especially cycling, is associated with healthier body composition and better cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness. 
  
Get Involved
 
Web forum on zoning for health
  
This Web forum, hosted by Active Living Research and Public Health Law Research, will explore recent research on neighborhood design and how mixed-use zoning could help reduce crime and increase neighborhood walkability, two outcomes that are associated with improved public health. This Web forum will describe public health law research supporting these findings, highlight case studies from both coasts and examine the challenges with zoning laws and policy work. It will be held Aug. 15 from 1-2 p.m. Eastern.
 
 
  
Upcoming Events in 2013
 
Aug. 13-15 - Safe Routes to School National Conference: Sacramento, Calif.
Aug. 20-21 - Roadway Safety Culture Summit: Washington, D.C.
Sept. 18-21 - Teen Distracted Driving Prevention Summit: Washington, D.C.
Sept. 24-25 - National Health Impact Assessment Meeting: Washington, D.C.
Sept. 29-Oct. 2 - American Public Transportation Association Annual Meeting: Chicago
Oct. 1-3 - 2013 Walking Summit: Washington, D.C.
Nov. 2-6 – APHA Annual Meeting: Boston
 
 
On behalf of the APHA staff, we would like to thank our summer policy center intern, Stephanie Crawford, for her hard work and helpful contributions to our newsletter. We wish her well on all her future endeavors!
 
Crosswalk with pedestrians.


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