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April 2014 Newsletter

TRB Health and Transportation Subcommittee Newsletter 
This Issue: Updates, New Resources, and How to Get Involved



Greetings, friends of the TRB Health and Transportation Subcommittee, 

Our subcommittee continues to remain quite active. Since our annual meeting this past January (notes found on our website), we have moved several initiatives forward. At the top of the initiative list is a TRB Circular, which will document what a transportation planner needs to know about health, what a public health professional needs to know about transportation, and answer many of the questions we get from both sides on the topic. In a few weeks we plan to circulate the draft outline to our listserv members and find people willing to take on the task of writing articles. 

Another thing to look for is the report documenting the session we held at TRB’s Annual Meeting in January 2014. The session was organized as a panel discussion where we heard the perspective from three senior state transportation officials and a state health commissioner on raising public health issues to a higher level in the transportation sector. 

The mid-year meeting this year will be held in Burlington Vermont in conjunction with the Tools of the Trade conference. Registration is now open and our meeting will be Wednesday afternoon, July 23, 2014. Do not worry if you cannot make it to Vermont, since we will host the subcommittee meeting virtually! 

The subcommittee is working on a recommendation that TRB establish a Task Force on Urban Arterials and Public Health. In short, we are calling for the establishment of a multi-disciplinary cross-cutting Task Force to inform the planning, design, and operation of urban arterials while considering the implications to public health. 

Finally, as we move into the summer, it is a good time to think about the next TRB Annual Meeting and to consider those health and transportation research ideas that are percolating. The TRB paper submittal deadline is August 1, and each year we look forward to seeing what new research is on the horizon.

To stay on top of our activities, make sure to visit our website ( and connect with us through our social media outlets, @trbhealth on Twitter, the TRB Health and Transportation Facebook group and our TRB Health and Transportation Subcommittee Group on LinkedIn. We also invite you to sign up for our listserv ( and welcome new subscribers and posts of the latest news.

New resources


A new study on residential traffic exposure and childhood leukemia is now available in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine 

A new study on the relationship between higher physical activity and public transit use is now available in the American Journal of Public Health 

New County Health Rankings released, showing that where you live affects your health 

The World Bank has released a report that summarizes ways to quantify the health losses from road deaths and injuries worldwide: Transport for Health: The Global Burden of Disease from Motorized Road Transport

From NYC, a report on the economic impact of sustainable streets

APTA reports that transit ridership continues to rise 

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety has released a report that considers efforts in the United Kingdom to align policy and practice across the road safety, sustainable transportation, and public health sectors: Achieving Safety, Sustainability and Health Goals in Transport th-goals-in-transport-.pdf 

The Alliance for Biking and Walking’s 2014 Benchmarking Report is now available; it is filled with data and research on walking and bicycling in all 50 states, 52 of the most populous cities and 17 midsized cities 

Safety advocates warn against raising limits on truck size, weight 
The new ChoiceMaps tool from Walk Score shows the number of neighborhood amenities (such as transit stops, bike-share stations and car-share locations) within five-, 10- or 20-minute walks of a location 

The session recordings from the 2014 Department of Transportation Civil Rights Virtual Symposium are now available
The Roundtable on Population Health Improvement, part of the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Population, has released a workshop summary of a 2013 meeting about improving the conditions for health in the course of achieving other societal objectives (e.g., efficient public transit): Applying a Health Lens to Decision Making in Non-Health Sectors: Workshop Summary 

Maine is starting to work on funding and a plan for healthy aging in place. What prompted a statewide gathering to discuss these issues was the funding crunch for home health services for seniors on Medicaid 

Deadly vehicle crashes involving drugs climbing, study says 

The societal health benefits from cycling outweigh negative impacts by up to a factor of 20, according to the International Transport Forum’s latest report. The report, "Cycling, Health and Safety", shows that the way to gain the benefits from cycling is by creating a safe system through government policy and city action 

The Mariposa Healthy Living Initiative Toolkit provides a framework that practitioners can use to integrate health into the design, development, and construction of projects 

New York City released its Vision Zero Action Plan, laying out a comprehensive roadmap to drastically reduce traffic-related deaths on New York City streets 

A review was conducted of 81 Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) from the U.S. to obtain a clear picture of how HIAs are being implemented nationally and to identify potential areas for improving the HIA community of practice. The review was focused on HIAs from four sectors that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program has identified as target areas for empowering communities to move toward more sustainable states; two of the sectors are transportation and land use. 

Fewer children dying in car crashes: But one in three of the children who died in a car crash in 2011 was not using a seat belt or child safety seat, suggesting many more deaths could be prevented t-finds/ 

APHA, partners share active transportation mission with Congress 

The Healthy Community Design Toolkit, a resource and website that provides information and education materials for individuals, local and public health officials, and planners to use in creating healthy communities, was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The first edition of the Journal of Transport & Health is now available 



Health impact assessment training event in July
Registration is now open for the San Francisco Department of Public Health's annual Health Impact Assessment Practitioners' Training from July 14-17. The training will be held in Oakland, Calif. Organizers of the training event strongly encourage applications from community-based organizations that are actively planning, considering or conducting health impact assessments. 

National Bike to School day is coming soon 
The third annual National Bike to School day is May 7, 2014. The national event is part of an effort to create safe routes for students to bicycle to school and to encourage more children and families to turn to pedal power as a healthy way to commute to school. More than 1,700 schools across the country participated in 2013. 

Survey seeks to build better picture of efforts to increase walking 
EveryBody Walk! Collaborative Partners and America Walks are surveying walking advocates and enthusiasts to get a better understanding of what efforts are being made across the country to promote and encourage walking. 

Broad agency announcement for transportation and health research 
Those who are interested in commenting on potential U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration research topics may submit a proposal in response to this announcement via FedBizOps by April 23. Transportation and health is one of the subtopics. 

Delivering health care in the rural environment 
Demand for expanded access to care, cost-effective delivery, accountability, and improved outcomes all challenge conventional approaches to health care delivery, particularly in rural areas with under-served populations. A potential solution to this problem is to develop a health care vehicle equipped with mobile medical technologies and communication systems that can be used by a health care practitioner to deliver health care services to the patient in their familiar home surroundings. The University of Kansas Center for Design Research is leading a multidisciplinary research team in the development of this health care delivery system called the “WellCar”. The university is partnering with medical technology, communications, transportation, and health care delivery companies in this effort. A prototype of the WellCar will be completed in 2014; tests on health care delivery will follow. For additional information or to discuss partnering in this effort contact Prof. Greg Thomas, Director/Center for Design Research, University of Kansas, or 785-864-2955. 

PBIC’s website gets a facelift 
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center streamlined and consolidated its websites under The new site merges content from and into one, user-friendly site with a fresh look. Information was reorganized under five major headings: Data and Resources, Community Support, Planning and Design, Training and Events, and Programs and Campaigns, to make it easier for all users to access the information they are looking for. Also, the site functionality was improved through a new navigation system that uses drop down menus for each of the five headings. During the redesign process, the content of the website also was updated with new resources so that remains the most comprehensive clearinghouse for pedestrian and bicycle research, data, and other information. 

2014 Calendar oevents


26-30 American Planning Association; Atlanta, GA: 
27-29 Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities; Nashville, TN: 
28-30 Transportation Asset Management; Miami, FL:

1-2 Streets as Places: New York, NY: 
4-7 American Public Works Assn. North American Snow Conference; Cincinnati, OH: 
4-7 APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference; Kansas City, MO: 
7 Bike To School Day; Nationwide: 
11-14 North American Conference on Elderly Mobility Best Practices from Around the World; Detroit, MI: 
13-16 National Outdoor Recreation Conference; San Francisco, CA: 
14-16 PedsCount! 2014; Sacramento, CA:
14-17 Tennessee Bike Summit, May 14-16; Nashville, TN: 
18-21 National Main Streets Conference; Detroit, MI: 
18-21 International Safer Roads Conference; Cheltenham, UK: 
19-21 Electric Drive Transportation Association; Indianapolis, IN: 
21-23 International Transport Forum; Leipzig, Germany: 
27-30 Velo-City Global; Adelaide, Australia: 
28-30 Urban Transport and the Environment; The Algarve, Portugal: 

2-3 Bike Lab; Montreal, Canada: 
4-7 Congress For The New Urbanism; Buffalo, NY: 
7 National Trails Day: 
8-11 National Association of Regional Councils; Louisville, KY: 
8-12 International Making Cities Livable; Portland, OR: 
9-13 Community Transportation Association of America EXPO; St. Paul, MN: 
10-11 Innovation in Mobility; Washington, DC: 
15-18 APTA Rail Conference; Montreal, Canada:
25-27 National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices; Minneapolis, MN:
26-28 American Institute of Architects; Chicago, IL: