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Human Environment Digest

April 10, 2014

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Welcome to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Human Environment weekly email digest. This digest shares the latest information from a range of Federal and non-Federal sources, addressing transportation and its relationship to the human environment. Through this information exchange, FHWA hopes to foster dialogue at all levels and continue to further the state of the practice on these important topics.

For more information on any of these topics, see the FHWA Related Links on the sidebar.



Photo of couple walking baby and bike-share bikes parked in rack.

Bicycle Safety Curriculum for Physical Education Teachers

"Bikeology," a new curriculum for physical education teachers, offers lessons on bicycle skills and knowledge to teach students how to be safe bicyclists. This curriculum also includes a guide directed at teaching parents how to support safe bicycling habits. "Bikeology" was produced by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Bike Plan Training Opportunities

The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation's week-long Comprehensive Bike Design and Engineering course is now open for registration. Two versions are being offered, one for people who are working to implement their first major bicycle master plan and a second one aimed at those further along in the implementation process and moving toward a bicycle friendly community. Read

National Bike to School Day

The third annual National Bike to School day is May 7. Promoted by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the USDOT, the event is part of an effort to encourage healthy and safe ways to commute to school.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Online Library

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center added new resources to its online library. The library contains web-based pedestrian- and bicycling-related materials. Read

Economic Development

Photo of 2 lanes of traffic near a body of water.

FHWA Transportation and Economic Development Portal

The FHWA Office of Human Environment launched the Transportation and Economic Development (TED) Portal within the FHWA Communities of Practice. The portal is dedicated to promoting the information exchange on Transportation and Economic Development among practitioners and professionals in the field. Participation is open to everyone. Read

Smart Growth and Economic Success: Strategies for Local Governments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Sustainable Communities published a paper analyzing the connections between smart growth strategies and the fiscal strength of local governments. The report finds that by building on existing assets, focusing on compact development, and enhancing environmental and human health, local governments can increase their return on investment.

The Northeast Corridor and the American Economy

A recent report published by the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission details the ways in which the Amtrak-run Northeast Corridor passenger and commuter rail contributes to the local, regional, and national economies. Additionally, the report examines different opportunities to enhance economic development. To highlight the importance of this transportation asset, the report calculated that in the event of a one-day loss of service along the Northeast Corridor, the potential impact would be a $100 million loss on the U.S. economy.


EKG graphic with various transportation-related photos in the background.

Applying a Health Lens to Decision Making in Non-Health Sectors

This report summarizes the proceedings that occurred at the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement sponsored by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Topics covered during these discussions range from how social policies shape health to highlights of Federal, State, and local government work related to enhancing public health.

Healthy Community Design Initiative Funding Application

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention opened the application period for the Healthy Community Design Initiative. Funds are awarded to public health departments to include transportation and land use planning decisions in their work as well as expand the scope of health impacts considered when making decisions that impact community design. The application deadline is April 28.

Community Speed Reduction and Public Health Resources

Health Resources in Action created a webpage dedicated to compiling materials related to community speed reduction and its impact on public health. The webpage includes reports and case studies about various speed reduction strategies.


Photo of flowers on side of road

Request for Applications: Rural Design Workshops

The Project for Public Spaces, in partnership with the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design, is accepting applications for the second annual Rural Design Workshops. In 2013, the pilot program assisted four rural communities develop to design solutions to address economic decline, creeping sprawl, and mobility issues for low income populations. Successful applicants receive a $7,000 stipend and approximately $35,000 in technical assistance. Applications are due May 6.

Public Involvement

Graphic of crowd silhouette

Data Innovation Challenge

Transportation Secretary Foxx recently announced the USDOT initiative to promote the development of innovative tools using publically available transportation data. Specifically looking at three categories, Safety, Transportation Access, and Traffic Management and Congestion, the competition is looking for transportation tools to address the industry's most pressing challenges. Submissions are due by April 30.

2014 'Faces of Transportation' Photography and Video Contest

The annual AASHTO Faces of Transportation photography contest is now accepting submissions and this year it will include a video category. The theme is "Transportation in America" and all entries must be submitted by July 31, 2014.

Older Adults and Technology Use

The Pew Research Center released a report with findings regarding older adults and their technology usage. Analyzing the results of a large survey conducted of Americans 65 years and older, the report states that while technology adoption is increasing, many seniors are still isolated from the digital world. Read

Updated: 12/7/2015
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