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Human Environment Digest

May 22, 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.

*The information provided in this mailing does not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration or the U.S. Department of Transportation.



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

FHWA Safety Program Releases Spring 2014 Pedestrian Forum Newsletter

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Safety Program's Spring 2014 "Pedestrian Forum Newsletter" is available online. The newsletter contains articles about various pedestrian safety topics, such as three National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant award recipients that are using the funds to improve pedestrian safety. Additional bicycle and pedestrian resources are also included in the newsletter.

Smart Growth America Releases "Dangerous by Design 2014"

Smart Growth America released its pedestrian safety findings in a report titled, "Dangerous by Design 2014." The report examines pedestrian fatality data from every county, metropolitan area, and State to understand the risk posed to pedestrians and factors that affect pedestrian safety

Economic Development

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Brookings Institute Publishes "Beyond Shovel Ready: The Extent and Impact of U.S. Infrastructure Jobs"

The Brookings Institute published a report detailing the economic contributions that infrastructure jobs add to metropolitan areas. The report found that infrastructure jobs provide more equitable wages, require less formal education for entry, and are projected to grow over the next decade, making them a key area of consideration for policymakers.

TRB Releases "NCHRP Synthesis 459: Using the Economic Value Created by Transportation to Fund Transportation"

The Transportation Research Board'National Cooperative Highway Research Program published a report that investigates the economic value of public investment in transportation infrastructure to fund transportation improvements. The report discusses 10 types of "value capture" mechanisms and presents examples of how transportation agencies have used these financing mechanisms to fund specific highway projects.


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

California Safe Routes to School Program Releases Recommendations for Improving Data Collection on Active Transportation

Successfully quantifying the benefits (particularly public health benefits) of active transportation investments is becoming increasingly important as policymakers seek to expand investments in active transportation networks. This report summarizes the results of a series of interviews with California modeling professionals who provided insights on how policymakers can improve data collection and modeling for active transportation.


Photo of flowers on side of road

AARP Releases Livability Report

The AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) recently released "Is This A Good Place to Live? Measuring Community Quality of Life for All Ages," a report that explores the meaning of livability, examines previous efforts to evaluate the livability of communities, and describes the PPI's current work to quantify and compare livability.

Partnership for Sustainable Communities

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Funder's Network Announces Partners for Places Grant Program

The Funder's Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, announced the opening of "Round Five of Partners for Places" (formerly the Local Sustainability Matching Fund). "Partners for Places" is a grant-matching program that creates opportunities for local governments to build partnerships with place-based foundations to invest in community projects that promote economic development, healthy environments, and livability.

Public Involvement

Graphic of crowd silhouette

EPA Draft Policy Document Available for Public Comment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s "Revised Draft of the EPA Policy on Environmental Justice for Working with Federal Recognized Tribes and Indigenous Peoples" is open for public input from May 5, 2014, to June 5, 2014. The EPA is seeking comments and recommendations on the draft policy. Additional information on the policy can be found on the EPA's website. Comments can be sent to

Updated: 12/2/2015
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