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Human Environment Digest

July 3, 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.

Report Shows Pedestrian Countdown Signals Cause Positive and Negative Effects

A recent report by researchers at the University of Toronto found that while pedestrian countdown signals do make pedestrians safer, they also can lead to an increase in automobile accidents, as they facilitate more aggressive driving. The London School of Economics' blog on American Politics and Policy summarizes the report's key findings.

Bicycle and Pedestrian "Count Days" Will be Held July 4-6, 2014

The National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project (NBPDP) is holding "Count Days" July 4-6, 2014 to encourage and aid cities, counties, and park districts, with documenting bicycle and pedestrian usage and demand. The purpose of "count days" is to establish a national database of bicycle and pedestrian count information and to begin analysis on the correlations among bicycle and pedestrian activity and local characteristics.

Report: "Exploring How Mobile Technologies Impact Pedestrian Safety"

New York University released "Exploring How Mobile Technologies Impact Pedestrian Safety," a report that outlines the impact of vehicle-pedestrian crashes, provides a synopsis of the city's approach totraffic safety, examines research on hazards of mobile device use by distracted pedestrians, and reviews technologies leveraging smart phones and wireless networks that aim to empower pedestrians and reduce driver distraction.

Economic Development

Community Impact Assessment icon

A new Brookings Institute report on job vacancies and STEM skills finds that the job openings in the transportation and construction sectors have single-day advertisement rates of 55 and 56 percent, which are the second and third highest. The public sector has the highest occurrence of job ads that are posted for one day or less.


EPA Announces Funding for Tribes to Clean Up Diesel Engines

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that grant funding is available for tribal applicants to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from older diesel engines. Diesel pollutants are linked to asthma, lung and heart disease, and premature death. This is the first time EPA is offering a separate tribal request for proposals for diesel emission reduction program (DERA) funds, and is in response to feedback from tribal communities.


Photo of flowers on side of road

Report: "Planning for Transit-Supportive Development: A Practitioner's Guide"

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released a guide for planners at the regional, corridor, and local levels on how to integrate, accommodate, and assess transit-supportive development and investment. The guide includes best practices, guidance, success stories, useful techniques, transferable examples, and lessons learned on integrating transit planning with local land use planning.

EPA Office of Sustainable Communities Seeks New Office Director

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Sustainable Communities (OSC) is accepting applications for Office Director until July 7, 2014. OSC is also known as EPA's Smart Growth Program, which is at the forefront of smart growth and sustainable design issues within the federal government. Applicants with questions may contact Kyle Lindley in EPA's Office of Human Resources at

Pew Charitable Trusts Releases "Where Inequality Lives" Interactive Map

Stateline, the daily news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts, analyzed U.S. Census data to visualize income inequality across the nation. The analysis revealed varying levels of income inequality in counties across the U.S.

New Transportation Enhancements and Alternatives Spending Report Published

The Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (TrADE @ RTC) published the 2013 Transportation Enhancements and Alternatives Spending Report. The report analyzes States' use of Federal transportation funding from 1992 through 2013.

TCRP Releases Report on Ways to Improve Transit Services for Disabled Persons

The Transit Cooperation Research Program (TCRP), which is sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), recently published "TCRP Report 163: Strategy Guide to Enable and Promote the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities." This report provides useful information, practical steps, and logical strategies for public transit providers seeking to better serve people with disabilities with fixed-route bus and rail transit services.

Updated: 5/18/2016
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