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TRB Health Subcommittee's 2014 Annual Meeting Notes

Health & Transportation Subcommittee TRB logo

2014 Annual Meeting Notes
Hilton, Monroe Room - Washington, DC
Monday, January 13, 2014
5:45-7:15pm (EST)


1 Welcome and Introductions - Ed Christopher, Co-Chair, FHWA

Ed welcomed participants, and asked everyone to sign in and respond to the three questions regarding whether they have an MPH, are subscribed to the Subcommittee listserve, or are connected to the Subcommittee via social media (i.e., Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook). Subcommittee Co-Chair Eloisa Raynault was regretfully not able to be in attendance due to a move to Seattle.

2 Chair's Report - Ed Christopher, Co-Chair, FHWA

Ed shared the Subcommittee's Annual Report

highlighting Subcommittee progress and successes in the past year, including:

3 TRB Report and TR News Themed Issue: Katherine Kortum, TRB Staff

Katherine first offered congratulations to the Subcommittee on the event earlier this afternoon, Session 359, Raising Public Health Issues to a Higher Level in the Transportation Sector, presided by Co-Chair Ed Christopher. [Note: the Subcommittee is completing a full report of this session which will be shared with the listserve and posted on the website soon.]

She next informed the group that the TR News Editorial Board has accepted the Subcommittee's proposal for a Health and Transportation themed issue of TR News. TR News is a bi-monthly, less technical TRB Magazine. TRB staff were happy with outline and proposal that the Subcommittee prepared. The publication date is Summer 2015, and articles will be coordinated through the Subcommittee and TRB staff. The first drafts will be due April 2015 - with final drafts due a month or two later.Articles are intended for a non-technical audience, with length between 1000-3000 words. TR News also loves pictures. TRB assumes the Subcommittee is working with Subcommittee members on articles.

Ed Christopher also mentioned that the Subcommittee is looking to create a Circular on bringing health into transportation planning. Kim Fisher, TRB staff noted that circulars are not printed and TRB does a light edit. Circular ideas need to be passed through leadership and TRB staff would be happy to work with the Subcommittee as the project advances.

4 Special Presentation: Health at State DOTS William Lyons, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.

5 Collaborating with health professionals: Amy Ingles, Georgia Tech.

6 Work Group Discussions:

6.1 Research Needs:

Andy Dannenberg - Univ. of Washington, Consultant, Healthy Communities Design Initiative at CDC

Carey McAndrews - Department of Planning and Design, University of Colorado Denver

Big picture research areas are detailed at Synthesis proposals are due in February. The Subcommittee submitted one last year about measuring health costs and benefits of transportation and is planning to revise and resubmit. Ed is optimistic about its chances this year as it was seriously considered last year. Carey gave an open invitation for people to come up with research ideas and research needs for the Subcommittee to help get funded.

Another research topic the Subcommittee is working on relates to putting together an inclusive group around reducing negative health impacts of traffic on arterials. This is an area where people are doing a lot of work - and there is opportunity for health impacts to be quantified related to emissions, noise, barriers to access, safety in high traffic areas, etc. The Subcommittee is calling for a Task Force in TRB to develop a research agenda, questions and problem statements around planning, design and operation of arterials with respect to health impacts. The Design Section is already interested, and Ed is meeting with others at TRB to promote anticipating a large process. If this issue touches on your interests, please be in touch with Carey to share your input.

6.2 Communications:

Carey McAndrews - Department of Planning and Design, University of Colorado Denver

A very active work group maintains the Listserve (subscribe at:, website:, LinkedIn Group, Twitter and Facebook page.

7 MPH in Transportation Outreach: Megan Wier - San Francisco Department of Public Health

Subcommittee interested in better supporting people with MPHs working in transportation agencies, and others in similar cross-cutting positions that would benefit from additional support. We received a positive response from the outreach re: people with MPHs working in transportation agencies, though a small portion of the 15 people to date who responded were actually MPHs working in transportation agencies, but instead MPHs working on transportation in health agencies, students getting an MPH and intending to work in transportation, or people who had worked at the intersection and are now looking for work.

Please contact with:

8 Round Robin - Areas of Interest - Announcements

8.1 Jenny Mindell, University College London

New Journal: Journal of Transportation and Health

  1. See
  2. Soliciting Articles
  3. Need Reviewers - PLEASE Sign Up
  4. Special issue Coming Up re: Active Travel and Geography
  5. Forthcoming: Older People and Transport

The (UK) Faculty of Public Health has recently published:

  1. a one page position statement on Transport and health:
  2. a 5 page briefing statement on Transport and health:
  3. a one page position statement on Built environment & physical
  4. a 4page briefing statement on Built environment & physical activity:

Also, the UK Department for Transport, aided by the English Department of Health, has produced three slides sets for local government on active travel: one set each aimed at Directors of Public Health; Directors of Transport; and politicians ('elected members').  They are downloadable at:

8.2 Beverly Bowen, ICF - There is a new project studying how to integrate health into transportation decisionmaking - when decisions are made - what tools and data can support the integration. ICF will be conducting focus groups over the course of the year as a part of a FHWA project and is looking for names of interested people - if interested contact Beverly through Ed.

8.3 David Berrigan, NCI (the National Cancer Institute)- NCI released a call for proposals to evaluate natural experiments that impact on energy balance. Funded proposals included evaluations of the effects of light rail, complete streets. This is a mechanism to fund this type of research. There is a 6 month grant cycle from submission to funding.

8.4 Ed Christopher, FHWA: FHWA - BAA (Broad Area Announcement for original research) could be another source, the words health are included in that.

8.5 Chad Bailey, US EPA - I spend a lot of time working on exposure and epidemiology, dealing with school siting and air pollution and taking an evidence-based approach to mitigation. We are putting together a document re: opportunities to mitigate and working with the US Forest Service re: vegetation impacts. Also working on outreach to planners re: decision points that they may impact. We are working on a cluster of activities and are trying to find information on mitigation techniques in the right language for the right decision makers at the right level.

8.6 Meghan Winters, Simon Fraser University, Canada - Presenting a poster tomorrow on talking with planning authorities in our region to help people with less resources to take next steps to integrate health into transportation. Looking for people who have used the HEAT.

8.7 Don Kostelec, Kostelec Planning - NC: Working on an eight-county HIA in Appalachia and running into a lot of issues with data issues. Needing to develop methods to get at those issues. For example, looking at issues of race/ethnicity in cyclists in Raleigh.

8.8 Glen Harrison, University of Kansas - Kansas is a very agricultural state - issue of older people accessing health care. Developing a new vehicle in conjunction with Ford and other companies - a well car that will make a circuit through rural areas to deliver health care through rural areas. Plug and play equipment in the vehicle. Also developing systems that will monitor the health of the vehicle driver to warn the driver.

8.9 Lauren Marchetti, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, National Center for Safe Routes to Schools

Released a new document on Transportation and Health:

8.10 Rad Berg, SRTS National Partnership -LA DPH Funding cities to do bike and ped plans with Tracey Delaney and the public health department. Also working with Neil Maizlish at CA DPH to develop health indicators of Public Health and Transportation.

8.11 Ann Hartell, VA - Workshop 154, What Does Accessibility Really Mean in Low-Income Communities? New Findings on Multimodal Access, Employment, and Health Outcomes was supported by the Subcommittee and slides will be available online.


Subcommittee Co-Chair:

Ed Christopher, FHWA

Subcommittee Secretary:

Megan Wier, San Francisco Dept. of Public Health

Subcommittee Research Needs and Communications Workgroup Leads:

Andy Dannenberg - University of Washington, Consultant with the Healthy Communities Design Initiative at CDC - Research Needs Workgroup

Carey McAndrews - Department of Planning and Design, University of Colorado Denver - Research Needs and Communications Workgroups

Updated: 1/31/2017
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