#233 Wednesday, August 5, 2009


CenterLines is the bi-weekly e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking. CenterLines is our way of quickly delivering news and information you can use to create more walkable and bicycle-friendly communities.

----- It's August! Meet with Your Members of Congress!
----- American Idle
----- Blumenauer Introduces Green Routes to Work Bill
----- McCain & Coburn Confuse "Safety" & "Boondoggle"
----- Brookings on "Other Highway Funding Crisis"
----- $1.5B in Tiger Grants to be Awarded in Jan. 2010
----- American Trails Highlights Youth and Conservation Corps
----- Rubber Sidewalks Give Bounce to Concrete
----- Celebrating 6Th NSCL Bipartisan Bike Ride

R-E-G-I-O-N-A-L and L-O-C-A-L--A-C-T-I-O-N-S
------ Teaching Calming & Empowerment in Newark (NJ)
------ TLC Awards Twin Cities Bike Walk Projects $2M+
------ Project to Improve Eugene/Springfield (OR) Bike Links
------ Lake County (FL) Cyclists Push for Action
------ Indianapolis Recognized for Promoting Childhood Play
------ Boston's New Program to Combat Bike Theft
------ Video: Carmaggeddon Averted, Broadway Comes to Life
------ New Penn. Group Gets Grant, Hires Exec. Director
------ San Diego Gets "Stimulus" Pedestrian Bridge
------ Richland (WA) Residents Value Walkability
------ Wyoming Trail Makes Top 8 Bike Trails in U.S.
------ Downtown Kansas City (MO): No More Push Buttons!
------ Cycle Oregon Weekend Bike Camp a Wild Success!
------ Video: Ocean City (NJ) Paints A Street
------ Waynesboro (VA) Receives $230K to Fix Sidewalks
------ Santa Barbara (CA) Challenge Cuts Car Trips

------ Study: Neighborhoods Key to Future Income
------ Using Peer Information to Change Behaviors
------ Active Kids Go to Sleep Faster at Night
------ VTTI: New Insights into Cell Phone Use, Driving
------ Eat Right, Exercise: Lower Cardio Trouble Chances
------ Mom's Exposure to Bad Urban Air Can Harm Kids' IQ



-> According to a July 29th alert from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, "As August draws near, many Americans are thinking about vacations and trips to the beach or pool. But -- it's also an important time to connect with your Members of Congress, who spend August at home in their districts talking with constituents. That makes it a perfect time to discuss Safe Routes to School with your Members of Congress..."

The barebones outline:
1. Set up a meeting! Requesting a meeting is as simple as calling the scheduler in your Member's nearest local district office to check availability.
2. Attend an existing event! Watch Members' websites or your local newspaper to find out when they might be holding a town hall event
3. Send a letter! Can't make an in-person connection? Contact your Senators and ask them to support the new Senate Safe Routes to School bill, S. 1156.

For the details, go to: http://tinyurl.com/m5wuh3


-> CenterLines recently caught up with American Idle author, Mary Collins who reports, "a great deal of interest" in her book as measured by brisk pre-publication orders and a growing number of book readings in cities on the east coast with more dates and cities being planned. American Idle offers an honest look at the social, cultural, moral, and physical consequences of living in a sedentary culture. More and more people understand the importance and need for regular physical activity and are becoming increasingly aware that inactivity's backwash isn't pretty, it's expensive to treat and it could be deadly.

Mary said, "The combined efforts of the CDC, NIH, and to a large degree the efforts of advocates for bicycling, walking, safe routes to school, health reform and the environment are causing people to focus on their behavior and the built environment. It's not ok to not be able to go outside and walk or bike. It's not ok to warehouse our kids. And, it's really not ok to accept the status quo. In writing my book I found reasons to be very, very concerned but I also found good reasons to be hopeful. It is within our means to reverse the current trends in obesity and inactivity. The health care reform, climate change and transportation legislation that are currently being debated by our law makers could have a tremendous impact on this issue."

There is still time for CenterLines readers to preorder American Idle and save 35% on the cover price. Go to http://www.bikewalk.org for more information on how to preorder the book; and to read the foreword, written by Sharon Roerty, Executive Director of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking. We'll also be keeping track of Ms. Collins scheduled events. Here are a few that we know:

October 4; WORDS, Bookstore, Maplewood, NJ, time to be announced
Oct. 7 Noon at Central Connecticut State University campus in New Britain
Oct. 10, 1:00 Politics and Prose, Washington DC
Oct. 22, Borders Books in West Hartford, CT
Dec. 4 and 5, Table at the Get Out Conference in Laconia, NH


-> According to an Aug. 4th MassTransit article, "Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) today introduced the 'Green Routes to Work Act of 2009,' which would promote low-carbon transportation options to help commuters save money on gas. The bill provides tax credits for both employers and individuals to use low carbon commuting options. This will help reduce our dependence on oil and output of global warming pollution by encouraging active and environmentally friendly methods of commuting like biking, carpooling, walking, riding public transit, and telecommuting.

"'With global warming on the rise, and Americans' waistlines ever expanding, it is time to level the playing field for transportation options that are clean, healthy, and save people money at the pump,' said Rep. Blumenauer. 'For too long, the federal government has supported commuters who drove to work but has not helped those who use other methods of transportation. The Green Routes to Work Act addresses this disparity and extends employer incentives to options like biking, walking, and telecommuting. Expanding the use of low-carbon transit is a quick, smart, and easy way to improve air quality, cut down on time spent idling in traffic, and save billions in gas costs.'..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/n7smxt
Via July 26th StreetHeadlines: http://tinyurl.com/lcemw8


-> In a July 30th StreetsBlog article, Elana Schor wrote, "A report released today by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), timed to coincide with debate on a $7 billion highway trust fund fix, accuses their fellow lawmakers of 'raiding' the fund for transportation 'pet projects.' What wasteful projects have drawn such scorn from the duo?

"Not the I-69 road in Indiana, where the governor told planners to bend federal rules while taking federal money. Not I-66 in Kentucky, a road that has benefited from $90 million in Capitol largess despite being unlikely to ever reach 'interstate' status. No, McCain and Coburn are frustrated by road access improvements, bike paths, and pedestrian safety programs..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/nutxde
For more of Schor's analyses, go to: http://tinyurl.com/mvmozo


-> According to a Brookings Institution article by Robert Puentes and Adie Tomer, "Last month, Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood confirmed that, by August, the highway trust fund will 'run out of money,' due to the fact that Americans are driving less (and more efficiently), while the gas tax hasn't changed in 16 years. Last summer, Congress had to transfer $8 billion from the general fund to keep transportation programs solvent. Today, many in Washington are calling for another $20 billion in general revenues to cover the next year and a half.

"Yet just as important as where the money comes from is how the funds are spent. Today, much of the funds authorized in the current program are given to states based on traditional factors such as road mileage, miles, and number of deficient bridges. But the largest federal highway program -- the Equity Bonus program -- exists solely to make sure that each state gets its 'fair share' of revenue, defined as 92 percent of the state's annual contributions to the trust fund. In other words, states get roughly as much money as they pay in gas-tax revenue.

"But now that the highway account is set to get bailed out with $28 billion in general funds, that formula needs to be revisited. The Equity Bonus should make sure that states receive highway funds based on contributions to the general fund. Based on work from the Tax Policy Center, a joint effort by the Urban Institute and Brookings, states like New York, California, Washington, and Massachusetts all contribute far more in general tax revenue than they receive from the existing Equity Bonus program. Conversely, Florida, Georgia, and Texas all receive disproportionately large Equity Bonus payments..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/mhttcx


-> In an Aug. 3rd Fast Lane entry, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wrote, "The DOT team is working hard to get ARRA dollars out the door quickly, and we continue to look for new ways to accelerate stimulus spending even further. Last week I announced the establishment of a DOT review team to expedite the application process for our $1.5 billion TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grants program. This review team will enable the Department to award the entire $1.5 billion in January 2010 -- one full month ahead of the statutory deadline. By awarding these TIGER grants ahead of schedule, we'll be able to jump start major-impact projects and boost local economies across America even more quickly..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/mnx32r
For more on the TIGER grants, go to: http://tinyurl.com/kj25q5


-> In an introduction to the Summer 2009 edition of American Trails, editor Stuart Macdonald wrote, "Youth and Conservation Corps have long been a great resource for the trails community. Now, with the economic turmoil and the slide in employment, ideas about service corps are in the news. At the same time, there is an ongoing focus on the health of America's young people. We decided it's time to devote an issue of the American Trails Magazine to youth in the outdoors, and to help trail managers and advocates learn more..." Article titles include 'Shovels in the ground for recovery; 'Partner with a Corps in five steps;' 'Trails training opportunities;' and more.

Check out the "virtual paper" version here: http://tinyurl.com/n37hqy


-> According to a July 19th Matternetwork article, "Rubber sidewalks are all grown up. Once perceived mainly as a safe surface for playgrounds, rubber sidewalks have developed into a means of preserving urban trees, reducing stormwater runoff, recycling tires, and curbing greenhouse gas emissions. A company called Rubbersidewalks (what else?) began installing the modular units in 2002, and its rubber sidewalk products now appear in almost 100 cities across the country. Even the U.S. military is getting into the act. Plans are in the works to install rubber sidewalks at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California, and they’re being promoted by the Pollution Prevention Program at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland...

"The original idea behind a rubber sidewalk was to achieve a flexible surface that would reduce cracking around tree roots. In turn, that would reduce the need to cut or drastically trim trees with overgrown roots. Over the course of several years, city workers noticed that the rubber surface seemed to slow the growth of roots while providing the tree with sufficient water and oxygen, helping to mitigate the problem of root overgrowth at the source. The modular installation system also enables workers to remove sections of sidewalk to inspect tree roots, without the need for pavement-breaking equipment that could damage a tree..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/mzs29a


-> According to an Aug. 3rd Texas Bicycle Coalition news release, "State legislators from all over the United States woke at dawn on Thursday, July 23 to participate in one of the hottest-ticket events at the National Conference of State Legislatures -- the 6th NCSL Bipartisan Bike Ride. The ride was co-hosted by Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston, TX), and Representative Rick Geist (R-Altoona, PA), the Chair of the Transportation Committee.

"The group of 100 participants who rode the scenic eight-mile tour of downtown Philadelphia included 14 state senators and 21 state representatives from 23 states (plus Guam and the Virgin Islands), their families and staff, and sponsors Wal-Mart and Fuji. 'Dollar for dollar, this is the most effective lobbying activity we do to advance the state-level legislative bicycle agenda,' said Robin Stallings, Executive Director of BikeTexas, a bike advocacy nonprofit and the organizer of the ride.

"Senator Ellis, a host of the ride since its inception in 2005, said, 'The bike ride has become one of the highlights of the annual legislative summits, and has cast cycling in a very positive light among my colleagues.' Riders borrowed bikes and helmets -- BikeTexas hauled the helmets as well as its fleet of 50 bikes up from Texas in a trailer, and the other 50 bikes were generously provided by Fuji. The ride was also supported by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, who planned the route and whose staff fitted bikes and helmets and marshaled the ride..."

Philadelphia Inquirer article: http://tinyurl.com/nbwdak
Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia: http://tinyurl.com/25wgr9
The conference agenda, go to: http://tinyurl.com/nwzk88
For more info, contact: Robin Stallings, Executive Director, BikeTexas, at: <robin@biketexas.org>




-> In a July 30th Mobilizing the Region newsletter article, "Tri-State Transportation Campaign's Zoe Baldwin asked 'Who in this room personally knows someone who has been hit by a car?' of a classroom of the 45 high school students interning as part of the Greater Newark Conservancy's Newark Youth Leadership Project.

"Over half raised their hands, in a memorable moment from a traffic calming curriculum held on Monday, July 13 and Friday, July 17. For the second year in a row, the curriculum combined classroom and field components to highlight the relationships between pedestrian safety, land use, environmentalism, and urban revitalization, and how communities can organize around these important issues. MTR covered the curriculum's first year in this article: http://tinyurl.com/5u237v.

"During Monday's classroom exercise, students heard from several speakers, each approaching the topic of pedestrian safety from a different angle. TSTC Executive Director Kate Slevin contrasted the damage inflicted by auto-centric urban planning with progressive planning focused on all street users, and Associate Director Veronica Vanterpool spoke on the benefits of walkable streets and green communities. Newark City Planner Perris Straughter discussed how good planning and streetscape has made and can continue to make Newark a stronger community, and gave an overview of the logistics of city planning..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/mmjptw


-> According to an article in the July 20th edition of the Transit for Livable Communities newsletter, the organization's board "funded three pedestrian and bicycle capital projects totaling over $2 million. All three projects resulted from planning studies previously funded by Bike Walk Twin Cities, received the recommendation of the Bike Walk Advisory Committee (BWAC), and involved consultation by the Bike Walk Twin Cities technical advisory team. All have a completion time line of 2010.

The projects include:
"$1,050,000 to the City of Golden Valley for a complete street project...
"$400,000 to the City of St Paul for a bicycle and pedestrian facility project...
"765,000 to the City of Minneapolis for an intersection project..."

For details, go to: http://tinyurl.com/mbvurk


-> According to a July 13th Register-Guard article, "For bicyclists, riding between Eugene and Springfield through Glenwood has never been a straight (or sure) shot. Those using pedal-power heading west into Eugene are greeted with a 'bike lane ends' sign -- and then promptly forced to cross four lanes of busy traffic. But that is soon to be no more.

"As part of the massive Interstate 5-Willamette River Bridge reconstruction next year, the state Department of Transportation and the city of Springfield are building a link that will connect the current terminus of the Franklin Boulevard bike lane with the existing riverpath system near the Knickerbocker Footbridge on the south side of the river.

"We're excited to make this critical link,' Springfield transportation manager Tom Boyatt said. 'It’s been an area where we haven’t been able to put a path in due to cost and other considerations.'..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/klloj8
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Title: "More room to ride"
Author: Andrea Damewood


-> According to a July 27th Florida Bicycle Coalition FBA Blog entry, "Ken LaRoe and Rick Pitner have launched an effort to make Lake County more bicycle aware and friendly through the formation of the Lake County Bicycle Alliance. These guys are moving quickly and have been having meetings every two weeks at bike shops around the county. There are four immediate action items on the agenda..."

Here's a brief rundown on each: 1. A law enforcement BBQ and roundtable; 2. a meeting with MPO staff; 3. billboards "humanizing" cycling; and 4. a cycling Summit

Source: http://tinyurl.com/mfkchn


-> According to a July 15th RWJF Childhood Obesity Digest article, "The national nonprofit organization KaBOOM! has released its third annual list of Playful City USA communities, recognizing 93 communities for their efforts to encourage outside play, the Palladium-Item reports. With the goal of ensuring that every child has a quality play space within walking distance of their home, the selected communities were recognized specifically for their commitment to play, as demonstrated by the quantity, quality and accessibility of play spaces, according to a KaBOOM! release.

"For example, the organization recognized Indianapolis, Ind., because the city's parks and recreation department is developing a plan to convert abandoned housing and vacant lots into small urban parks. Also recognized was the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, which plans to renovate 221 neglected playgrounds throughout the city.

"This year, the department will target underdeveloped destination parks for each borough. City officials also are helping to establish partnerships between communities and nonprofit groups to create a public plaza in every community. Through the Playful City USA awards, KaBOOM! encourages communities to share park and playground ideas and programs that will enhance children's wellbeing..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/n3g98e


-> According to the July 22nd MassBike Quick Release, "As part of an initiative to make Boston a world-class bicycling city, the Stolen Bike Alert program makes reporting stolen bikes easier and increases the chances of finding your stolen bike by giving you a larger network of search parties.

"When you report a stolen bike, they send out an alert to the police, local bike shops, hospital and school security, and everyone who follows the city on Twitter or Facebook. All of these people will be on the look-out for your bike and the city will notify the police as they receive updates on your stolen bike."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/mn6lpc
For more info, contact Nicole Freedman, Director of Boston Bikes at: <Nicole.freedman.bra@cityofboston.gov> or (617) 918-4343
Check out the registration page here: http://tinyurl.com/nqyohz. Or follow the program on Twitter (http://tinyurl.com/lda2yu) or Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/m4qrty).


-> According to Clarence Eckerson, Jr., "When New York City opened up new pedestrian zones in the heart of Midtown this summer, naysayers predicted a traffic nightmare. Nearly two months later, we're still waiting for the much-feared Carmaggedon. In this video, Streetfilms funder Mark Gorton takes us on a tour of Broadway's car-free squares and boulevard-style blocks, where conditions have improved dramatically for pedestrians, cyclists, and, yes, delivery truck drivers. As Mark says, the counterintuitive truth is that taking away space for cars can improve traffic while making the city safer and more enjoyable for everyone on foot. There are sound theories that help explain why this happens -- concepts like traffic shrinkage and Braess's paradox which are getting more and more attention thanks to projects like this one..."

Go to: http://tinyurl.com/nyu2xy
Via the MCBC Weekly Bulletin, July 23, 2009


-> According to a July 10th news release, PA Walks & Bikes is a new organization working to create healthy, sustainable communities by making walking and bicycling safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable. On June 30, PA Walks & Bikes received a $30,000 matching grant from the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking. The Board of Directors, advocacy executives from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Berks County, appointed Michele Barrett, President of Walk Bike Berks, as its new President and Executive Director.

"'Michele was selected,' says Hans van Naerssen, a founding member and President of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, 'because of her record of success in Berks County, her passion for livable communities, and her leadership skills.' Since its inception four months ago, PA Walks and Bikes organized the first state level Bike Summit where attendees met with various legislators to promote Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets, and a new safe passing legislation for bicyclists and other vulnerable road users..."

For more info, go to: http://tinyurl.com/kt52ot


-> According to an Aug. 4th Weekly Reader article, "Additional funding to complete the Ted Williams Parkway Pedestrian Bridge project at Shoal Creek Drive in Carmel Mountain Ranch has been secured.

"Approximately $2.3 million in federal and local funds had been raised, but an additional $2.5 million from 'stimulus' funding (allocated at the end of June) will ensure that the bridge is completed on a schedule. Information at sandiego.gov states that the project is estimated to cost $4.5 million.

"The bridge project is expected to make it safer for pedestrians headed toward Shoal Creek Elementary School, near the southeast corner of the Shoal Creek Drive and Ted Williams Parkway intersection..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/kq2x2r
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Title: "Pedestrians' Progress"
Author: Nathaniel Uy


-> According to an Aug. 4th Tri-City Herald article, "The city of Richland has released results from the 2009 Community Survey conducted in May...Among survey results...83 percent said walkable neighborhoods are important; 64 percent indicated they would prefer to have xeriscaping (landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental irrigation) used in Richland's streetscapes...

"Survey participants said they'd like to see Richland have the following: eateries, retail shopping -- specifically Trader Joe's -- curbside recycling, water park/aquatic center/pools, a movie theater and more recreational and entertainment opportunities..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/kmpyav
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Title: "Richland's Community Survey results released"
Author: Staff


#2: "Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming: The Grand Teton National Park is full of spectacular mountains that rise high above Wyoming. You can go through 44-miles in Teton Park and access Jenny Lake, Signal Mountain, etc. Or you can do the famed Black Canyon Creek trail which takes you through Route 22, Teton Pass and a steep ride towards Black Canyon Creek. For the brave amongst you, do the trip from Dubois and climb over the Togowotee Pass and descent into Teton. The ride is definitely worth all the pain."

For the rest of the Top 8, go to: http://tinyurl.com/m2ewv8


-> According to the July 27th edition of Let's Go KC, "Today brings great news from City Hall. The Public Works Department has decided to switch all traffic signals in the Downtown Loop to an automatic pedestrian phase. This means no more pushing a button to get a walk signal. It will take about three weeks for all signals to be fixed.

"Let's Go KC and partner organizations like the Downtown Neighborhood Association have been working for the past few months to stop the recent proliferation of pedestrian push buttons in the Loop. We know that many citizens have complained about this, and Council Members like Russ Johnson, Jan Marcason, and Bill Skaggs have made public comments about it..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ma9yt6


-> According to the July 23rd Community Cycling Center newsletter, "During Cycle Oregon’s Weekend Ride, the Community Cycling Center offered a version of its Bike Camp for kids ages 6–12. Each day we created a spectacular experience for the kids based on their skills and interests, which typically included games, bikes, and exploring the town and surrounding areas of Monmouth, Oregon. We talked physics with 6-year-olds, visited Helmick State Park, and rode steep hills with some tough 10-year-olds."

Read the full report here: http://tinyurl.com/muuoel


-> According to Rusty Scrupperton, "Last winter I got an email from a friend of mine named Drew Fasy. Drew is a very nice guy and is quite involved in trying to improve the civic life of our town of Ocean City New Jersey. He wrote to ask if I'd be interested in making a little film about a street painting project he was helping to plan. This project is a collaboration between a group called CAP, the Community Art Projects, the art department of Ocean City High School, and the Traffic Unit of the Ocean City Police Department..."

Go to: http://tinyurl.com/mexb4q


-> According to a July 14th News Leader article, "A more than $230,000 grant from a federal sidewalk improvement program will help encourage students at Berkeley Glenn Elementary School to walk or bike to classes. Waynesboro City Council approved an administration agreement resolution Monday that clears the way for the city to receive the recently awarded funds through the Virginia Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School Program. The program is funded through the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration to assist communities in creating safe walkways and bikeways for children to reach their schools.

"The grant requires no local match and will let the city build about 1,100 feet of sidewalk on Lyndhurst Road, 850 feet of sidewalk on Windsor Avenue and make crossing improvements at the Lyndhurst Road and Jefferson Avenue intersection..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/nhqc2t
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Title: "Waynesboro receives $230K to fix its sidewalks"
Author: Trevor Brown


-> According to the Aug. issue of Quick Release, "For the second year, SBCAG's Traffic Solutions has successfully induced many people to forego driving alone to work and other places, and use alternatives instead. Their Commuter Challenge pitted 341 teams of five against one another for 61 days in May and June.

"Each day a participant used an alternative -- like carpool, bike, foot, bus, vanpool, or something else -- they scored another point. They entered their miles and mode each day online. Incentives were not only glory for the best teams, but prizes like iPhones, gift certificates, and cash. The result was that 58,457 trips were not drive-alone, but something more sustainable. The pie chart shows that car pooling was the most popular, but bicycling came in second with a healthy 26% of all trips..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ku57mp
Via July 24th RWJF Child Obesity News Digest: http://tinyurl.com/lmzakz




-> According to a July 27th Washington Post article, "Researchers have found that being raised in poor neighborhoods plays a major role in explaining why African American children from middle-income families are far more likely than white children to slip down the income ladder as adults.

"The Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project caused a stir two years ago by reporting that nearly half of African American children born to middle-class parents in the 1950s and '60s had fallen to a lower economic status as adults, a rate of downward mobility far higher than that for whites.

"This week, Pew will release findings of a study that helps explain that economic fragility, pointing to the fact that middle-class blacks are far more likely than whites to live in high-poverty neighborhoods, which has a negative effect on even the better-off children raised there. The impact of neighborhoods is greater than other factors in children's backgrounds, Pew concludes..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/mmax5q
Archive search: http://tinyurl.com/nyqm2
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Title: "Neighborhoods Key to Future Income, Study Finds"
Author: Alec MacGillis

See the report here: http://tinyurl.com/kpcwnl


-> According to the Sightline Institute's July 24th Daily Score, "If you want to get folks to cut their energy use, you don't necessarily have to raise rates or hand out fluorescent light bulbs. Just let them know how much juice the Joneses are using. An article in the Atlantic Monthly reports that giving utility customers information on how much power they used compared to their neighbors drives down consumption. The strategy was devised by Robert Cialdini, a social psychologist from Arizona State University and expert in tweaking human behavior through what he calls 'peer information' (as opposed to peer pressure). A company called Positive Energy, at which Cialdini is the chief scientist, has created software that measures energy usage by neighborhood. Here's how it's used:

"Results are sent to consumers on behalf of their local utility, praising you with a row of smiley faces (you've used 58 percent less electricity than your neighbors this month!) or damning you with none (you used 39 percent more electricity than your neighbors in the past 12 months, and it cost you $741 extra). In Positive Energy's reports, a once-intangible bit of social information—how much energy you use relative to your neighbors -- is made tangible. Now you can find out not just what people in the same city are doing, but what people in your neighborhood, living in the same-size houses, are doing..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/lndkr5

Atlantic Monthly article: http://tinyurl.com/ll333r


-> According to a July 23rd BBC News story, "Researchers have confirmed what parents have long believed -- running around in the day means your child may well fall asleep faster at night. But the study of 500 children provides a figure: for every hour they sit, they need three minutes longer to nod off. Interestingly, it was not relevant what the child did while they sat. TV was no more detrimental than quietly reading...

"Children who were very physically active during the day tended to take less time to fall asleep, but the more prominent association was between being sedentary and taking longer to drift off. Those who fell asleep faster also tended to sleep for longer. There has been much discussion about the impact of reduced sleep duration on children. As short sleep duration is associated with obesity and lower cognitive performance, community emphasis on the importance of promoting healthy sleep in children is vitally important," the researchers wrote..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/n3fsos
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Title: "Study nails secret of child sleep"
Author: Staff


-> According to a July 29th news release, "Several large-scale, naturalistic driving studies -- using sophisticated cameras and instrumentation in participants' personal vehicles -- conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), provide a clear picture of driver distraction and cell phone use under real-world driving conditions, according to the institute...

"In VTTI's studies that included light vehicle drivers and truck drivers, manual manipulation of phones such as dialing and texting of the cell phone lead to a substantial increase in the risk of being involved in a safety-critical event such as a crash or near-crash. However, talking or listening increased risk much less for light vehicles and not at all for trucks. Text messaging on a cell phone was associated with the highest risk of all cell phone related tasks..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/mkpbo7


-> According to a July 21st HealthDay News article, "All that heart-healthy advice about eating the right foods, exercising and losing weight pay off in real life for both men and women, two new studies show. The reports, both originating at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and published in the July 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on different aspects of cardiovascular risk in two large groups: the 83,882 women in the second Nurses' Health Study, and the 20,900 men in the Physicians' Health Study I. Both arrived at the same conclusion: Do the right things, and you get measurable benefits...

"The study in men...found a straight-line relationship between adherence to healthy lifestyle factors and the risk of heart failure, the progressive loss of ability to pump blood that is often a prelude to death. The lifetime risk of heart failure in the 22-year study was about one in five in men who ignored the advice about all beneficial lifestyle factors and one in 10 for those who adhered to four or more of the factors...

"The women's study looked at the association between high blood pressure -- a significant risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular problems -- and six lifestyle factors: obesity, exercise, alcohol intake, use of non-narcotic painkillers, adherence to a diet designed to prevent high blood pressure and intake of supplemental folic acid. All six were found to be associated with the risk of developing high blood pressure in the 14-year study, and the association was cumulative..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/lgantm
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Title: "Studies Affirm Value of Healthy Lifestyle"
Author: Ed Edelson


-> According to a July 20th Science Daily article, "Prenatal exposure to environmental pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can adversely affect a child's intelligence quotient or IQ, according to new research by the the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health. PAHs are chemicals released into the air from the burning of coal, diesel, oil and gas, or other organic substances such as tobacco.

"In urban areas motor vehicles are a major source of PAHs. The study found that children exposed to high levels of PAHs in New York City had full scale and verbal IQ scores that were 4.31 and 4.67 points lower, respectively than those of less exposed children. High PAH levels were defined as above the median of 2.26 nanograms per cubic meter (ng/m3).

"'These findings are of concern because these decreases in IQ could be educationally meaningful in terms of school performance,' says Frederica Perera, DrPH, professor of Environmental Health Sciences and director of the CCCEH at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and study lead author. 'The good news is that we have seen a decline in air pollution exposure in our cohort since 1998, testifying to the importance of policies to reduce traffic congestion and other sources of fossil fuel combustion byproducts.'..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/klf95j
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Title: "Children's IQ Can Be Affected By Mother's Exposure To Urban Air Pollutants, Study Suggests"
Author: Staff

Via ENN: http://tinyurl.com/l697gz



-> "All of the miles I've logged on the side of the road have given me an appreciation for vulnerable road users."
-- Simon Washington, incoming Director of the UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies -- and active bicyclist
From the summer issue of the ITS NewsBITS: http://tinyurl.com/m2qo3w




-- 35% of drivers report that driving feels less safe today than it did five years ago.
-- Distracted driving, mentioned by 31%, was the most often cited reason.
-- Other major reasons that respondents mentioned for feeling less safe driving today than five years ago included aggressive driving and/or road rage (20%) and speeding (15%).
-- When asked about their driving behavior in the past month:
-- 67% of drivers reported talking on the cell phone while driving; including 28% who reported doing so fairly often or regularly.
-- 44% reported speeding 15 mph over the speed limit on freeways.
-- 29% reported driving through a light that had already turned red even though they could have stopped safely.
-- 27% reported tailgating another driver when they could have backed off.
-- 24% reported speeding 15 mph over the speed limit on residential streets.
-- 21% of drivers reported text messaging while driving.

-- AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety



-> "ScienceDaily (July 19, 2009) — Why do people engage in stupid and potentially deadly activities, and why do teens in particular have a propensity for this behavior? An intriguing article published in the July 2009 online issue of 'Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics' answers these questions in the context of the reckless 'sport' known as car surfing. The article not only analyzes the neurosurgical injuries associated with car surfing, but delves into the cultural and regional trends behind this dangerous recreational activity..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ntgyos



-> "Children with stressed-out parents may be more prone to developing asthma associated with environmental 'triggers' such as high levels of traffic-related pollution and tobacco smoke, hints a study published today..."

-> "The average fuel efficiency of the US vehicle fleet has risen by just 3 miles per gallon since the days of the Ford Model T, and has barely shifted at all since 1991. Those are the conclusions reached by Michael Sivak and Omer Tsimhoni at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor..."

-> "...Gary Dean, a partner of Williams & Dean Associated Architects, said preliminary estimates are that a pedestrian tunnel alone from the state Capitol and the Multi-Agency Complex would cost between about $2.8 million to $3 million. A tunnel-skybridge would be about $3.3 million to $3.5 million, he said..."

-> "If a group of local visionaries has its way, scads of 8-foot-tall solar powered bicycle racks that resemble metal trees topped with a canopy of petals may soon be spread throughout downtown Grand Rapids [MI] in time for the city's debut on the international art scene -- ArtPrize..."

-> "...In a word, textraction conveys the dangerous distraction of texting. With more people using their cell phones to communicate via text, the stories of car, train, and even pedestrian accidents continue to accrue..."



"...Failing in America 2009;" by Levi, Vinter, Richardson, St. Laurent & Segal, Trust for America's Health; for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. July 2009 (1.9mb pdf)

"...District Strategies for Improving Children's Health;" by Chriqui, Schneider, Ide & Pugach, of the Bridging the Gap program, the University of Illinois at Chicago; support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. July 2009 (10.9nb pdf)



Additional training opportunities are available on the National Center for Bicycling & Walking web site. Add your own items to the on-line calendar...it's quick and easy. Please be sure your calendar items pertain to training and workshops in the bicycle, pedestrian, or livable community fields. Go to:


-> August 9-12, 2009, ITE 2009 Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX. Info: Sallie Dollins, Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1099 14th Street, NW, Suite 300 West, Washington, DC 20005; phone: (202) 289-0222 ext. 149; email: <sdollins@ite.org>

-> August 19-21, 2009, Safe Routes to School National Conference, Portland, Oregon. Info: phone: 503-226-0676, ext. 27; email: <info@saferoutesconference.org>

-> August 23-26, 2009, National Scenic Byways Conference, Denver, CO. Info:

-> August 28-30, 2009, League Cycling Instructor Seminar, City of Bloomington City Hall, Bloomington, Indiana Info: phone: 812-349-3530, email: <hessr@bloomington.in.gov>

-> September 2-4, 2009, 2nd International Urban Design Conference, Gold Coast, Australia. Info:

-> September 15-16, 2009, Research to Practice Symposium Promoting Environmental and Policy Change to Support Healthy Aging, Chapel Hill, NC. Information and updates will be available at:

-> September 17-19, 2009, Membership Development Training (for bike/ped advocacy organizations), San Francisco, CA. Info: Kristen Steele, Alliance for Biking and Walking, San Francisco Office, phone: (415) 513-5281; email: <kristen@peoplepoweredmovement.org>

-> September 20-26, 2009, National Turn Off the TV Week. Info: Center for Screen-Time Awareness, 1200 29th Street, N.W., Lower Level # 1, Washington, DC 20007; phone: (202) 333-9220; fax: (202) 333-9221; email: <cfstaemail@screentime.org>
Via University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center Notes: http://tinyurl.com/lumv98

-> September 24, 2009, BUNCO for Bicycles! Fund raiser to benefit WalkBikeBerks*, PA Walks & Bikes**, and the Breast Cancer 3-Day Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure***.
* http://tinyurl.com/ljf778
** http://tinyurl.com/l429ba
*** http://tinyurl.com/5ey69b

-> October 7-9, 2009, 10th Annual Walk21, New York City NY. Info:

-> October 15-16, 2009, How to Turn a Place Around Course, New York, NY. Info: Project for Public Spaces

-> October 18-21, 2009, Transportation Assn. of Canada Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC. Info:

-> October 18-22, 2009, Land & Water Conservation Fund training, San Antonio, TX. Info:

-> October 18-22, 2009, Low Carbon Cities - 45th ISOCARP Int'l Congress, Porto, Portugal. Info:

-> October 20-22, 2009, Roundabout Design Workshop, Evanston, IL. Info: Northwestern University Center for Public Safety:

-> October 22-27, 2009, AASHTO Annual Meeting, Palm Desert, CA. Info: Hannah Whitney, American Assn. of State Highway & Transportation Officials; phone: (202) 624-5800; email: <hwhitney@aashto.org>

-> October 23-24, 2009, How to Create Successful Markets, New York, NY. Info:

-> October 25-27, 2009, Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference, Kalamazoo, MI. Info: contact Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, PO Box 27187, Lansing MI 48909; phone: (517) 485-6022; email: <info@michigantrails.org>.

-> October 27-30, 2009, OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy, Busan, KR. Info:

-> November 5-6-2009, Streets as Places Seminar, New York, NY. Info: Project for Public Spaces

-> November 12-13, 2009, 7th New Zealand Cycling Conference, New Plymouth, NZ. Info:

-> November 13-15, 2009, Winning Campaigns Advocacy Training, Richmond, VA. Info: Kristen Steele, Alliance for Biking and Walking, San Francisco Office, phone: (415) 513-5281; email: <kristen@peoplepoweredmovement.org>

-> May 30-June 2, 2010, International Conference on Safety and Mobility of Vulnerable Road Users: Pedestrians, Motorcyclists, and Bicyclists, Jerusalem, Israel. Info:

-> September 13-17, 2010. Pro Walk/Pro Bike® the Sixteenth International Symposium on Walking and Bicycling, Chattanooga, Tennessee.



Alliance for Biking & Walking, a coalition of grassroots bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations across North America, is seeking an intern to help with our work to create, strengthen and unite state and local advocacy movement. The Membership Services Intern will gain firsthand knowledge working with the member organizations of our international coalition. Work includes assisting with membership outreach, national campaign coordination, prospect acquisition, database development, website updates, and resource development. This internship offers a flexible schedule with a fifteen-hour-a-week minimum commitment for three months. This position is based in Washington, DC. A modest stipend up to $1,500 will be available. Deadline for applications is August 23, 2009.

Details and application instructions: http://tinyurl.com/oct357

-> JOB -- Communications Intern -- Alliance for Biking & Walking

Alliance for Biking & Walking, a coalition of grassroots bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations across North America, is seeking an intern to help with our work to create, strengthen and unite the grassroots biking and walking advocacy movement. The 2009 Fall Communications Intern will have a unique opportunity to work firsthand with a national non-profit. Work includes assisting with a brand new photo contest program, web and print communications, coordinating mailings, creating marketing materials, outreach and research for Alliance publications, outreach to sponsor and partner groups, and securing images for Alliance publications. This is a virtual internship (meaning you work from home) offering a flexible schedule with a fifteen-hour-a-week minimum commitment. The ideal candidate will be based in the San Francisco Bay Area. A modest stipend of $1,500 will be available. Deadline for applications is August 26, 2009.

Details and application instructions: http://tinyurl.com/oct357


Planning Department
Balanced Transportation Manager-City Planner III
Salary Range: $65,596.70 to $80,256.02 annual

The City of Omaha, Nebraska, is seeking qualified applicants for an advanced professional position in the City of Omaha Planning Department, with coordination responsibilities with other city departments, elected and administrative officials and community partners such as Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) and Metro Area Transit (MAT). The work involves developing, reviewing and managing the implementation of city and regional master plans, studies and projects to promote the goal of transportation projects and plans that balance and accommodate multiple transportation modes, including private automobiles, pubic transportation and bicycle and pedestrian transportation.

Minimum qualifications: A bachelor's degree in Urban Studies, Economics, Business, Community or Regional Planning, Real Estate, Landscape Architecture, Architecture or Planning Research Methods. Six (6) years of experience in increasingly responsible planning, engineering, architecture or related experience preferred. Candidates should have substantial technical planning expertise in applicable fields, understand the relationships between transportation and urban design, and have a demonstrated ability to work with planners, engineers, administrators advisory boards and citizens.

Years of experience preferred: 6
AICP membership: Preferred

Closing Date: August 27, 2009
More info: http://tinyurl.com/l3rmhj



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Contributors: John Williams, Sharon Roerty, Gary MacFadden, Mark Plotz, Bob Chauncey, Chris Jordan, Josh Levin, Linda Tracy, Russell Houston, Joshua Duggan, Joan Pasiuk, Matt O'Toole, Emma Cravey, Tim Young, Michele Barrett, Robert Seidler, Jim Begley, Dana Kitzes, Bill Wilkinson, Kristen Steele, Katie Eukel, and John Mayer.

Editor: John Williams
Send news items to: <john@bikewalk.org>
Director: Sharon Z. Roerty, ACIP/PP


©2009 - NCBW | The National Center for Bicycling & Walking is a program of the Bicycle Federation of America; http://www.bikewalk.org/contact.php