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WHICH MATTERS MORE—BIKE NETWORK’S CONNECTIVITY OR DENSITY?
-> A pair of researchers at the University of Minnesota recently set out to test the theory that a connected bike network — where bike lanes provide continuous routes between many possible destinations — is a major determinant of how many people bike. What they actually found was a little unexpected. Connected bike infrastructure matters, according to the study, but not as much as the density of bike infrastructure. (The Missing Link: Bicycle Infrastructure Networks and Ridership in 74 US Cities: http://nexus.umn.edu/papers/MissingLink.pdf) “These findings suggest that cities hoping to maximize the impacts of their bicycle infrastructure investments should first consider densifying their bicycle network before expanding its breadth,” the authors concluded. [http://bit.ly/1E7302A]
FHWA PILOT TO GATHER BETTER WALKING & BIKING DATA
-> The lack of good data on walking and biking is a big problem. Advocates say current metrics yield a spotty and incomplete picture of how much, where, and why Americans walk and bike. Without a good sense of people’s active transportation habits, it’s hard to draw confident conclusions not only about walking and biking rates, but also about safety and other critical indicators that can guide successful policy at the local level. A new program from the Federal Highway Administration aims to help fill the gap. Via its new “Bicycle-Pedestrian Count Technology Pilot Program” (http://1.usa.gov/1OEQXeh), FHWA will help local transportation planners gather more sophisticated data on walking and biking in 10 MPOs — Providence, Buffalo, Richmond, Puerto Rico, Palm Beach, Fresno, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Memphis. FHWA will provide funding for equipment to measure biking and walking trips. [http://bit.ly/1HriijR]
DRIVERS OVER 30 MPH MORE LIKELY TO IGNORE CROSSWALKS
-> A new study (Driver Approach Speed and Its Impact on Driver Yielding to Pedestrian Behavior at Unsignalized Crosswalks: http://bit.ly/1bsCvtO) published by TRB, reveals that drivers are nearly four times more likely to yield for pedestrians at travel speeds around 20 miles per hour than at 40 mph. These findings bolster the case for more stringent speed enforcement. However, Tom Bertulis, the study’s lead author, says this work can also improve the way designers deal with unsafe crossings. [http://bit.ly/1GgL2Ko]
ANALYSIS & COSTS OF HOUSEHOLD CHAUFFEURING
-> Household chauffeuring refers to personal vehicle travel specifically made to transport non-drivers. This additional vehicle travel imposes various direct and indirect costs. This paper (Evaluating Household Chauffeuring Burdens: Understanding Direct and Indirect Costs of Transporting Non-Drivers: http://bit.ly/1JaqzdU) develops a Chauffeuring Burden Index which quantifies chauffeuring costs and the benefits of transport improvements that reduce chauffeuring burdens. This analysis indicates that in automobile dependent communities chauffeuring costs often exceed congestion costs. [http://bit.ly/10aj4Mz]
BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND OBESITY BY URBANICITY IN THE U.S.
-> Based on the data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2012, this study examines the association of neighborhood built environments with individual physical inactivity and obesity in the U.S. Multilevel modeling is used to control for the effects of individual socio-demographic characteristics. Neighborhood variables include built environment, poverty level and urbanicity at the county level. Among the built environment variables, a poorer street connectivity and a more prominent presence of fast-food restaurants are associated with a higher obesity risk (especially for areas of certain urbanicity levels). Analysis of data subsets divided by areas of different urbanicity levels and by gender reveals the variability of effects of independent variables, more so for the neighborhood variables than individual variables. This implies that some obesity risk factors are geographically specific and vary between men and women. The results lend support to the role of built environment in influencing people?s health behavior and outcome, and promote public policies that need to be geographically adaptable and sensitive to the diversity of demographic groups. [http://1.usa.gov/1Pgr8mW]
LONG-TERM AIR POLLUTION EXPOSURE & RISK OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
-> Several studies with animal research associate air pollution in Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology, but the actual impact of air pollution on the risk of AD is unknown. Here, this study (Ozone, Particulate matter, and Newly Diagnosed Alzheimer's Disease: A Population-based Cohort Study in Taiwan) investigates the association between long-term exposure to ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5), and newly diagnosed AD in Taiwan. We conducted a cohort study of 95,690 individuals' age >= 65 during 2001-2010... These findings suggest long-term exposure to O3 and PM2.5 above the current US EPA standards are associated with increased the risk of AD. [http://1.usa.gov/1HjSzLG]
(See also Wearable Sensors Will Measure How Much Air Pollution City Cyclists Inhale: http://bit.ly/1GhdHSD)
2015 TRB MEETING: SLIDES AND POSTERS AVAILABLE ONLINE
-> The TRB Annual Meeting Online (AMOnline) portal offers searchable access to the slides and posters of more than 5,000 program presentations and 2,700 technical papers from the 2015 TRB 94th Annual Meeting. The portal still includes papers from the 2011 to 2014 Annual Meetings. Annual Meeting registrants, and employees of TRB sponsors and patrons have free access. Others may purchase access to the entire collection or individual items. [http://bit.ly/1aQp6L1]
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