NCBW Newsroom - The Research Beat
-> According to a Jan. 14th BBC News article, "University of Cambridge researchers said about 676,000 deaths each year were down to inactivity, compared with 337,000 from carrying too much weight. They concluded that getting everyone to do at least 20 minutes of brisk walking a day would have substantial benefits. Experts said exercise was beneficial for people of any weight. Obesity and inactivity often go hand in hand. However, it is known that thin people have a higher risk of health problems if they are inactive. And obese people who exercise are in better health than those that do not...
"‘The greatest risk [of an early death] was in those classed inactive, and that was consistent in normal weight, overweight and obese people,’ one of the researchers, Prof Ulf Ekelund told BBC News..."
-> According to a Jan. 26th Safe Routes Matters article, "Two studies released this past year examine the economic influence of Safe Routes to School. The study ‘Cost of School Transportation: Quantifying the Fiscal Impacts of Encouraging Walking and Bicycling for School Travel’ (http://bit.ly/1Cxt7hA) examines the impact of reducing bussing costs for schools in North Carolina, while T’he Cost-effectiveness of New York City’s Safe Routes to School Program’ (http://1.usa.gov/1yv3A2z) studies how child injury prevention leads to injury-related cost savings in New York City.
"’Cost of School Transportation: Quantifying the Fiscal Impacts of Encouraging Walking and Bicycling for School Travel’... demonstrates how schools can reap substantial financial benefits by investing in safe walking and biking and by preserving bus services for longer trips to school... over a 10-year period schools can save a significant amount of money per student by allowing school bus services only for students with a commute over one mile...
"In ‘The Cost-effectiveness of New York City’s Safe Routes to School Program’ study...[Peter] Muenning and his team estimate the cost savings that occur when intersections are modified to improve pedestrian safety related to childhood pedestrian injury, quality adjusted life expectancy, schools’ busing costs, and in burial costs... a total cost reduction of $221 million over a 50-year period..."
-> According to a Jan. 26th TRB blurb, "TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 797: Guidebook on Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection (http://bit.ly/1yZa13d) describes methods and technologies for counting pedestrians and bicyclists, offers guidance on developing a non-motorized count program, gives suggestions on selecting appropriate counting methods and technologies, and provides examples of how organizations have used non-motorized count data to better fulfill their missions."
[See also: TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 205: Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection (http://bit.ly/15JqSLf), documents the research that led to...[the Guidebook].]
-> According to a Jan. 7th McGill article, "...In a study published recently in the journal Transport Policy (Integrating Social Equity into Urban Transportation Planning: A Critical Evaluation of Equity Objectives and Measures in Transportation Plans in North America: http://bit.ly/1H9ulnX), the researchers analyze the transportation plans of 18 metropolitan areas across the U.S. and Canada... and find that many plans focus largely on local environmental and congestion-reduction goals.
"‘Many of the plans talk a lot about social-equity goals, but these goals are not translated into clearly specified objectives – and it’s not at all clear how the goals are incorporated into decision-making,’ says Kevin Manaugh, lead author of the paper and an assistant professor in McGill’s Department of Geography and School of Environment.
"The researchers suggest several specific measures or indicators that cities can use to guide social-equity objectives:
-> According to a Jan. 16th IFAS News article, "If three American metro areas are any indication, few people ride their bicycles to a bus or train station to commute to work, and those who do only travel an average of 1 to 2 miles. That suggests to a University of Florida researcher that American cities should make the 2-mile radius around transit hubs more bike-friendly. (Assessment of Bicycle Service Areas around Transit Stations: http://bit.ly/14LcY96)
"Methods to do so could include installing bicycle lanes separated from vehicular traffic, adding off-street multipurpose paths for pedestrians and bicyclists and converting car lanes to bike-only lanes, said UF geomatics Associate Professor Henry Hochmair.
"Hochmair reached his conclusions by studying data collected by transit agencies from passengers who rode trains and buses in three metro areas... those who opted to ride a bike to a transit hub cycled an average of 1 to 2 miles in Atlanta and the Twin Cities and 3 miles in Los Angeles..."
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