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CHILDHOOD OBESITY LIKED TO AIR POLLUTION FROM VEHICLES
-> The Guardian reported that new research published in Environmental Health found early exposure to air pollution from vehicles increases the risk of children becoming obese. (Longitudinal Associations of in Utero and Early Life Near-Roadway Air Pollution with Trajectories of Childhood Body Mass Index: http://bit.ly/2RQN0fu) High levels of nitrogen dioxide, emitted by diesel engines, in the first year of life led to significantly faster weight gain later, the scientists found in their study of school-aged children in Southern CA. Other pollutants produced by road traffic have also been linked to obesity in children by recent studies. The World Health Organization revealed recently that 90% of the world's children are breathing unsafe air and research reveals serious long-term damage to both their physical and mental health. http://bit.ly/2DpxHqP

[See the Resources section for the Guidebook for Developing a Community Air Monitoring Network item.]

COST & INEQUITY OF CHILDREN'S ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITY
-> The State Smart Transportation Initiative reports housing and transportation are the two biggest expenses for average households in the US, and geographic location has a significant impact on these costs. But living in areas with affordable housing and transportation is not enough to assure that children will thrive. They must also have access to opportunity. A recent article on Harvard's Data-Smart City Solutions blog (http://bit.ly/2RT9f4h) described a mapping project by Brandeis University researchers that examines the cost of opportunity and its spatial inequity for children of different racial and ethnic groups. (http://bit.ly/2RT9jB3) Opportunity here refers to 19 indicators of a neighborhood's well being such as poverty rate, unemployment rate, high school graduation rate, student proficiency, proximity to quality early childhood education centers, proximity to toxins, and several more. http://bit.ly/2RTQrC6

BETTER BIKE & PED INFRASTRUCTURE CUTS DRIVING, CO2 EMISSIONS
-> The State Smart Transportation Initiative reports in an attempt to meet CO2 reduction targets, both mandatory and self-administered, cities worldwide are attempting to overhaul their transport infrastructure to limit private vehicle use and encourage more active forms of travel (i.e., walking and biking). While the common assumption among planners is that greater rates walking and biking will lead to subsequent decreases in driving, there is very limited evidence to suggest that this is the case. A new study from New Zealand to be published in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment found investing in bike and pedestrian infrastructure does in fact reduce driving-related CO2 emissions. (Reductions in Carbon Dioxide Emissions from an Intervention to Promote Cycling and Walking: A Case Study from New Zealand: http://bit.ly/2DCOfvz) The authors found that systematic improvements to walking and biking networks in two New Zealand cities led to a 30% increase in active travel, which in turn reduced distance traveled per vehicle by 1% and CO2 emissions by 1.6%. http://bit.ly/2DDhAWQ

1 MILLION DAILY NYC TRIPS COULD BE ON E-BIKES
-> Smart Cities Dive reports full deployment of a shared e-bike system in New York City could switch as many as a million trips per day from cars, transit or walking to e-bikes, according to a report prepared for Jump, the mobility startup owned by Uber. (Shared Ebike Potential: London and New York: http://bit.ly/2DARoMs) The report projected the impact of a system that deployed between 100,000 and 200,000 shared bikes in New York City and, using data from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, identified existing trips that could be taken by e-bikes, such as those less than 15 km (9.32 miles) and those without luggage. About half of the new e-bike trips would be replacing transit rides, with more than 30% replacing vehicle trips. Even with the modeled acceptance, biking would still only account for 3.8% of all of the city's trips. http://bit.ly/2DCNPW6

PED SAFETY: PROTECTED LEFT-TURN PHASING & LEADING PED INTERVALS
-> FHWA released a report that evaluates the safety effects of two countermeasures for vehicle--pedestrian crashes: protected/permissive left-turn phasing and leading pedestrian intervals. Protected left-turn phasing reduced vehicle-vehicle injury crashes but did not produce statistically significant results for vehicle-pedestrian crashes overall. This strategy may be more beneficial when there are higher pedestrian and vehicle volumes, particularly above 5,500 pedestrians per day. The evaluation of LPIs showed they reduced vehicle-pedestrian crashes. "Safety Evaluation of Protected Left-Turn Phasing and Leading Pedestrian Intervals on Pedestrian Safety" http://bit.ly/2DASUy8

HALLOWEEN IS 'DEADLIEST DAY' FOR CHILD PED FATALITIES
-> Sperling's BestPlaces reported on its research with the auto insurer State Farm that found Halloween is the 'Deadliest Day' of the year for child pedestrian fatalities. Sperling's BestPlaces analyzed more than 4 million records in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) from 1990 - 2010 for children 0-18 years of age on October 31. They found 115 child pedestrian fatalities occurred on Halloween over these 21 years--an average of 5.5 fatalities each year, which is more than double the average number of 2.6 fatalities for other days. Nearly one-fourth (26 out of 115) of crashes occurred from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Over 60% of the crashes occurred in the 4-hour period from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Over 70% of the crashes occurred away from an intersection or crosswalk. http://bit.ly/2DBMe2V