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Webinar Wrap: Public Health and Safety

5 May 2009 | Posted by | 0 Comments | , ,
Download the new policy paper on Public Health and Safety (pdf)

Transportation for America hosted the fourth webinar in the ongoing series last Thursday, April 30. More than 270 people signed up to hear from health, safety and active transportation experts on the effects of our transportation policy on public health and safety.

Following up on the webinar, we’ve released the 5th in a series of policy papers, focusing on public health and safety.

Our current transportation system puts our health and safety in jeopardy by contributing to sedentary behaviors, hazardous pollution levels, difficult access to health care, and preventable injuries and deaths.

As our panelists demonstrated, we need federal leadership to help make the critical link between health, safety, and transportation policies and create communities that promote active living, reduce pollution levels, increase accessibility, and ensure safety for all transportation users.  Our panelists also addressed the transportation needs among older Americans, minorities, low-income residents, and people who live in both rural and metropolitan areas — all of whom deserve safe transportation that improves health outcomes.

Dr. Robert Cervero, Professor of City and Regional Planning at Cal Berkeley, provided an overview of research studies that show the health benefits of active transportation and the built environment that facilitates active living, and listed congruous evidence-based policy recommendations.

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, expounded on the connections between transportation, health, and safety and described how Transportation for America’s policy recommendations would improve health, safety, and equity outcomes.  Jackie Gillan, vice president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, reviewed how laws, policies, and safety standards can improve safety and reduce mortality rates for transportation users.

Jana Lynott of AARP’s Public Policy Institute elaborated on the diverse transportation projects that can safely move a growing number of older Americans, while helping increase their physical activity levels and provide access to shopping, services, and community centers. And Barbara McCann of the National Complete Streets Coalition described the health, safety, accessibility, and economic benefits of “complete streets” for all transportation users, and reviewed adopted policies and pending or passed legislation across the country.

Webinar resources: