June 12, 2009

By Rosanne Prinsen MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

A Citizen's Guide to Better Streets
This Citizen’s Guide is intended to show people who are passionate about creating better streets and walkable communities how they can influence highway professionals to address transportation in ways that place the most value on people and on places.

Accessible Pedestrian Signals – A Guide to Best Practices
In the past ten years, changes in intersection design and signalization (see Chapter 3) have affected the traditional street crossing techniques used by blind pedestrians, making the pedestrian phase harder to recognize without seeing the visual pedestrian signal….

Bicyclist- and Pedestrian-Only Roundabouts
Learn more about a new type of roundabout increasing in popularity that is solely dedicated to bicycles and/or pedestrians on shared-use paths. It includes case studies on how this type of roundabout can improve mobility and reduce injury and fatality rates.

Bike It!
Bike It is a nationwide (Scotland) scheme which aims to increase the number of young people cycling to school and on other journeys.

Ped and Bike Safety International Scan
From May 8, 2009 through May 24, 2009, a group of transportation professionals from the U.S. will be traveling to 5 European countries (Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, U.K.) to identify best practices around pedestrian and bicycle safety. This blog will serve as a text and photo journal of the trip.

Physical Activity and Transportation Benefits of Walkable Approaches to Community Design
A new study from the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) calls for municipal governments to make walking and cycling the top priority in their transportation plans, rather than cars. Focusing on Metro Vancouver, the study found that adults are 2.5 times more likely to walk when they live in well-connected neighborhoods with features that are pedestrian-friendly. It also found that adults who live in walkable neighborhoods drive 58% less on average than those who don’t.

Safe Routes to School – Scotland
Great information here.

StreetsWiki is a community-created, online encyclopedia for transportation, urban environmental, and public space ­issues. It's a place for ordinary people, planners, and academics to write and read about our cities and how we can make them more livable.

Sustrans is the UK's leading sustainable transport charity. Our vision is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment. Every day we are working on practical, innovative ways of dealing with the transport challenges that affect us all.

Scotland Hands-Up Survey 2008
Sustrans recently carried out the first ever ‘National Hands Up Survey' in Scotland of how pupils travel to and from school. The survey is unique in the scale and geographic spread with approximately 400,000 pupils (about two thirds of all school children in Scotland) participating across 29 of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland.

Determining Daily Physical Activity Levels of Youth With Developmental Disabilities: Days of Monitoring Required?
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly 26(3), July 2009
This study examined sources of variability in physical activity (PA) of youth with developmental disabilities (DD), and determined the optimal number of days required for monitoring PA.

Friendship in Inclusive Physical Education
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly 26(3), July 2009
Social interaction and development of friendships between children with and without a disability are often proposed as potential outcomes of inclusive education. Physical activity specialists assert that exercise and sport environments may be conducive to social and friendship outcomes.

Exploring the Commonalities Between Adaptive Resources and Self-Enhancement in Older Adults' Comparative Judgments of Physical Activity
Journal of Aging and Health, Vol. 20, No. 8, 899-919 (2008)
This study examines the extent to which optimism, control beliefs and motivation, and downward social comparison contribute independently to the maintenance of older adults' positive self-evaluations in a functional domain.

Impact of a Community-Based Falls Prevention Program on Maintenance of Physical Activity Among Older Adults
Journal of Aging and Health, Vol. 21, No. 3, 480-500 (2009)
This study examines the 9-month impact of a 12-week falls prevention program (called Stand Up!) which included balance exercises and educational components on maintenance of physical activity among community-dwelling seniors.

Neighborhood Social Cohesion and Disorder in Relation to Walking in Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Journal of Aging and Health, Vol. 21, No. 1, 155-171 (2009)
Neighborhood conditions may shape walking behavior in older adults, especially conditions that reflect physical neglect or social threat. Promotion of walking behavior in older adults may require improvement of the safety and upkeep of the neighborhood environment.

Weighing it up: Obesity in Australia
This inquiry into obesity in the Australian population, focusing on future implications for Australia’s health system, has revealed that there are high personal and economic costs associated with this increasing prevalence. The Committee has heard there is a vast array of direct and indirect costs to - not just the health system - but individuals, families, communities, and employers.

Adherence to Healthy Lifestyle Habits in US Adults, 1988-2006
The American Journal of Medicine Volume 122, Issue 6, Pages 528-534 (June 2009)
Generally, adherence to a healthy lifestyle pattern has decreased during the last 18 years, with decreases documented in 3 of 5 healthy lifestyle habits. These findings have broad implications for the future risk of cardiovascular disease in adults.

PBIC Launches Updated Image Gallery
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center announces the launch of the updated and redesigned pedestrian and bicycle image library. A searchable collection of free, high-quality images relating to walking and bicycling. Visitors to the site may use the images in any non-commercial projects including web pages, presentations and reports. There are no per-image costs, royalties, or extra payments for the images, but users must adhere to the Usage Guidelines posted on the site

Open space strategies Best practice guidance
This document offers clear, practical guidance to local authorities and their stakeholders on how to prepare an open space strategy. For local authorities that have already completed an open space strategy, it also gives guidance on delivering, monitoring and reviewing a strategy. There are also examples of strategies in action from around England, reflecting different themes.

Smart Growth Policies: An Evaluation of Programs and Outcomes
Although the evaluation of smart growth programs concentrates primarily on statewide performance from 1990 to the early 2000s, the findings and recommendations will be useful for formulating growth management policies in today’s context of high energy costs, historic housing market volatility, and increasing pressures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many smart growth objectives are precisely the outcomes posited to address these current challenges facing state and local policy makers.

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