January 17, 2014

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Note: Where possible, we provide the DOI link to research papers in the Info Round-Up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage:  Access to research articles will be dependent on your institutional rights.

Bicycling's recent rise to the spotlight isn't just a passing fad, argues writer and bike activist Elly Blue. Instead, she says, growing numbers of people are beginning to recognize the tangible benefits - to themselves and to their cities - of trading in cars for self-powered transportation. And the research is backing up their experiences. Blue's new book, "Bikenomics", draws on a growing body of academic work, along with her own involvement with the country's bicycle movement, to make the economic case for bicycles.

The Bicycle Program Yearbook is a new tool to help measure, track and report progress on The City’s effort to improve conditions for cycling.  The City of Calgary is one of only a few cities world-wide to have published this type of document, also known as a Bicycle Account. Bicycle Accounts are a recommended practice of the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community Program.

For a long time, public streets were places for walking, biking and playing. With nothing moving faster than 10 miles an hour, streets moved at people pace. Responsible parents would tell their kids to go play in the streets. Then, we went car-crazy......  To celebrate the success of Open Streets we’ve teamed up with Streetfilms to create a video charting The Rise of Open Streets.

See this page for an extensive list of links to FHWA research and resources.

Good walking is good business

Includes an extensive list of links to walking-related articles and studies.

Brochure provides data and statistics on the benefits of walking for your health...

This white paper provides collected best practices on winter bikeway maintenance as seen in US cities and around  the world. The paper covers snow removal from bikeways, different types of de-icing surface applications and their advantages/disadvantages, and best practices for winter maintenance prioritization and scheduling. The paper also includes a brief discussion on innovative winter maintenance techniques either in use or in development.

Hamilton played host to the Association for Commuter Transportation’s annual Sustainable
Transportation Summit in Fall 2012.  The theme was “Achieving the Balance”, which highlights the challenge communities face in maintaining quality of life of their citizens. The four-day summit included over 60 presentations on 22 different themes including health, policy success, social media, the built environment, university results and urban freight.

The Canadian Health Measures Survey uses accelerometry to collect physical activity and sedentary behaviour data. Between cycles 2 and 3, a transition was made from 60-second to 15-second epochs in accelerometry data for children aged 3 to 5. This study examines the impact of epoch length on physical activity and sedentary behaviour outcomes for children in this age range.

The New York Academy of Medicine argues that active recess, involving either free play or organized activities, should be mandatory in elementary school and has published a guide providing tools to implement such a policy. The guide describes the steps to be followed in planning and implementing active recess policies, an effort which involves teachers, parent and community organizations and local elected officials.

Focusing on clear and accessible pathways and transit stops for people with disabilities, a booklet from Easter Seals Project

Leaders Tool Kit for Healthy Living Workshops for Older Adults: an evidence based six-week workshop template for community educators and leaders.  The Tool Kit uses Your Personal Passport to Healthy Living, published by ALCOA in 2012, as the resource for the participants.

Journal of Environmental Psychology Available online 10 Jan 2014, In Press,
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2013.12.012
·         First study using photographs to study environment-physical activity relationships.
·         We assessed first impressions (choice task) and deliberate evaluations (rating task).
·         Few differences observed between choice and rating task to assess invitingness.
·         Vegetation, benches, and surveillance afford walking for transportation.
·         Few moderating effects by individual factors were observed.

Safe Streets for Seniors is a pedestrian safety initiative for older New Yorkers.
DOT is evaluating pedestrian conditions in these neighborhoods from a senior's perspective and plans to make changes, such as extending pedestrian crossing times at crosswalks to accommodate slower walking speeds, constructing pedestrian safety islands, widening curbs and medians, narrowing roadways, and installing new stop controls and signals. Download a presentation about the program.

Preventive Medicine Available online 9 Jan 2014 In Press, Uncorrected Proof
·         Participant school districts (> 50%) were willing to share school grounds/facilities.
·         Shared-use agreements varied in type and programmatic scope.
·         Agreements were tailored to address school concerns, including liability and costs.
·         Child and adult-oriented programming may increase community usage of shared space.

Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:130110.
In community partnerships aimed at increasing physical activity among young people, the perspectives of project coordinators are vital to identifying the characteristics of strong, moderate, and weak partnerships. These perspectives will be useful for future community program development and will influence potential health outcomes.

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