NCPPA, in collaboration with the Surface Transportation Policy Project/National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity Health and Safety Working Group and Representatives Blumenauer and Foley, hosted a legislative briefing on transportation and health on September 10, 2003. Over 40 legislative staffers and physical activity advocates attended the informative session.
The briefing focused on the health benefits, transportation needs and reauthorization priorities of the transportation and health communities. America’s transportation policies have a profound potential to enhance or harm our nation’s health. Transportation policy affects health in a number of ways, including:
- Nearly half of all Americans live in areas where air pollution exceeds health standards. Thirty-four percent of all smog-forming nitrogen oxides, 10 percent of particulate soot, and 31 percent of toxic air pollution come from cars and trucks. Despite ever-cleaner vehicles and fuels, road transportation will continue to be a major contributor to air pollution-related health problems for many years to come.
- Infrastructure can be responsible for promoting physical inactivity as well as encouraging physical activity. Neighborhoods and communities that are designed without the pedestrian or bicyclist in mind contribute to inactivity.
- Local communities depend on transportation dollars to help fund bike and pedestrian paths. The City of Rockville, MD has been hard at work utilizing five million dollars of grant funding to design and build bike and walking paths that enable citizens to safely walk/bike to areas of interest such as commuter rail stations, shopping and entertainment districts.
Speakers included: Bill Wilkinson of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, Dr. John Balbus from Environmental Defense and Betsy Thompson from the City of Rockville, MD. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.454.7521.
Physical Activity & the Built Environment
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee worked with NCPPA and the League of American Bicyclists to host an issue forum on transportation and health on Monday, June 16, 2003
Of particular concern to NCPPA is the fact that the nation’s increasing reliance on personal motor vehicles likely contributes to the high rates of physical inactivity. With the large transportation reauthorization bill (SAFETEA) among many of the major pieces of legislation facing Congress, NCPPA hopes the information provided will help Senate staffers understand the importance of certain measures within the bill that promote active lifestyles.
Featured speakers included:
Dr. Anthony DeLucia, Chairman, American Lung Association
Mr. Richard Killingsworth, MPH, Director, Active Living by Design
The Honorable Darwin Hindman, Mayor, Columbia, Missouri
Profile: Purpose of NCPPA Issue Forums
The goal of the Physical Activity Issue Forums is to develop policy objectives, recommendations and strategies to advance the physical activity agenda. Specifically, the forums will investigate the impact of existing policies, explore policy barriers or gaps, and build consensus for policy recommendations around environmental, economic, ecological and behavioral issues related to physical activity.
Through the Issue Forums, NCPPA intends to develop the framework for an achievable public affairs agenda, raise awareness about physical activity issues among constituent groups, and engage new allies in the physical activity movement. The intended audience includes policy makers, legislative staffers, opinion leaders, physical activity advocates, strategic allies and collaborators, and leading researchers.