What Health Professionals Need to Know about Transportation and ‘Level of Service’


How Measuring Vehicle Miles Traveled Can Promote Health Equity

Do you know how roadways are graded? Most transportation indicators grade based on the level of motor vehicle traffic on a road, with little consideration for people walking, bike or taking transit, and vehicle travel. This leads planners to design car-focused roads that neglect transit and non-motorized travel, which is counterproductive to social, environmental, and health goals. Using level of service (LOS), for example, to assess road performance tends to expand roadways and increase vehicular speeds to benefit cars and trucks only. This ends up enabling more vehicle travel and reducing feasibility of walking, biking, and busing. That’s why five early-adopter cities in California transitioned away from a narrow focus on moving as many cars as fast as possible, to a more ...

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#SaludTues 11/5/19: Measuring Transportation Impacts for Health, Equity and Sustainability


#SaludTues

The methods used to measure and analyze the impact of transportation projects matter for health, equity and sustainability. Vehicle delay, for example, is a poor measure of transportation impact and incorrectly equates low levels of auto delay with mobility and preservation of the environment. Yet, many regions and states rely on vehicle delay to determine which projects get funded and expedited. Measuring the amount and distance of vehicle travel rather than delay encourages infrastructure for transit and non-motorized travel and facilitates mixed-use, transit-oriented development (TOD) and infill development. Measuring vehicle miles traveled can help cities reach climate, equity, health, and sustainability goals. Let’s use #SaludTues on November 5, 2019, to tweet about ...

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San Antonio to Combat ‘Climate Emergency’ with New Action Plan


Climate Action Plan San Antonio

One of America’s highest Latino-populated cities now has a strategy to address the climate crisis. Earlier this month, the San Antonio (64% Latino) City Council passed Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) by a 10-1 vote. It outlines objectives that will aim to reduce the city’s greenhouse emissions by 2050 and achieve climate equity for all populations. This plan follows in suit with many cities across the U.S. that are taking personal responsibility for its role in the climate crisis. “We declare that we will not be bystanders,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, according to the Rivard Report. “In no simpler terms, here and around the world, we are in a climate emergency.” What Does the Climate Action Plan Say? The main goal is to make the city and its ...

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Salud America! Members Speak Up for Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs!


cigarette warning labels graphic FDA quit smoking

Over 275 members of the Salud America! network sent emails to the FDA to speak in favor of the newly required health warning labels for cigarette packages and advertisements. The proposed rule, open for public comment Aug. 16 to Oct. 15, 2019, would implement a provision of the Tobacco Control Act that requires FDA to issue regulations requiring color graphic labels that depict the negative health consequences of smoking along with written warning statements. Graphics include striking visuals of harm among children, babies, and self. “Given that tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., there’s a lot at stake to ensure the public understands these risks," Dr. Ned Sharpless, Acting FDA Commissioner, said in a statement. Studies ...

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Climate Strike: Millions of Voices Call for Environmental Action


Climate Strike Crisis Global

Last week, people across the world marched through city streets in hopes of prompting world leaders to act on the climate crisis. Over 7.6 million people participated in this strike from cities in over 185 countries, according to the Global Climate Strike website. These protestors demanded immediate action in the climate crisis from their respective elected officials. This event was inspired by the words and actions of Swedish 16-year-old, Greta Thunberg, who has made significant influences in the current climate crisis conversation — some say she's the spark that lit the Climate Strike fire. "We have gathered today because we have chosen which path we want to take, and now we are waiting for the others to follow our example," Thunberg said at an earlier climate protest in ...

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Salud Talks Podcast Episode One: “On Fire”


Salud Talks Episode 1 On fire

In its first episode, the Salud Talks podcast covers one of the critical issues of our time: the Climate Crisis. We sat down with experts in this field to discuss the history behind climate change, how we got where we are today, and what has to be done to save the planet. The episode went live on Sept. 4, 2019, at 6 a.m. WHAT: A discussion on the climate crisis and how it is and will continue to impact Latinos and all Americans GUESTS: Dolores "DeeDee" Belmares, the Texas Field Consultant for Moms Clean Air Force, and Dr. Juan Declet-Barreto, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists WHERE: Available wherever fine podcasts are downloaded, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Tune In, and others. WHEN: Live Wed., Sept. 4, 2019, at 6 ...

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Experts Say Climate Crisis Heat Will Make Many Urban Areas Unlivable


heat index Climate change

From New England to the Southwest, Americans are sweating through their shirts as cities across the country experience record-high temperatures. More importantly, the gauge of how hot a place feels, the heat index, has also been on the rise. The National Weather Service has sent numerous warnings to many areas, cautioning of "prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures and high humidity." Meteorologists attribute this latest heatwave to atmospheric shifts. Worse, experts and researchers say the heatwave is only one part of the broader climate crisis problem — one that could lead to nearly 300 cities becoming uninhabitable. "Think about the most extreme summer heat you've ever experienced in your lifetime. That will become a typical summer day by the middle of this ...

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Building for Holistic Health: Indoor Air Quality


building indoor air quality

Most Latinos and Americans spend the majority of their time inside of homes, offices, restaurants, movie theaters, and other buildings. The indoor air quality in these spaces might not cross most people’s mind. However, researchers say the air inside buildings can billow into a significant health concern because poor air quality can lead to numerous short- and long-term complications — headaches, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory diseases, Toxicant‐Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT), and even cancer. “It is important to be aware of your environment,” Dr. Claudia Miller, an environmental health professor and leader of the Hoffman TILT program at UT Health San Antonio, writes. “This is especially important for indoor air, as most people spend 90% of their time ...

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UPDATE: States Sue EPA Over Chemical Linked to Brain Damage in Children


chlorpyrifos ban EPA

UPDATE: August 8, 2019 Six states filed lawsuits against the EPA over chlorpyrifos—a pesticide that is linked to numerous and life-threatening effects—yesterday. Researchers have connected this form of chemical exposure to the development of cognitive, physical complications, according to The Hill.  The states, which include California (39.3% Latino), New York (19.2%), Massachusetts (12.3%), Washington (12.9%), Maryland (10.4%), and Vermont (2%), say the chemical is too dangerous to be on the market. “Parents shouldn’t have to question whether everyday fruits and vegetables will poison their children,” California Attorney General Becerra said in a press release. “The EPA is egregiously sacrificing our children’s health by refusing to make a determination on this ...

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