How State and Local Leaders Can Build on the American Rescue Plan to Implement the $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act


American Rescue Plan Implement the $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

In November 2021, Congress passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to rebuild roads, expand access to clean drinking water and high-speed internet, and tackle climate change — with priority investments in Latino and other often left-behind communities. Although this bill adds new money to fix some transportation problems, it pours hundreds of billions into the same old highway programs that perpetuate those problems, like auto-dependence and dangerous roads. “Today’s transportation system works extraordinarily well for its original intended purpose, to build a national highway system, but fails to meet the climate, economic recovery, equity, and safety challenges of the present day,” according to the National Association of City ...

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How Can We Measure Transportation Insecurity?


transportation insecurity

Inadequate transportation can hurt a person’s social, economic, and health outcomes. But planners and policymakers have not had a good tool to measure transportation insecurity—a condition in which one is unable to regularly move from place to place in a safe or timely manner due to the absence of the material, economic, or social resources needed for transportation. So, in 2018, researchers from University of Michigan and others created a tool to explore transportation security modeled after the Food Security Index and based on interviews with families living in poverty. They call it the Transportation Security Index. In 2021, they validated the 16-question index using a nationally representative sample. “We hope [the Transportation Security Index 16] will be adopted ...

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Regulating Autonomous Vehicles Must Address Safety for Everyone, Total Emissions


Regulating Autonomous Vehicles Must Address Safety for Everyone, Total Emissions

Pedestrian fatalities have increased 50% since 2009. Autonomous vehicles—those driven by automated driving systems rather than a human—are often suggested as a solution by politicians, planners, even some safety advocates. But with our nation’s struggle to regulate the automobile industry and failure to protect people walking, many worry about the decades-long shift to autonomous vehicles because cars will still dominate roads and road design. Moreover, many worry that electric driverless vehicles district from the social, economic, and health issues cities are facing today. “Public health will benefit if proper policies and regulatory frameworks are implemented before the complete introduction of [autonomous vehicles] into the market,” according to David Rojas-Rueda ...

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UPDATE: Health Equity Report Card Covers Social Vulnerability, COVID-19


Health Equity Report Card Covers Social Vulnerability, COVID-19

We have updated our Health Equity Report Card to include place-based information on your county’s Social Vulnerability Index Score and COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. The Salud America! Health Equity Report Card, first launched in 2017, auto-generates Latino-focused and local data with interactive maps and comparative gauges, which can help you visualize and explore inequities in housing, transit, poverty, health care, food, and education. You will see how your county stacks up in these health equity issues — now including social vulnerability and COVID-19 — compared to your state and the nation. Then you can share the Report Card with your local leaders to advocate for healthy change! Get your Health Equity Report Card! Why We Need to Consider ...

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How Has COVID-19 Impacted Physical Activity for Youth?


COVID-19’s Impact on Youth Physical Activity

Loss of physical activity can harm physical, emotional, and social health. Amid COVID-19 illness and isolation, some youth and families have experienced a loss of physical activity, according to a new report from Safe Routes Partnership, “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: COVID-19’s Impact on Youth Physical Activity and Safe Routes to School.” The report explores research and expert perspectives on COVID-19’s impact on physical and emotional health to paint a holistic picture of how physical activity has changed during COVID-19. The report also has recommendations for supporting physical activity strategies and centering physical, emotional, and social health in equitable pandemic recovery plans. Our team at Salud America! was honored to contribute to this report ...

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25,000 Comments Call for Safety Reforms in a Transportation Engineering ‘Bible’


Overhaul of the MUTCD

More than 25,000 public comments were submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on proposed changes to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Our team at Salud America! developed three model comments asking FHWA to adopt a public health and Safe System Approach to reframe and rewrite the 700-page MUTCD, one of transportation engineering’s “bibles” that guides road creation. More than 2,100 people visited our model comments over 30 days and nearly 450 people submitted our model comments. “This enormous volume of comments (a more than ten-fold increase over the last time the MUTCD was updated in 2009) demonstrates the degree to which Americans want change,” according to a post from the National Association of City Transportation Officials ...

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Tell Federal Highway Administration (FHWA): Overhaul Transportation Engineering Standards to Integrate Public Health



What we engineer and build impacts public health, safety, and welfare. However, transportation engineering prioritizes convenience for people driving over safety for people walking or biking. This makes streets more dangerous for everyone, including drivers. Now is our opportunity to change all that. Public comments are wanted on revisions to one of transportation engineering’s “bibles,” the 700-page Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD). The MUTCD, which was last rewritten 50 years ago from the point of view of expediting vehicle movement, is full of assumptions, restrictions, and contradictions that hinder efforts to improve safety and create vibrant, welcoming streets. Submit one of three Salud America! model comments to tell ...

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45% Spike in People Walking Killed by People Driving, Says ‘Dangerous by Design’ Report


45% Spike in People Walking Killed by People Driving, Says 'Dangerous by Design' Report

America’s approach to road safety continues to fail, especially for pedestrians. The number of people walking who have been struck and killed by people driving grew 45% from 2010 and 2019, according to the new Dangerous by Design report from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition. Why? Policymakers in cities and states across the country continue to trust unsafe street design practices that prioritize speed for people driving, enable larger vehicles, and rely on police enforcement and ineffectual education campaigns to promote safety. Experts urge federal, state, and local leaders to adjust road design to prioritize pedestrians and other forms of active travel such as bicycling, as well as quit blaming individuals and relying on police. The Most ...

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Tell CDC: Add Social Risk Codes to Better Classify Disease Diagnoses, Symptoms (ICD-10-CM)


Tell CDC: Add Social Risk Codes to Better Classify Disease Diagnoses, Symptoms (ICD-10-CM)

Social risk contributes significantly to poor health. These social risks—also known as social determinants of health—include food insecurity, housing instability, transportation insecurity, financial strain, and more. But without the right terminology about social risk, doctors and other healthcare workers may struggle to identify, support, and report patient’s social needs, which can harm health and hinder research. This is particularly problematic for Latinos and others who are overburdened by social risks. This why the Gravity Project, a coalition of experts on social risk, is recommending code changes and updates to CDC National Center for Health Statistics’ International Classification of Diseases-Clinical Modification, Tenth Revision (ICD-10-CM), which provides a ...

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