health

Active travel: A mental health solution

By Saumya Jain A recent study from the Netherlands found that while active travel might not affect body weight, it does have a significant positive impact on a traveler’s mental health. In a global health crisis, where it is crucial to stay home to slow the spread of the virus, many of us have

The risk of premature death from transportation noise

By Michael Brenneis The health risks of exposure to transportation noise may not command the same attention as those of exposure to particulate matter or motor vehicle crashes. But it turns out that prolonged exposure to noise is a serious matter, with numerous deleterious health effects—from

Exposure to particulate pollution shown to increase COVID-19 death rate

By Michael Brenneis Coming at a time when the current federal administration continues to relax pollution controls, a new paper under review presents evidence that exposure to pollution—including that from motor vehicles—reduces the survival rate of individuals who have contracted COVID-19.

Cyclists at elevated risk of injury over non-active commuters

By Michael Brenneis From the UK comes more evidence that improving cycling infrastructure has the potential to advance health. A new paper in the BMJ concludes that while commuting by bicycle has more risk of injury than commuting by non-active modes, active commuting offers substantial benefits

New report discusses how transportation officials can support health equity

By Rayla Bellis Smart Growth America recently released a new report, The State of Transportation and Health Equity, a field scan looking at the intersection of transportation and health equity in the U.S. today. The report summarizes lessons based on interviews with 92 experts working across

Residential exposure to local traffic emissions associated with higher risk of stroke

By Yicong Yang A recent study finds that long-term residential exposure to locally emitted black carbon (BC)—primarily from traffic exhaust—is associated with higher stroke incidence. BC comprises a significant portion of particulate matter. Although BC is a known health hazard with health

Does active transportation add to overall physical activity, or substitute for other exercise?

By Rayla Bellis New research in the Journal of Transport and Health investigates whether people who spend more time walking and biking daily to work and errands in the U.S. and the Netherlands spend less time exercising overall. The study findings indicate the opposite—the likelihood of

E-bikes mean longer, more frequent bike trips

By Robbie Webber On June 18, the Madison, WI, bikesharing system became the first in the U.S. to switch its entire fleet to electric pedal-assist bikes, although other cities have been adding e-bikes to their fleet for several years. Results from a comparison of e-bike vs. standard bike usage

Proximity to highways affects long-term school performance

By Robbie Webber A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research extends our knowledge of the effects of attending school near major roadways. Previous studies have found short-term effects on test scores, behavior, and school absences on days of poor air quality, but this new research

Neighborhood walkability and residential preferences in midsized cities

By Saumya Jain Many studies have established a significant relationship between walkable neighborhoods and impacts on health and travel behaviors. In the past, most of these studies were based on large metropolitan areas with significant variability in built environment and residential options. A