Articles: transport, health

Courtesy of the Healthy Community Design News newsletter:

Effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London, 1986-2006: controlled interrupted time series analysis. (Grundy C et al. BMJ 2009;339:b4469).

Objective: To quantify the effect of the introduction of 20 mph (32 km an hour) traffic speed zones on road collisions, injuries, and fatalities in London.

Design: Observational study based on analysis of geographically coded police data on road casualties, 1986-2006. Analyses were made of longitudinal changes in counts of road injuries within each of 119 029 road segments with at least one casualty with conditional fixed effects Poisson models. Estimates of the effect of introducing 20 mph zones on casualties within those zones and in adjacent areas were adjusted for the underlying downward trend in traffic casualties.

Setting: London.

Results: The introduction of 20 mph zones was associated with a 41.9% (95% confidence interval 36.0% to 47.8%) reduction in road casualties, after adjustment for underlying time trends. The percentage reduction was greatest in younger children and greater for the category of killed or seriously injured casualties than for minor injuries. There was no evidence of casualty migration to areas adjacent to 20 mph zones, where casualties also fell slightly by an average of 8.0% (4.4% to 11.5%).
Dangerous by design: Solving the epidemic of preventable pedestrian deaths (and making great neighborhoods)(Transportation for America Web site, no date)

In the report, Dangerous by Design, the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), developed by researchers at the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership in the 1990s, shows that the most dangerous places to walk are those that fail to make smart infrastructure investments that make roads safer for everyone. The report also analyzes state and regional spending of federal transportation dollars on pedestrian safety, finding that many of the metropolitan areas in greatest need of improvement are spending the least amount on pedestrian safety projects.
Health impact assessment in planning: Development of the design for health HIA tools (Forsyth et al. Environmental Impact Assessment Review. Volume 30, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 42-51).

Abstract: How can planners more systematically incorporate health concerns into practical planning processes? This paper describes a suite of health impact assessment tools (HIAs) developed specifically for planning practice. Taking an evidence-based approach the tools are designed to fit into existing planning activities. The tools include: a short audit tool, the Preliminary Checklist; a structured participatory workshop, the Rapid HIA; an intermediate health impact assessment, the Threshold Analysis; and a set of Plan Review Checklists. This description provides a basis for future work including assessing tool validity, refining specific tools, and creating alternatives.