Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 3:04 PM
Subject: The Societal Costs and Benefits of Commuter Bicycling
Of possible interest.
The Societal Costs and Benefits of Commuter Bicycling: Simulating the Effects of Specific Policies Using System Dynamics Modeling
Alexandra Macmillan,1 Jennie Connor,2 Karen Witten,3 Robin Kearns,4 David Rees,5 and Alistair Woodward1
Background: Shifting to active modes of transport in the trip to work can achieve substantial
co-benefits for health, social equity, and climate change mitigation. Previous integrated modeling
of transport scenarios has assumed active transport mode share and has been unable to incorporate
acknowledged system feedbacks.
Objectives: We compared the effects of policies to increase bicycle commuting in a car-dominated
city and explored the role of participatory modeling to support transport planning in the face
Methods: We used system dynamics modeling (SDM) to compare realistic policies, incorporating
feedback effects, nonlinear relationships, and time delays between variables. We developed a system
dynamics model of commuter bicycling through interviews and workshops with policy, community,
and academic stakeholders. We incorporated best available evidence to simulate five policy scenarios
over the next 40 years in Auckland, New Zealand. Injury, physical activity, fuel costs, air pollution,
and carbon emissions outcomes were simulated.
Results: Using the simulation model, we demonstrated the kinds of policies that would likely be
needed to change a historical pattern of decline in cycling into a pattern of growth that would meet
policy goals. Our model projections suggest that transforming urban roads over the next 40 years,
using best practice physical separation on main roads and bicycle-friendly speed reduction on local
streets, would yield benefits 10-25 times greater than costs.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first integrated simulation model of future specific
bicycling policies. Our projections provide practical evidence that may be used by health and
transport policy makers to optimize the benefits of transport bicycling while minimizing negative
consequences in a cost-effective manner. The modeling process enhanced understanding by a range
of stakeholders of cycling as a complex system. Participatory SDM can be a helpful method for
integrating health and environmental outcomes in transport and urban planning.
I am co-chair (Science) of the Transport and Health Study Group and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Transport and Health (www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-transport-and-health/<http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-transport-and-health/>). Karyn Warsow, Founder & Executive Director of the Transportation Public Health Link (www.tphlink.com), and I are in the planning stages of hosting the 1st International Conference on Transport & Health, which will be held at UCL (University College London) on 6th to 8th July 2015. It will be aimed at a mixed audience of policy-makers, practitioners and academics.
I am writing to give you advance notice of the dates for your diary & that the deadline for submission of abstracts will be 9th January 2015 (we will issue the formal call, and topics, later this year).
We are also asking that your organisation help fund this innovative conference.
Our primary objective is to facilitate the sharing of best practices and lessons learned between cross-disciplinary professionals involved in the research and planning of transportation projects across the world. To accomplish this ambitious goal, we are primarily seeking financial and in-kind sponsors to underwrite the conference. However, we will also consider organisations willing to contribute “pump-priming” support to assist with the up-front costs. This loan could be set-up for repayment if the conference at least breaks even (our intention). Currently, we have received informal commitments from John Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland; the Institute of Transportation Engineers; and the Texas A&M Transportation Institution, to name a few.
Karyn or I should be happy to provide you or your colleagues with more information regarding sponsorship levels upon request. Please let me know who to contact and their contact details.
Dr Jennifer Mindell, BSc, MB BS, PhD, FFPH, FRCP
Clinical senior lecturer
Health and Social Surveys Research Group
Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
1-19 Torrington Place
London WC1E 6BT
Tel. 020 7679 1269 (Internal x41269)
Survey doctor: 07770-537238
Fax 020 7813 0242
Web: IRIS web page<http://iris.ucl.ac.uk/research/personal/index?upi=JMIND63>
Journal of Transport and Health: www.elsevier.com/locate/jth<http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jth>
Apologies for cross-posting. Please see poster call below.
The Task Force on “Understanding New Directions for the National Household
Travel Survey” (ABJ45T) is calling for posters showcasing innovative uses
of the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) for presentation at the
Transportation Research Board’s 94th Annual Meeting on January 11-15, 2015,
in Washington DC.
We are particularly (but not uniquely) interested in research, case studies
and analyses that use the NHTS:
in combination with other large, publically-available datasets; or
to understand and illustrate travel patterns using visualization and
to identify and characterize long-distance and rural trips; or
to better understand traffic safety & more broadly public health topics
related to transportation; or
for disaster management; or
to analyze transit or active transportation modes; or
to analyze salient environmental or energy issues; or
to answer questions of interest to MPOs.
The objective of this poster session is to bring together planners,
analysts, policy makers, and potential users of NHTS data to share / learn
about innovative applications of the NHTS. For guidelines on how to present
a poster effectively, see
Please email a poster outline consisting of a 200 to 300 words abstract
with a title and authors’ contact information to*
abj45tposterstrb2015(a)gmail.com <abj45tposterstrb2015(a)gmail.com> by
September 5, 2014.*
Authors will be notified of acceptance by *Friday, September 19, 2014 *and
will be asked to confirm their participation by *Friday, September 26, 2014*;
at least one author of each selected poster will need to attend the poster
session in person. Sales presentations on products or services will not be
*This call is outside the usual TRB website and paper review system.
Proposals do not need to be submitted using the on-line system and no
paper is required to participate in this poster session. For questions,
email saphores(a)uci.edu <saphores(a)uci.edu>.*
5628 Burnside Circle
Tallahassee FL 32312
Column on recent study by Janet Currie of Princeton.
"Losing your home to foreclosure can be bad for your health. Watching
your neighbors lose their homes to foreclosure can be just as
debilitating. And the cost of the additional visits to emergency rooms
caused by communitywide foreclosures among those caught up in the
foreclosure crisis are staggering.
Health and home mortgages? Foreclosures and emergency room visits?
Distressed homeowners and kidney failure? Is there really a connection?
I and my colleague Erdal Tekin discovered when we looked specifically at
communities hit hardest by the housing crisis in four states---Arizona,
California, Florida, and New Jersey---and compared them to the number of
heart attacks and stroke as well as treatment for conditions related to
hypertension and mental health. Writ large,our findings
that nationwide the 2.82 million foreclosures in 2009 resulted in an
additional 2.21 million emergency hospital visits---an increase in
hospitalizations that cost a whopping $5.6 billion in that year alone.
Economists and health experts alike have documented a relationship
between wealth and health, and between changes in wealth and changes in
health. But the links between losing one's home or worrying about it
when neighbors lose theirs and a rise in visits to hospital emergency
rooms may come as a surprise to academics and homeowners.
. . ..
The relationship between experiencing foreclosure or living in a
neighborhood with high foreclosure rates and more frequent and costly
visits to the hospital should be factored into our nation's health and
housing policies. Distressed homeowners need access to preventative
medical care that would allow them to more safely cope with the health
threats posed by foreclosure. And institutions that provide home
mortgages must be closely regulated to ensure that they do not threaten
the financial well being of homeowners with sudden surges in interest
rates or other predatory practices.
Perhaps it's time for policymakers to consider the role of home
mortgages in"Health Impact Assessments "
<http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/hia.htm>to improve communities' public
Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development
Department of Socioeconomics
WU/Vienna University of Economics and Business
Dear Subcommittee friends,
This call for abstracts may be of interest:
TRB is cosponsoring the Moving Active Transportation to Higher Ground:
Opportunities for Accelerating the Assessment of Health Impacts
April 13-14, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The conference will bring together
professionals in the fields of transportation, urban planning, public
health, health care, and health economics to explore the state of the art
and state of the practice on quantifying the public health outcomes of
Learn more online at http://www.trb.org/Calendar/Blurbs/171123.aspx.
Conference focus areas include:
- Scientific evidence on relationships between active transportation and
- Strategies for data collection and methods of data analysis and
modeling that contribute to the quantification of impacts on personal,
household, and community health as they relate to various aspects of active
- Innovative tools and approaches to assess the impacts of active
transportation (e.g., health impact assessments of transportation projects
or local, regional, and state planning scenarios), as well as tools to
better forecast the effects on active transportation
Submit abstracts online
October 1, 2014. Abstracts are limited in length between 400 and 600 words.
All fields in the submission form must be filled out to be considered.