Motorized Traffic and Health: Implementing Interventions to Mitigate Impacts - CPHA 2012
The NCCHPP was joined by speakers Dan Burden and Catherine Berthod at this free one-day preconference workshop at the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) annual conference, June 11, 2012, in Edmonton.
Published in July 2012.  Description.

The workshop, Motorized Traffic and Health: Interventions to Mitigate its Impacts, focused on three interventions aiming at creating healthier built environments which appear to enjoy a high level of political acceptability. These interventions are:

  • Road diets on suburban roads to allocate space for active transport infrastructure;
  • Traffic calming on urban, residential streets;
  • Redesign of main commercial streets of small communities also being used as regional transit roads.

This day included presentations and small group sessions led by Dan Burden, Executive Director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, Catherine Berthod, engineer and urban planner for the Ministry of Transportation of Quebec, and the NCCHPP's François Gagnon and Olivier Bellefleur.

To consult the agenda, click here.  186 K

Introduction to the day
This introduction presented, in summary form, the three interventions considered during the day's workshops, the general context in which they are installed and used, and some of the mechanisms of action through which they can act upon the determinants of health. This short presentation also introduced the day's speakers.

Motorized Traffic and Health: Interventions to Mitigate its Impacts       
François Gagnon and Olivier Bellefleur, NCCHPP
19 slides
  900 K
Image - first page of the presentation - click to download

Road diets
This presentation focused on road diets, a type of intervention that redistributes the lane-spaces on a roadway to allow for the introduction of active transport infrastructure. Dan Burden explained the technical and political dimensions associated with implementing road diets and, while focusing on suburban environments, he outlined their principal effects on the determinants of health.
Road Diets 
Dan Burden, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute                   
103 slides          
 9.27 MB
Image - first page of the presentation - click to download

Urban traffic calming
This presentation dealt with urban traffic calming. François Gagnon and Olivier Bellefleur began by defining it before considering the policy dimensions and implications associated with how the concept is understood. Then they outlined the results of the NCCHPP's literature review on the effects of urban traffic calming on four determinants of health: collisions, air quality, noise and active transport. Finally, they discussed the potential effects of traffic-calming interventions on health inequalities.
Urban Traffic Calming
Olivier Bellefleur and François Gagnon, NCCHPP                                 
31 slides                               
 1.19 MB
Image - first page of the presentation - click to download

Context-sensitive through roads
The day's final presentation focused on redesigning through roads, highways that pass through smaller communities, in order to relieve the tensions inherent in their dual functions as regional transit routes and as main commercial streets. Catherine Berthod presented the Québec Ministry of Transport's approach and showed examples of context-sensitive through roads from Québec and from Europe. She also discussed technical conditions for implementation as well as determinants of health such as road safety and noise.
Highways through urban areas
Catherine Berthod, Ministère des Transports du Québec                     
30 slides                
  674 K
Image - first page of the presentation - click to download

Invited Speakers:

Dan Burden

Dan Burden         Dan Burden has spent more than 35 years helping the world get “back on its feet” and his efforts have not only earned him the first-ever lifetime-achievement awards issued by the New Partners for Smart Growth and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, but in 2001, Dan was named by TIME magazine as “one of the six most important civic innovators in the world.” Also that year, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences honored Dan by making him their Distinguished Lecturer. In 2009, a user's poll by Planetizen named Dan as one of the Top 100 Urban Thinkers of all time.

Early in his career, starting in 1980, Dan served for 16 years as the country's first statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Florida Department of Transportation and that program became a model for other statewide programs in the United States. In 1996, Dan sought to expand his reach and ability to really change the world, so he and his wife Lys co-founded a non-profit organization called Walkable Communities ( Since then, Dan has personally helped 3,500 communities throughout the world become more livable and walkable. In 2009, Dan co-founded the WALC Institute with Director of Education Sarah Bowman to create a focus on education, capacity-building and training to support communities in becoming more engaged and healthier through active living. Since 2009, the Institute has donated $300,000 in services to communities and raised $150,000 for communities through grants. Dan serves on Congressman Earl Blumenauer's Livable Communities Task Force, the board of advisors for Walkscore ( and Transportation for America (

 Catherine Berthod

Catherine Berthod           Catherine Berthod has worked as an engineer and urban planner with the Ministère des Transports du Québec (Quebec's Ministry of Transportation) for more than 20 years. From 1999 to 2002, she was the coordinator of the safety partnership with municipalities. She also actively participates in the work of the Association québécoise du transport et des routes (AQTR - Quebec's transportation and roads association) and the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), as well as being a member of Rues, a Francophone ideas exchange network on urban road safety issues (Belgium, France, Luxemburg, Quebec and Switzerland). These experiences have enabled her to develop expertise in speed management and she has published articles and spoken at numerous conferences on the topic.
She recently published an article on the French approach “Code de la rue” (Code of the Street) in Urbanité, the journal of the Ordre des urbanistes du Québec (Quebec order of urbanists).

Ms. Berthod holds an engineering degree from the Travaux Publics de l'État (France) and a Master's degree in land use planning and regional development from Université Laval in Québec City (Canada). She is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (Quebec order of engineers) and the Ordre des urbanistes du Québec.


The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.