November 6


The City of Toronto took the extraordinary step of quantifying the health impacts of traffic pollution on their citizens.  “For the first time in Ontario, we have isolated the health impacts of vehicle emissions, and can demonstrate the potential health benefits of moving to a more sustainable transportation system,” said Dr. McKeown. “A 30 percent reduction in motor vehicle emissions in Toronto could save nearly 200 lives a year and significantly reduce hospitalization and illness, and associated economic impacts.”

The full report encourages more sustainable transportation systems.  I believe in a balanced and redundant transportation system (Minneapolis would be in a better position to handle the I-35 bridge collapse if there were parallel rail lines that could move commuters).  This report gives us another reason to diversify our transportation system.

  • I agree that now and in the future, in order to improve transportation systems, we have to consider car pollution. Pollution can be a major problem if not dealt with. Traffic engineers need to consider not only commute time as a major factor, but also the pollution that these cars produce. In my transportation engineering design course, we both consider commute time and energy used/pollution on the weaving section. We found out that if we consider only commute time, one alternative is clearly the winner. However, considering the energy used, we found that another alternative takes over. In this situation, do we have to make judgmental call? DO we consider that commute time is more important that pollution produced or vice versa? It is a good problem to have and I would like the chance to find the best solution to this problem.

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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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