Air Pollution

Who Knew? Exhaust is Bad for You

By Jason Leach
Published April 29, 2010

This just in: living near major roads and highways is bad for you.

Another study is suggesting there's an increased risk of breathing problems if you live near major roads and highways.

The news media always present these studies as if they're "startling" discoveries. It's not startling at all. Maybe it was startling 50 years ago.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

10 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted April 29, 2010 at 12:31:46

This affects not just those living near roadways, but also those using them. Example.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2010-04-29 11:32:04

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jasonaallen (registered) - website | Posted April 30, 2010 at 09:30:06

I think this calls for another episode of "Really?!" with Merideth and Jarod. :)

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Wiccan (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2010 at 11:18:52

So thank God we built the RHVP!

Without that cars would be forced to drive on city streets where they burn fuel inefficiently.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted April 30, 2010 at 12:10:45

So thank God we built the RHVP!

Yeah. Thank God.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted April 30, 2010 at 12:54:15

So I guess the conversion of already efficient one way streets to two way parking lots is really going to help the situation.

Ryan, please note they add lane capacity to meet demand, they don't build in the hopes of increasing demand. When traffic starts to get unbearable they build new lanes or they build new roads. A good example is the lane being added to the QEW right now or the planned mid peninsula highway.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted April 30, 2010 at 13:06:59

an even better example is Los Angeles.
Once you start building more lanes, you never stop.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted April 30, 2010 at 14:17:33

When traffic starts to get unbearable they build new lanes or they build new roads

... instead of adding GO trains or otherwise building up incentives to have more efficient alternatives instead of a continuously growing population all individually piling into single occupant vehicles. You can't add lanes eternally to infinity. At some point there is a maximum reached of possible concentration of single occupant vehicles. Plus long before the mathematical limit is actually reached, quality of life is reduced to sucky levels. That's not ideology that's just reality.

A good example is the lane being added to the QEW right now

At least it's a HOV lane. Although small in the scheme of things, at least there is incentive for greater efficiency attached to this extra lane project - it is an incentive for carpooling and taking GO to Toronto (the bus will be able to zoom past all the stopped cars). If it was another lane for any vehicles it'd be just as stop and go as the other three lanes.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2010-04-30 13:19:32

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By frank (registered) | Posted May 03, 2010 at 12:32:25

Putting all your eggs in any one basket is hardly good planning. One way would leave no ring roads and at the same time reduce overall lane capacity and the other way (current way) is to just keep adding lane capacity. There are problems with both... There is a happy middle ground. I wouldn't say thank God for building the RHVP, I would say that it's somewhat of a necessary evil however the location of it isn't ideal. Assuming for the ideal is possible is like chasing after perpetual motion here on earth. There will have to be compromise on both ends of the spectrum in order for the majority to be satisfied.

Blame for exhaust related illnesses isn't restricted to local politicians or planners either. A large portion of the blame falls on industry, specifically an automotive industry that refused to develop alternative means of propulsion at the behest of the oil industry. And taking it even closer to home... the blame doesn't rest solely on others - it also rests on ourselves. We drive industry and the associated planning based on what we buy, how we use what we buy etc! A balanced approach includes the individual, all levels of government and industry itself to create a future that's more friendly to everyone.

A methodical well-researched approach to transportation needs to be undertaken however what seems to be happening is exactly what shouldn't be... status quo development. "It's worked in the past so it'll work now"...and while we say that we forget that in the past (i.e. the 50s) we didn't know things like asthma and other respiratory illnesses could be linked to exhaust fumes.

I don't categorically approve or disapprove of the RHVP, there are good and bad things about it but I do categorically disapprove of the planning methods that continue to hurt Hamilton's image and the people who live in it.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Kiely (registered) | Posted May 04, 2010 at 15:13:08

No. Adding lane capacity is a false economy. Road capacity induces demand, meaning it generates new vehicle trips that would not have taken place if the road capacity didn't exist to accommodate them. - Ryan

an even better example is Los Angeles. Once you start building more lanes, you never stop. - jason

Post-Olympic-boom Atlanta is also an excellent example of this.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Donald J. Lester (anonymous) | Posted May 05, 2010 at 23:21:55

If Hamilton was not so backwards and had better policies to attract more business there would be less traffic...more could us the local bus system.. With 30% of the population having to leave this city daily...if this was decreed to 5 or 10% just think of the fumes we would save.

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds