Ahead of this afternoon’s opening meeting of the 17-member Traffic Mitigation Commission, the Campaign for New York’s Future sends along a press release noting two recent studies about the impact of traffic congestion on the region’s health and economy:
NEW YORK, September 25, 2007 – The following may be attributed to Michael O’Loughlin, Director of the Campaign for New York’s Future:
"Today’s first meeting of the New York City Traffic Mitigation Commission is a welcome and essential step in our collective efforts to substantially reduce traffic congestion, clean our air and improve our mass transit system.
"The need for a plan to reduce gridlock, increase mass transit options and clean our air has never been clearer or more timely. Since the members of the commission were named, two more independent reports have been released, which once again demonstrate the enormous public health and economic rationale for quick and decisive action. A study published in September in the New England Journal of Medicine found that even limited exposure to traffic-related pollution by people with heart disease during exercise can trigger a heart attack and even death [There was this editorial too]. A separate study, also in September by the Texas Transportation Institute, found that traffic congestion in New York City continues to worsen and cost drivers 384 million hours sitting in traffic in 2005 (PDF).
"Members of the Campaign for New York’s Future, which includes leaders in the environmental, transportation, public health, civic, labor, business and environmental justice communities, stand ready to work with the Commission and to support the process of refining the most effective and equitable congestion reduction plan."