Questions raised by pollution study

By now you will have heard about the study (pdf here) released today suggesting Toronto cars and trucks kill some 440 people per year. Authored by Toronto Medical Officer of Health David McKeown, the study got front page treatment in the Toronto Star and Car Advertiser on Saturday–well before its release–as well as coverage in Eye Daily Car Advertiser today.

What gives the story “legs” is the contention that the deaths are not from collisions but from illnesses stemming from air pollution. The solution, according to McKeown, is a 30 percent reduction in car traffic, coupled with improved public transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Everyone is going on about what a radical shock this would be to the city: but note the study cites a 75% increase in the city’s car traffic since 1985.

Questions come to mind:

1. What car does McKeown drive?
2. What would a 30% reduction in car traffic take down first? The existing transit system? The police dept budget? City hall as we know and love it? (Thanks to Toronto Cranks)

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