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Public Transportation saves lives

A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Transit and Parking Committee and the HPKCC website, www.hydepark.org
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Join the Transit Task Force-contact chairman James Withrow.


The Chicago Region has again been declared out of compliance with Federal Clean Air Standards, which must be attained by mid-2005 to avoid penalties. CATS is seeking public comments this February on those aspects of its Regional Transportation Plan and Congestion and Air Quality Mitigation Programs CATS/NIPC says will ensure future compliance....... Meanwhile, a Legislative Commission is about to report its reforms to regional planning, service provider and regional transit funding laws.

Chairman's Blog Service. Visit also Safe Traffic, Transportation and Sidewalks page.

Compiled by James Withrow, HPKCC Transit Task Force and SECRET co-chair. June, 2003:

Auto emissions account for over half of the air pollution in our cities
(http://www.epa.state.oh.us/opp/consumer/carp2.html)

Air pollution claims at least 50,000 U.S. lives per year.
(http://www.cancer.ordg/docroot/nws/content/nws_1_1x_air_pollution_linked_to_deaths_from_lung_cancer.asp Journal of the American Medical Association, 03/06/2002)

A person commuting by rail causes only one-fourth the smog-causing nitrous oxide of a solo car commuter. A bus commuter cause sonly two-thirds of this type of air pollution. (American Public Transit Association, 1999 Transit Fact Book, p. 111)

During the Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996, the city closed its downtown area to car traffic, added buses and trains, and promoted carpooling and telecommuting. Atlanta's inner-city children on Medicaid showed a 42% decrease in asthma-related emergency room visits. (http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r010221.htm, Michael Friedman, MD, Journal of he American Medical Association, 02/21/2001)

In 2000, over 41,000 Americans dies in motor vehicle fatalities.
(http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/chart2.htm)

Motor-vehicle-related injuries lead all causes for deaths among persons aged 1-24 years.
(http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4818a1.htm)

There are about as many deaths resulting from car accidents as from breast cancer in the United Stats each year. Fewer die from suicide, fire arms, leukemia, AIDS, poisoning or drugs.
(http://www.census.gov/prod/2001/statab/sec02.pdf)

Per passenger mile, riding a bus is 17 times safer than riding in a car.
(http://www.apta.com/research/stats/safety/natsafe.cfm, citing the National Safety Council's Injury Facts)


Dr. Alfred D. Klinger adds:

To have the Olympics in this city without upgrading public transportation to its maximum would be a travesty. Public transportation will not function at its max until it is free and attainable and comfortable for everyone. It will more than pay for itself if we can get people out of their automobiles, help cut down on road building and repairs, and in the process reduce pollution and asthma plus other disabling respiratory conditions drastically.

A counter tale: From Brendel: Residential buses cause much pollution

To the Editor, July 14, 1004

Thank you for your response to my recent letter regarding bus traffic on South Hyde Park Boulevard. My letter...engendered quite a response, most of it supportive. The CTA response spoke to the environmental responsibility of urban bus transportation and questioned the purported increase in bus traffic. I am coming from a residential viewpoint---a resident living on a residential tree-lined, two-laned boulevard.

Seven bus lines stop in front of my home--the #6, #15, #55, #55X, #171 and #173 [she forgot 28X to make the 7]. Most come with the new, and loud announcement system telling of the vehicle's destination. Hours on at least one line have been extended.

The CTA response letter emphasized environmental pluses of public transportation, pluses of which I am well aware (i.e. the bus takes the place of about 30 private vehicles, this decreasing cumulative noxious emanations). Great--but these 30 vehicles would most likely not be traveling and stopping about 24 feet from my open bedroom window. The dirty and dense black clouds from emissions have to be experienced to be believed.

Noise pollution, air pollution, pollution engendered by passengers--all on a residential corner. Please give us a break. Bonnie A. Brendel

Can the CTA accelerate its switch to less polluting fuels?

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Visit the Green page for more information and links (at bottom). Here are a few related links from the Center for Neighborhood Technology:

Travel Matters: how our transportation and other choices affect greenhouse gas production and distribution.

Reconnecting America-and this report: market and map survey of impacts of rail and transit stations on the neighborhoods around them.

Clean Air Counts.