Clearing the Path to Healthier Air in Toronto

On April 28, Toronto’s Board of Health adopted recommendations based on its report Path to Healthier Air: Toronto Air Pollution Burden of Illness Update, which identifies the importance of walking and cycling to reduce pollution from the transportation sector. Clean Air Partnership’s Executive Director, Gabriella Kalapos, made a deputation to the Board of Health and included a statement from TCAT Director Nancy Smith Lea. The following is an excerpt:

On Sep 12th, 2013 TCAT released a research report called “The Other 25%: Active Transportation Investment and The Big Move”. In Metrolinx’s investment strategy they commit 75% to regional transit expansion and 25% to other local transportation projects, including walking and cycling infrastructure.

TCAT’s report revealed that very little is happening yet for “the other 25%”. Without a plan in place, TCAT has identified a real risk that the portion of “the other 25%” that is for active transportation will simply disappear off the table. This concern has already started to materialize with the motions passed by City Council earlier this month requesting that the province allow the municipalities to spend the 25% at their own discretion, rather than adopting the expenditure categories that Metrolinx recommended.

TCAT fully supports the Medical Officer of Health’s recommendations to urgently fund active transportation infrastructure, and to include active transportation at the early stages of the Big Move infrastructure projects in order to ensure that this critical infrastructure that improves the safety of our most vulnerable road users – cyclists and pedestrians – actually gets built.

Posted On: May 15, 2014