HEALTH AND SAFETY
20) People can choose to be more active with new walking and cycling infrastructure.
The Big Move will create 4,500 kilometres of new, dedicated, on- and off-road walking and cycling infrastructure. Studies show that cycling and walking help maintain healthy body weight and reduce the risks of chronic diseases.41
Leading to better health outcomes and lower health costs: low physical activity rates result in an estimated $5.3 billion per year in direct and indirect health care costs.42
“There is considerable evidence worldwide that being active by walking and/or cycling reduces overall mortality from chronic diseases and the risk of heart attacks, strokes, obesity, diabetes and several types of cancer such as colon and breast cancer. When walking or cycling replaces travel by car, there are additional health benefits that arise from reduced air pollution, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, less urban noise and fewer vehicle collisions.”43
Participation in recreation programs is limited by access to transportation.44
21) People will have more time to rest, exercise, and prepare healthy meals.
CivicAction asked residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area what they would do with an additional 32 minutes a day. Based on responses at your32.com, CivicAction concluded that GTHA residents yearn for more time with loved ones, time to take better care of themselves, and to sleep.
22) Attracting commuters to transit improves air quality for children and families, leading to better health outcomes and savings from fewer illness and respiratory problems.
Air pollution has a negative impact on health. A Toronto Public Health study shows that children experience more than 1,200 acute bronchitis episodes per year due to air pollution from traffic.45
Public transit use contributes to increased levels of physical activity by promoting walking, lower GHG emissions, and improved air quality.46
23) People will reach health care facilities more easily.
Limited access to transit is a barrier to accessing services.47
“Public transit enables all residents to access the determinants of health, maximize health-
related opportunities, and fully participate in urban life.”48
A better transportation system will help more than 900,000 Local Health Integration Network health care providers, clients, and care recipients reach health care facilities across the region.49
24) Less gridlock means emergency vehicles can respond to calls and transport patients more easily.
According to a 2012 University of Alabama report, traffic congestion results in an extra 10 minutes in response time.50
25) Less gridlock makes it easier for police services to serve communities and respond to calls.pledge your support now
42Katzmarzyk, P., Gledhill, N., & Shephard, D, 2000. The Economic Burden of Physical Activity in Canada. CMAJ 163 (11), 1435-40.
43Toronto Public Health, 2012. Road to Health: Improving Walking and Cycling in Toronto.
44Toronto Public Health, 2013. Next Stop Health: Transit Access and Health Inequities in Toronto.
45Toronto Public Health, 2007. Backgrounder: Air Pollution Burden of Illness from Traffic in Toronto, Problems and Solutions.
46Toronto Public Health, 2013. Next Stop Health: Transit Access and Health Inequities in Toronto.
47Toronto Public Health, 2013. Next Stop Health: Transit Affordability in Toronto. Symposium on Healthier Cities and Communities, Dala Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, October 24, 2013.
48Toronto Public Health, 2013. Next Stop Health: Transit Access and Health Inequities in Toronto.
49Data from Beatrise Edelstein, Toronto Central LHIN
50University of Alabama, August 2012. Emergency medical service providers' experiences with traffic congestion.