Monday, 10 December 2007

Smog Alert in Montreal: Another Argument for Getting People out of Their Cars

Smog alert this morning! The temperature is -10 C, and the sky is overcast which is far different from the smog alerts of my Southern California childhood. Then smog settled in with hot days and still air, but the alerts have two things in common: temperature inversion layers and too many cars.

When I woke up this morning, the traffic reporter on Radio-Can was talking about how the bridges leading into Montreal were already blocked at 5:45 a.m. Traffic has been horrible for the last week in the aftermath of a big snow, and you’d think that people would take public transportation more, or at least car pool. Probably there has been some of that, but not enough. Certainly not enough to stop thousands of cars from idling as they lurch their way across bridges and along auto routes.

Vehicles aren’t supposed to idle more than three minutes in Montreal. The regulation is not very well observed, but it’s a step in the right direction. Now ways have to be found to get people to work and school in vehicles other than private autos. If not the situation will get worse, and rush hour begin earlier and end later.

What does that do to people's lives?

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