The Toronto Environmental Alliance, along with various environmental and advocacy organizations, including TCAT and the Bike Union, have released priorities that municipal election candidates should pay attention to if we want, as a city, to be greener, healthier, and more efficient.
“Below are 6 priority actions, in no particular order, that will build on 10 years of environmental success. Investments in each action won’t just improve our environment, they will lead to better health and save us money as we avoid some of the huge financial costs associated with traffic congestion, waste disposal, climate change, and illnesses due to pollution.”
1. Build Transit City & Fund It
2. Achieve 70% Waste Diversion by 2012
3. Buy & Support Locally-Produced Green Products
4. Build Transportation Infrastructure Everyone Can Use
5. Implement the City’s Sustainable Energy Strategy
6. Provide Tools to Prevent Pollution
Cycling and walking are important forms of transportation that contribute to a healthier population and reduce negative impacts on the environment. We need infrastructure built to accommodate bikes and pedestrians as well as transit vehicles and cars. In the U.S. this is happening through “Complete Streets” policies that ensure the planning and redevelopment of streets are done with all users (pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders of all ages and abilities along with cars and trucks) in mind.
While a “Complete Streets” policy is developed, key transportation infrastructure, such as bike lanes, need to be built, the Toronto Walking Strategy can be implemented, and all road users can be educated about road sharing and responsibilities.
To read about each of these in detail, visit the TEA site.
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