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E-M:/ MEtro times locomotion - asthma admits reduced on no drive days in Atlanta

Sorry about duplication postings
1. Check out the cover story "Locomotion" in this week's (02.20.010 METRO TIMES. Expertly written by Kelly Thayer of the Michigan Land Use Institute, it is a great introduction to the benefits of rail transit, how other communities got theirs, and what Metro Detroit must do to get in line.  TRU is mentioned, as well as many of our allies.

2. One of the benefits of rail done right is reduced traffic and the air pollution it causes, which can lead to improved health for our kids.  As you check out the following story, remember that Detroit kids suffer from Asthma at three times the National average. Reducing traffic and the air pollution from it helped reduce asthma episodes in Atlanta in 1996.MDOT in it's drive to build ever more capacity, hasn't yet gotten this connection.  It's time for us to help them see it, starting with the proposed 1.3 billion dollar over-expansion of I-94. Rebuild YES!/ Overbuild NO!

The following excerpt is from a Reuters story about a study in Journal of the American Medical Association.re: traffic controls during 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta reduced the number of doctor visits and hospital admissions due to asthma attacks.

Olympic Traffic Controls Lowered Asthma Attacks
 * * * * * * *
Traffic controls imposed during the Atlanta Olympics brought a 23% decrease in morning peak traffic counts and a 10% decline in weekend
peak traffic counts. This resulted in a 13% fall in ozone concentrations, a 19% decrease in carbon monoxide levels, and a 7% decline in
nitrogen dioxide levels, the authors report.

During this period, Medicaid-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations for asthma dropped by 42%, the researchers note. Similarly,
asthma-related care for HMO enrollees fell by 44%, and citywide hospitalizations for asthma decreased by 19%.

These declines did not reflect a general improvement in health in the region. At the same time, the report indicates, other Medicaid emergency
visits declined by only 3%, while emergency visits among HMO enrollees and non-asthma hospitalizations actually increased slightly.

The authors conclude, therefore, ``that the alternative transportation plan in Atlanta during the Olympic Games reduced ozone and other air
pollutants and was associated with a significant, albeit temporary, decrease in the burden of asthma among Atlanta's children.''

``Another potential reason for the dramatic improvements in asthma control observed is related to the fact that numerous air pollutant levels
improved during the Olympics,'' Friedman told Reuters Health. ``This suggests that a simultaneous improvement in a combination of pollutants
may have more of an effect on triggering asthma attacks than the individual pollutants alone would.''SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical

Karen D. Kendrick-Hands, President
Transportation Riders United
1067 Devonshire Road
Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230
313.885.7588, fax 313.885.7883
Check out TRU's web page at http://www.marp.org/tru.htm
Try the Motranzit site, too - http://www.hometown.aol.com/motranzit
Also check out www.transitdetroit.freeservers.com &
If you don't ask the right questions, you will never get to the right answers . . .