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March 20, 2015 at 9:30 AM

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Six Reasons Why Voting Yes is Good For Your Health

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by Kasra Hassani | photo by Anjana Pradhananga

The public transit plebiscite has started with many of us still undecided on whether we should vote yes or no to the Mayor’s council proposal for the major public transit overhaul. If you are still undecided or leaning on a no vote for any reason, think of the yes vote as an action that would actually improve your health. Here’s why:

1. Less driving means more walking: the new proposal will allow more people to use public transit to reach their destination. People who take public transit are more likely to walk for a longer period of time every day and are less likely to be overweight compared to those who drive. It might not sound like much, but walking is a actually an effective form of exercise, especially if practiced regularly.

2. Less cars means less congestion and a peace of mind: This one is a no brainer. Nobody likes to be stuck in traffic. The stress arising from wasting a significant part of your day sitting in a car instead of spending it with your friends and family (or watching TV if you may) is definitely not healthy, not mentioning the fact that you could be spending that time doing something healthier, like taking your dog out for a walk, or playing with your children. So even if you don’t ever use public transit, allowing others to do so, will help give you less congested roads, less stress and more leisure time.

3. Less cars means less air pollution: With all the people using the improved public transit, there would be less cars on the street. That translates to less greenhouse gas emissions, less impact on climate change and certainly less air pollution in our city. Think of this the next time you are walking on the side of a busy street.

4. Less cars means less chance of road injuries: Every road injury and traffic accident is one too many. Why not help reduce them by having less cars on the roads?

5. Easier access to medical and recreational facilities, friends and loved ones: Everyone deserves to be able to get around, visit their friends and access the city’s services. This is an important issue especially for seniors, people with disabilities or others with reduced mobility. A better public transit system will help everyone get around in the city more safely and comfortably.

6. Less driving can mean more cycling: The proposal promises more safe cycling routes across the Lower Mainland. The number of cyclers in the region is on the rise, and this proposal will help give it a major boost. If you are a current cycler or plan on getting on the bike more often, voting yes will give you more bike routes and longer tracks to cover. If you don’t cycle, voting yes will help take the cyclers off the roads and on cycling routes, making the roads safer for everyone.

Voting yes will benefit everyone: from drivers, to public transit users and cyclers, from young students to families and seniors. A yes vote is a vote for better health.

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