25 Doctors Submit Open Letter to the New York City Traffic Mitigation Commission

November 5, 2007

Contact: Dr. John Balbus – 202-257-3316 or jbalbus@environmentaldefense.org

(New York, NY – November 5, 2007) Today 25 physicians and research professionals called on the New York City Traffic Mitigation Commission to implement the Mayor’s congestion pricing proposal and seek other measures to reduce traffic and air pollution. The signatories include top researchers and doctors from across the New York metropolitan region. For more information, please contact Dr. John Balbus, MD, chief health scientist at Environmental Defense and member of the EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee, at 202-257-3316 or jbalbus@environmentaldefense.org. 


Dr. John Balbus, MD:

“New Yorkers are already paying for traffic congestion with their health.  Without a bold plan that reduces driving into the city and provides funds to expand transit services, traffic will only get worse.  The congestion pricing plan can be the backbone of a fair, effective, and sustainable way to improve New Yorkers’ health and their mobility.”

Dr. Leonardo Trasande, MD:

“With asthma rates in New York’s boroughs twice as high as the rest of the country and snarled traffic leading to higher air pollution exposures, the city needs to take extra measures to ease congestion. We’re already paying for the traffic and pollution with our children’s health.”

Dr. Jen Richmond-Bryant

“I study the air quality outside New York City public schools.  We have found that higher automobile traffic levels as well as idling of diesel vehicles can raise the concentrations of harmful air pollution, specifically fine particles and black carbon.  If we are going to reduce human exposures and the resulting cases of asthma and other respiratory and cardiovascular diseases associated with these exposures, we need to address the serious traffic issues in New York City.”


Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems.