Truck Traffic & Air Quality Project Final Report
In 2009, OUTRAGE designed and facilitated a community based study on truck traffic and air quality to compare the results with a previous OUTRAGE study in 2004. The 2009 Study addressed two simple questions: 1- Is the traffic in our community improving or getting worse? And, 2- What is in the air every time that we have trucks driving by our streets?
· The Williamsburg and Greenpoint communities contain the highest concentration of waste transfer stations in any given neighborhood and process almost 40% of New York City’s waste.
· In 2006, OUTRAGE and other community organizations pressured the City of New York to approve the Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP), proposing to minimize the impact of truck traffic. It also calls for the fair distribution of waste transfer stations across NYC and the opening of marine transfer stations in Manhattan by 2013.
· OUTRAGE and community members are concerned that the City has not moved on the plan quickly enough to reduce truck traffic in our neighborhoods and that the health and safety of our community members, especially children and senior citizens, can not afford to wait any longer.
· The study demonstrated that 50% of the trucks passing the intersections were waste trucks.
· The study showed an average of two trucks per minute passing the surveyed intersections, a sharp increase from 2004 survey. In the case of Greenpoint- McGuinness Ave, shows an increase from 20 trucks per 1 hour in the fall of 2004 to 80 trucks per 1 hour in the fall of 2009.
· In March 2010, OUTRAGE conducted an Air Screening- Sampling, utilizing a device that measures the concentration of small particles in the air (from .3 to 5.00 microns). To give you an idea of the size of a micron, a human hair is between 40 to 120 microns in diameter.
· On average, particle counts increased 355% when truck traffic was present on community streets during weekdays compared to Sundays, (Waste Transfer Stations are closed during weekends, therefore, there is a dramatic decrease in commercial truck traffic on our streets during this time).
· The air sampling finds that the count of smaller-diameter particles (0.5 micron) increases dramatically (by 1017% on average) during weekdays.
· This is alarming considering that smaller-sized particles in the air pose a greater risk to human health as they have greater potential to penetrate deeper into lungs. These particles are found in highest concentrations in the areas where people live, work and play.
· The study has conclusively shown a cause and effect relationship between increased waste disposal and other diesel-truck traffic and the increase of small air particles count in our streets.
You can help to improve the quality of living in our community today:
o Join OUTRAGE improving the air quality and traffic safety in our community!
o Ask the City of New York to fulfill their promise to Stop Dumping Garbage on our Community and move towards fair distribution of waste transfer stations across NYC!
o Improve and respect the health and safety of our seniors & children by reducing the number of commercial garbage trucks in our streets!
For more information on OUTRAGE and how you can get involved, please call Courtney Renken at 718-388-2233 ext 124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.