Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Kids in poorer areas of Ontario face greater risk of getting hit by cars, study finds

“Child pedestrian injury is a public health and health equity issue,” says lead study author.
By Paola Loriggio The Canadian Press

A new study suggests children from poorer areas of Ontario face a greater risk of getting hit by vehicles than those from wealthier areas, possibly because they are more likely to walk to school alone.

The study — conducted by researchers at Sick Kids hospital, York University and ICES, formerly known as the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences — examined data on emergency department visits related to kids hit by cars from 2008 to 2015.

Overall, it found the number of ER visits for that type of incident decreased by 18 per cent over those years. But while kids living in high-income areas saw the number of visits drop by 22 per cent, those in low-income neighbourhoods saw an increase of 14 per cent.

The study's authors say that means children in the highest-income areas had a rate of ER visits due to getting hit by vehicles that was 48 per cent lower than those in the lowest-income areas.

"Simply put, poorer children are at an increased risk of getting hit by cars. Child pedestrian injury is a public health and health equity issue," the study's lead author, Dr. Linda Rothman, said in a statement.

"Although progress has been made in reducing preventable pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions, more work remains to be done. Our streets should be safe for all children to walk to school, to the playground or to the park," said Rothman, a senior research associate in child health evaluative sciences at Sick Kids.

"Simply put, poorer children are at an increased risk of getting hit by cars."

The researchers say reducing health disparities linked to socioeconomic status is a policy objective in Canada, and they wanted to see whether there had been progress when it comes to children getting hit by cars.

The study, published in the April 2019 edition of the journal Injury Prevention, suggests a few possible explanations for the phenomenon but does not come to a final conclusion.

"While in some cities, children in low-income areas are more likely to walk to school, this association has not been found in previous studies in Toronto," it says. "Another potential explanation is that children from low-income families are more likely to walk to school unescorted, which may put them at increased risk of injury."

Creating safer roads would ensure a safer walking environment for middle and high school kids who often walk alone and account for most emergency department visits due to getting hit by vehicles, the study says.

Younger kids, meanwhile, may benefit from having well-maintained playgrounds since a lack of playgrounds could lead them to play in the streets and be exposed to traffic, it says.

"Recent research has found differences in road safety features in high-income versus low-income areas, with more lower speed roadways and traffic calming measures in higher income areas. A request-based process in many cities in relation to installing traffic safety features such as speed humps may favour communities with higher income levels," the document reads.

The authors say the findings highlight potential strategies to reduce vehicle-pedestrian collision rates in poorer areas by installing similar traffic-slowing measures.

However, the study assigned income status based on the children's residence, not the site of the collision, so the link with the environment cannot be "definitively addressed," it says.

The data examined also did not include children who died at the scene of the collision, which means deaths are likely under-represented in the study, the document says.

The study found teens and preteens were at the highest risk of getting hit in the time period examined, accounting for 51 and 26 per cent of ER visits respectively. The majority — 73 per cent — of incidents occurred in cities, compared with 20 per cent in the suburbs.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Hamilton History: Transmission Zine

Back in 2005 a few of the TLC crowd got together and put out the first (and only) issue of Trans-Mission zine.

Here's an online version of the paper copy, recently scanned for posterity, and sharing!

TRANS-MISSION 1: Hamilton's Alternative Transportation Zine. April 2005


  • Art & Cover Art by Gord Pullar 
  • POEM: Avocado by April A. Severin. 
  • PHOTO: W.A.L.K. by Mike Smith. 
  • Small Steps by Michael Hampson. 
  • Erasing Trails: A Walking Reflection by Randy Kay. 
  • LETTER from Lorenzo Campanelli. 
  • GO Boy by Dan Thompson. 
  • Of Flight, Cars, and Car-Free Living by Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko. 
  • POEM: Freedom and Exhilaration (a cyclist's lament) by Jeff Seffinga. 
  • Broker on a Bike by Dean Carriere. 
  • Transcript by Citizens at City Hall. - Top 10 Reasons why mei ling thinks critical mass was a success in 2004 by Mei Ling.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

McMaster rejects Freedom of Information request: TLC Appeals to Privacy Commissioner

McMaster refuses to release the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) report that we initiated with McMaster, which happily included an early request to TLC from Pavlos Kanaroglou, director of McMaster Institute on Transportation and Logistics (MITL), to be part of the process.

The initial TLC/MITL meeting with McMaster's VP Administration Roger Couldrey, and then Director of Parking and Security, Terry Sullivan, resulted in MITL getting a green light to conduct the research that TLC was asking for.

The MITL report, handed over to McMaster in January 2016 remains a secret document, and TLC's numerous requests for a copy of the report were turned down by McMaster top administrators.

Why? We have no idea.

Last week TLC filed an appeal to the Ontario Privacy Commissioner since McMaster has rejected TLC's Freedom of Information request for the information.

Here's the full media release sent out today:

McMaster Rejects Freedom Of Information Request

Community Transportation Group appeals to privacy commissioner 

It’s a report about transportation on campus. The report was initiated five-years ago after a letter from TLC Hamilton to the university resulted in a meeting and an agreement by McMaster to have the renowned McMaster Institute on Transportation and Logistics, invited to the process by TLC, undertake the research to prepare a report.

The subsequent Transportation Demand Management report was completed almost two years ago (January 2016), yet McMaster refuses to release the report to TLC Hamilton, first by ignoring numerous requests, then by rejecting the group’s Freedom of Information request.

TLC has filed an appeal of the decision to the

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

For TLC Hamilton the issue has become more about McMaster’s refusal to share information that they - even if they didn’t agree with the report’s findings - have no real reason to keep secret.

The principle of making McMaster research available to community partners shows up in every corner of the university’s guiding documents and policies, yet data about how many people park on campus lots or use various modes to commute to campus are somehow deemed off-limits?

TLC Hamilton believes McMaster’s obstruction goes counter to values TLC found with MITL Director Pavlos Kanaroglou, “a good friend of Hamilton.” A McMaster scholarship in Kanaroglou’s memory (he passed away in 2016) acknowledges his “commitment to both scholarship and citizenry” which TLC members felt defined their working relationship with Kanaroglou and the report author at MITL.

TLC Hamilton members are left trying to understand why the university is acting counter to these principles of collaboration and transparency.

QUOTE: “If the McMaster administration didn’t like the report findings, they could release it with that comment; instead they are violating the spirit of free enquiry and knowledge-sharing by blocking us from accessing the report, and forcing us deeper into the FOI process,” says TLC Spokesperson Randy Kay. “It’s an insult to the people who were involved in collaborating on the TDM report as well as the larger engaged Hamilton community.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

FOI Deadline goes by...

Just a quick update.

TLC has not received any communication from McMaster University regarding our Freedom of Information request for the Transportation Demand Management plan submitted by MITL.

The FOI deadline was October 12.

I will have to (unfortunately) update our timeline to reflect this new period...


Processing time

"You will get a written response to confirm that your request has been received. Organizations have 30 calendar days to process FOI requests except in specific circumstances. They will notify you if a time extension is required."

Source: Government of Ontario

Friday, September 22, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

TLC Timeline of McMaster TDM Process

We started the process with a letter to McMaster administration in December 2012.

The goal to have the campus adopt a Transportation Demand Management plan picked up when the director of McMaster's Institute for Transportation and Logistics asked to join TLC's effort.

After a meeting with McMaster admin and the Director of Parking, McMaster gave MITL researchers a green light to create a TDM plan.

McMaster received the final report in January 2016. It's September 2017 and TLC is being blocked from seeing the final report, despite clearly being integral to the process since the start.

Why is McMaster hiding the report? They won't tell us.

(Direct link to timeline http://bit.ly/TLCTDMTimeline)