The Toronto Board of Health recently studied the health benefits and risks of active transportation. In the report, Road to Health: Improving Walking and Cycling in Toronto, the Board of Health demonstrates that the physical activity associated with active transportation provides important health benefits, and leads to significant savings in health care costs. Based on these findings, the Medical Officer of Health made several recommendations to support and improve cycling and walking in Toronto. Amongst these recommendations is a widely discussed (and debated) suggestion that speed limits on residential streets be reduced to 30 km/h and speed limits elsewhere, unless otherwise posted, be reduced to 40 km/h in order to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
Nancy Smith Lea, TCAT Director, and Paul Hess, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, were invited to speak about their work as it relates to the Medical Officer of Health's recommendations at the April 30th meeting of Toronto Board of Health. 8-80 Cities was also there supporting the recommendations. According to Executive Director, Gil Penalosa "Reducing speed is critical to establishing a livable city,"
The Road to Health report was adopted as amended by the Board of Health.