Does this help?: I calculated the current cost of accidents, pollution, congestion, noise and greenhouse gases for the city at apporximately $*960 million / year. *I thought it might help to have costs associated with any argument for active transportation and against projects which cause more long term car dependence like Waverly West, an inner ring road for Winnipeg, etc...
I won't post often, but thought this might be a useful stat that is unique. It might put some context in a world where we are always told of the challenges and the costs of bike lanes/ paths, etc.. , but have no local ammunition to express the gains that we will see or the costs of simply doing nothing. * *While writing an email to a committee I sit on, I realized I needed a dollar number to attach to the problems caused by cars in Winnipeg. A fair and realistic number is hard to come by, so I had to figure it out. It pains me to talk dollars about what what should be an obvious, intuitive and heartfelt argument, . . . nonetheless . .
I was inspired by the recently released results of a very unique 1.4 million dollar study done by Transport Canada, showing that the cost of car dependence in Canada is *$40 Billion* */ year*. (easy to read referencehttp://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2008/09/01/mtl-socialcosttransportstudy0901.html(CBC) - I have emailed Transport Canada for help finding the study itself.)
I thought it would be more useful if it were applied specifically to Winnipeg. My simple methodology, which Jeremy or Mark at Bike to the Future may wish to critique, was as follows: - The current population of Canada is 33,403,049 people. (reference)http://www.statcan.ca/english/edu/clock/population.htmEighty percent of them live in urban centres, the people most affected by the adverse effects of automobile dependence. (reference)http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/demo62a.htm= 26,722,439 people. - The current population of Winnipeg (100% urban) is 653,300 (reference)http://www.winnipeg.ca/cao/pdfs/population.pdf or 2.4% of the urban population of Canada.
2.4% of $40 billion (Winnipeg's share) = *$960 million. **
960 million dollars does not include the loss of the disposable wealth people would have from not owning a car (approx 13-17% of their income minus the cost of bicycles and a trailer for each of their family members, bus tickets/handit transit / taxis for the winter or for the elderly, membership to a car co-op for trips to the lake and train tickets at Christmas). It also does not include intangible costs like lost tourism, lost tax base (people mmoving away or not moving here at all), lost wildlife and lost aesthetic value and a great deal other things that always get overlooked in any rational / linear study attempts to quantify this interesting and complex world.
*Anders Swanson* One Green City *