Much research has been done for the health and learning benefits of walking or cycling to school. It’s also shown that a significant “rush hour” traffic load is comprised of people driving kids to school, most often very short distances. Yet recently published research delves into the question of how harmful vehicle emissions are for young minds.
The study “found that this improvement [cognitive development] followed different trajectories depending on whether a school was located in an area with high or low levels of traffic-related pollutants such as elemental carbon, nitrogen dioxide, and ultrafine particle matter.”
Further, “children from the high-exposure schools showed cognitive improvements of about 7.4 percent, those in the low-exposure schools improved about 11.5 percent in working memory.”
Providing safe and healthy routes to school for kids walking and cycling is in progress in Brockville and area schools, and the Brock Trail and cycling plan will contribute to that.