In the 2016, “State of the Air” report, the American Lung Association gave Cook County and all of the surrounding counties, except Will, an F in air quality. The Chicago area ranked as one of the worst in the nation for ozone, an air pollutant linked to respiratory diseases and other health problems (reebootillinois). I suggest that transportation policies be put in place to reduce air pollution in and around the city.
This policy would offer city wide tax cuts and reduced sales tax to citizens who purchase more eco-friendly as well as those using public transportation. Reducing the sales tax on public transportation tickets would encourage more people to use public transit instead of driving. It would not have to be much, but by having a monetary incentive, people will be more encouraged to take these steps towards reducing air pollution. The second policy would be to make the city safer and more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians. People don’t feel safe cycling around the city out of fear of being hit by wild drivers. Let’s be honest, Chicago drivers are extremely aggressive, and it’s no wonder people don’t feel safe. By creating extra pathways specifically for cyclists and pedestrians, the number of people who chose this method of transportation over driving will increase. Reducing the pollution output of the city would benefit everyone by increasing the quality of air around the city, and making it less harmful to breathe.