“I love this town but the traffic is killing me” is the first thing that catches the viewers eye when reading this advertisement. At first glance, you might not realize what this ad could possibly be talking about. Exploring the advertisement further, the subtext under the larger font reads: “pollution from traffic congestion increases the risk of cancer as well as heart and lung disease for millions of New Yorkers”. This ad was created by an organization who is obviously concerned with the smog and pollution caused by automobiles and to inform the public just what they are doing when they are sitting in traffic. The goal of the advertisement is to make people aware of the negative affects of the pollution coming from areas in the US with heavy traffic cycles. The creator of this ad took into consideration the intrinsic value our resources have. We as humans use things everyday that ultimately create adverse health outcomes, without even realizing. As for point of view, the creator could be someone who only rides a bike or walks when its feasable. This ad portrays a lifestyle in which we as humans are not above our environment. Like all environmental issues, the main reason for the problem is us, the sole creators of most issues are humans. If people could realize the intrinsic value that the environment we live in has, then just maybe people will bike more than drive. Traffic congestion increases vehicle emissions and degrades ambient air quality, and studies have shown excess morbidity and mortality for drivers, commuters, and the individual who live near major highways or roads. Currently, the public’s understanding of the air pollution impacts from congestion on roads is limited. Which is why this ad was created, to inform. Air pollution from traffic congestion in 83 of the nation’s largest urban areas contributes to more than 2,200 premature deaths annually, costing the health system at least $18 billion, according to a study by Harvard School of Public Health. It is a surprise to most that areas with the largest number of cars and traffic see higher levels of air pollutions, yet people still want to live in large cities. What do cities do to tackle this problem? In my opinion, people should utilize public transportation more often than they do. Cities that invest heavily in public transit can see dividends in the form of fewer cars on the road. Many people are loathed to give up the freedom of their own vehicles, but rising gas prices often help to encourage good numbers of drivers to make the switch to the subway or bus. Employers can help take cars off the road by offering their employees positive incentives to those who choose to take public transportation. Still, even with effective public transit, air-quality problems persist in many areas. At this point in time, it seems like this problem is uncurable. How do you get 8 billion people to stop using the luxurous amenity of a car? You can’t. In the end, contributions from conscientious drivers, innovative technology and wise city-planning will help us all breathe a little easier.
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