Air walk Wednesdays continue

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Volunteer, Sharon M on John St. N

Aug 15–This Wednesday, we decided to test out the air quality (fine particulate matter PM 2.5) around the bus terminals– both at the McNab terminal, and also around the Go Bus station on Hunter Street.

We started at 4pm, leaving from the Environment Hamilton office. It was a very windy afternoon. This had an effect on our readings, for certain, so that we had to take into account that the readings might not be typical. We walked down James St. up to King Street, turning right and crossing over to the MacNab bus terminal. Our air monitors registered poorer air quality particularly when buses were idling, as they waited for passengers to get on, or while they waited for their route to start. This is worth noting, because people waiting for buses are breathing in poor air. We found that standing at a distance from the buses showed improved readings.

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Taken from thespec.com archives

We then headed up Main Street East and on to James Street South where we then walked under the bridge and up to the GO bus station. Here, we noticed that GO buses were not idling, but HSR buses were! Is this a policy of Go transit, to not allow their buses to sit and idle? If so, we applaud this.

We then came down John Street, where we stood at the very busy intersection at John and Main Street. Being only two of us, we noticed that our air monitors were recording PM 2.5 at a difference of between 800-1000. We have no explanation for this. We plan to do the route again with other monitors, since these are not calibrated.

The side walk on John at Main on the east side is extremely narrow, this is a busy bus stop and it feels chaotic. From here, we walked to King Street E. Strolling through the park. Passing the water fountain at Gore,  our monitors went up, due to the spray off the falling water. We decided to go through the Jackson Square Mall where we found that the air was good in the mall, except for at the entrances facing the road.

We’ll be doing this route again, so stay tune!

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