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Cycling saves more lives than it claims: study

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks of riding a bike in traffic.

That’s a portion of what experts are discussing at the Cycling Action Forum this week.

Dr. Meghan Winters with SFU, crunched the numbers from a study she did in Toronto last year that showed thanks to the exercise you get, cycling saves more lives than it ends from traffic accidents. “What it shows is that the current levels of cycling in Toronto saved about 50 deaths a year and that cost out, in terms of healthcare costs, was somewhere between $50 million and $200 million.”

“The physical activity benefits to some of the risks that cyclists face, in terms of energy and air pollution, the studies that looked at that show the benefits of cycling far outweigh those risks, so in the order of somewhere between nine to one and 100 to one,” she adds.

She says municipal leaders need to find how transportation and health can work together to promote cycling in their cities rather than working in silos.