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Travis K., IL

I commute 22 miles to and from work every day on my bicycle along Lake Shore Drive. Not only is it great exercise, but I know it’s good for the environment too. However, lately I’ve become increasingly more worried about the air pollution I encounter along my route. I can often taste and smell the exhaust that surrounds me. I even changed my route in efforts to avoid some of the heavy traffic pollution, but depending on the direction the wind blows, I can still smell the foul air and am deeply concerned for my health.

I know traffic pollution is just a piece of Chicago's air pollution puzzle. I live 10 miles north of a power plant and know the dirty air that is relentlessly pumped out of its smokestacks day and night impact the quality of the air I breathe even when I am not on my bike. That is why I've been working with other volunteer activists to draw attention to our city's need for healthy air.

Despite advances to improve fuel efficiency, there are still too many politicians in Congress who simply don't support taking the steps necessary to clean up the air we must all breathe. Instead of waiting to get sick, I'm committed to fighting for healthy air. I know that if we don't stand up for our right to breathe healthy air, big polluters will continue on with their business as usual approach causing our already compromised air quality to suffer even more.

First Published: October 31, 2012

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