It Works: Taking Cars Out of Times Square Really Improved the Air

Breathe easy, New York. With fewer cars in Times Square the air there now has about half the pollution it did before.

People who advocate reducing the number of cars in urban centers often cite better air quality as a benefit. But that can sound suspect. How big a difference can the absence of a few cars really make?

Well, now we have numbers. For New York, at least. Back in 2009 Mayor Bloomberg prohibited vehicle traffic on Broadway between 42nd Street and 47th Street in Times Square to create a pedestrian plaza (video here). Now, the city's most recent Community Air Survey found that, "After the conversion to a pedestrian plaza, NO pollution levels in Times Square went down by 63 percent while, NO2 levels went down by 41 percent." Unlike N2O, which makes you laugh at Phish shows, NO2, or nitrogen dioxide, destroys your lungs and may cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Nitric oxide (NO) isn't good for you either.

Sixty-three percent? Forty-one percent? Those are significant changes. I hope someone is running a study to track how overall pollution levels in the city correlate to various respiratory diseases so we can translate those air quality stats into public health stats.

Shutting down streets to cars to improve the air you breathe to stay alive. File it with the ideas that work.

Image from Flickr user Valerio_B

via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

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via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

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via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

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