You may not have realized when you were cruising on Woodward last weekend that at times you may have been inhaling substantial levels of carbon monoxide (CO). All those hundreds and hundreds of vehicles moving along at less than 10 miles per hour. Many/most of the vehicles were built before the introduction of the catalytic converter that oxidizes CO to the safer gas, carbon dioxide. The actual level of CO you were breathing at any given time was dependent upon how close to the road you were, which side of the road you were on, which direction the wind was blowing, etc. See the results we obtained below.
Cruisers at the light before 12 Mile Road.
For those who didn't "cruise" in the old days, or who don't know Detroit and Woodward Avenue, Woodward is an old, but major street that runs from the Detroit River in Detroit (Michigan, USA) to Pontiac (approx. 30 miles) and beyond - one of the "spokes of a wheel" streets - Woodward running north, northwest. From 6 Mile Road to Pontiac, Woodward is a divided road, 4 lanes wide on each side, with stop-lights approximately every mile or half-mile.
Briefly, the Woodward Dream Cruise was developed to re-create the desirable aspects of cruising drive-ins and hamburger stands, street racing and showing off, and the general camaraderie of the 1950s, 60s and early 70s. This year was the 6th annual event.
The objective of this study was to monitor the levels of carbon monoxide on Woodward Avenue which pedestrians and cruisers would inhale when thousands of pre-catalytic converter equipped automobiles were cruising there. All measurements were made on Woodward in Royal Oak along the green line on the map between the two black dots, using a Bacharach "Snifit" generously donated by Don Smith, Inc.
Go To the Second Page
Back to COHQ Main Page