The Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung Diseases in Adults (SAPALDIA), conducted in 1991 (SAPALDIA 1) in eight areas among 9,651 randomly selected adults aged 18-60 years, reported associations among the prevalence of respiratory symptoms, nitrogen dioxide, and particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 microg/m3. Later, 8,047 subjects reenrolled in 2002 (SAPALDIA 2). The effects of individually assigned traffic exposures on reported respiratory symptoms were estimated, while controlling for socioeconomic and exposure- and health-related factors. The risk of attacks of breathlessness increased for all subjects by 13% (95% confidence interval: 3, 24) per 500-m increment in the length of main street segments within 200 m of the home and decreased in never smokers by 12% (95% confidence interval: 0, 22) per 100-m increment in distance from home to a main street. Living within 20 m of a main street increased the risks of regular phlegm by 15% (95% confidence interval: 0, 31) and wheezing with breathing problems by 34% (95% confidence interval: 0, 79) in never smokers. In 2002, the effects related to road distance were different from those in 1991, which could be due to changes in the traffic pollution mixture. These findings among a general population provide strong confirmation that living near busy streets leads to adverse respiratory health effects.