4306More pollution from slower traffic
- Feb 6, 2002Hello,
As I am new to the list, I don't know whether this has been already
discussed here (I searched the archive but did not find anything related).
In Hungary where I come from there is an argument popping up time and again
about the harmful effect of slowing down the traffic. In many newspaper
articles we can read that cars going slower pollute more, and therefore
enlarging a road and building tunnels is justifiable and blahblah.
And it is true, as we know that the right speed for optimal fuel
consumption for a car is way over 50 km/h (not to mention 30 km/h). More
fuel = more pollution.
I can imagine a few counterarguments, but they are not entirely convincing
1. "Slower cars mean fewer cars. This counterbalances the increase in
pollution per car." Has this been proved? Also, even if it is true we have
to face the much more far-reaching and difficult argument about reducing
the amount of car traffic, as some people would object that they do not
want to be restricted in their access to the town.
2. "Slower cars mean fewer accidents. Breathing in polluted air is not as
bad as being hit by a car." But with this argument, how can you be an
environmentalist and a protector of civil rights at the same time?
3. "You can't live in a town turned into a network of highways." And their
answer could be: "If that's the price to pay for less pollution, why not?"
And then you have been dragged again into the tricky grounds of town
aesthetics and social ethics etc. Isn't there a more straightforward and
How do you usually cope with this question?
currently in Paris
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