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Re: [carfree_cities] Venice has motor problems, too!

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  • J.H. Crawford
    ... Yes, it does. I ve always argued that the transport system in Venice, while agreeable for the users, is slow, inefficient, and expensive. Wake damage to
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 29, 2000
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      >The Grand Canal of Venice was just featured on the latest "Great
      >Streets" episode on PBS. Nathan Lane, the host, spoke with an
      >expert on why Venice is sinking. The gentleman (sorry, I don't
      >remember the expert's name!) said that the foundations of these
      >great old buildings are crumbling due to the intense wakes
      >created by heavy motorboat traffic. He also mentioned that "of
      >course, they can't ban motorboat traffic," but something must be
      >done to save the city.
      >So Venice has motor problems too!

      Yes, it does. I've always argued that the transport system in
      Venice, while agreeable for the users, is slow, inefficient,
      and expensive. Wake damage to buildings and air pollution from
      diesel engines in boats is an issue, although perhaps not such
      a terribly serious issue. The New York Times of 29 August 2000
      carried an article, "That Sinking Feeling, Again" as the lead
      in the Science Times section. That article indicates that the
      land in the Venetian lagoon has been sinking throughout the
      entire 2000 years of archeological history, and that Venice
      has always solved the problem by adding fill and building
      higher. I don't think that the motorboat wakes can be called
      "intense." There are speed limits on all the canals, and as
      far as I have seen, they're pretty generally observed. The
      wave energy in the open lagoon can be significant on windy
      days, far in excess of the contribution of motorboats. It may
      be that boat speeds should be still further reduced, but I
      would not expect this to result in major changes. The problem
      is simply that the water level is rising (due both to subsidence
      and to rising sea level). Some scientists have questioned the
      efficacy of the proposed gates at the entrances to the lagoon.
      These would shut out the Adriatic during period of high water.
      The problem is that these gates might have to be shut for so
      many days a year that water quality in the lagoon would be
      affected.

      The worst contributor to the problem was the pumping of water
      out of aquifers under the lagoon. This practice was stopped
      quite a few years ago.



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      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      postmaster@... Carfree.com
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