But the air quality here sucks and pollution from cars is through the fucking roof. We just introduced an Ultra Low Emission area scheme that's a half hearted attempt to do what they've done in Madrid, but for me that doesn't go far enough.
I think we should just ban any vehicles that aren't electric from being inside the M25 and give people two years to prepare.
I get that this will be difficult for a lot of people and cause a lot of disruption, but it's killing us. It's killing us now. And if the Brexit brigade can wave away the looming catastrophe of their no-deal-Brexit dreams by conjuring up fantasies about the Blitz spirit, and how we can always make do and mend because we're British; then I don't see why we can't use that same logic to inflict difficult circumstances on people to save the fucking planet and protect our fellow citizens from the harm of air pollution that's being brought into our city by people who don't fucking live here.
I see bike infrastructure as a win-win-win. You reduce traffic and pollution, free up space on public transit, and improve the health and wellbeing citizens. I think London could develop a really unique bike network too - because many of the paths don't need to be associated with roadways and can instead cut through parks or follow along beside train tracks, canals, or the river.
I simply don't understand why this is not enforced very soon. Many companies are producing inexpensive hybrids, so it sounds quite doable. And most people, at least in Europe, make really short trips on average.
Even if the electricity used to charge your car was produced by a coal plant, pollution could be controlled by centralized filters, etc. Clearly much better than having machines driving around cities and spreading toxic fumes and particles everywhere.
Are you suggesting we add carbon and pollution taxes to offset some of the the externalities?
Your income level is a superb indicator of how much of the planets resources you are using.
Does taxation that goes to the government change that? Does the government use taxes more "greenly" than consumers?
On topic: if they shut down the centre of Madrid, they could get pollution to zero!
Not even close; If market economies are good at one thing, it is finding products that concentrate their benefits while at the same time distributing their negative externalities.
Not really. Your spending level is. One can have high income and reinvest or you can spend money you don't have by borrowing.
I'd agree that income level is correlated.
My car is over fifteen years old. It's ULEZ compliant. I can drive it in to Central London for free after 6pm and at weekends, because it's not diesel.
I don't do it often. I'd be supportive of a serious penalty (50+ quid say).
When it's extended to the North and South Circular roads in a few years time; the car will at that point be almost 20 years old, and if it's still going, permitted for free.
Oh - but I don't live there! I live further out, so actually none of this would affect me in any case, despite local roads still breaching pollution limits.
I wouldn't go quite as far as a blanket ban; I think charges are reasonable (basically to make petrol cars cost about as much as leasing an EV, say, but not forcing up-front massive expenditure). But at the moment we seem to be in this bizarre land in which the only changes that happen are those which don't feasibly affect anyone.
Suggesting that someone who can't afford to buy a new car probably shouldn't be driving around London is seen as political suicide.
And 15 year old diesels are terrible. Banning dieselgate-era diesels is overwhelmingly the most important policy. Only RDE (Real Driving Emissions) diesels are ok, and under EU rules RDE has only come in during the last year or two, and even now is quite lax.
Diesels will only be fully required to fully meet the pollution standards under real world driving conditions within a year or two, and only then will be roughly equivalent to petrols built from 2004 onwards.
My hope is that the EU somehow intervenes and stops them from taking steps back in this respect. As mentioned in the last paragraph of the article, reducing emissions is an EU mandate. The EU has often been the force behind many, if not most of, the anti-pollution policies adopted in Spain.
1. We welcome you, despite 14.1% unemployment rate in the country (probably higher), whereas a large portion of jobs are part-time and another large portion of full-time jobs pay minimum wage.
2. We welcome you, although we know you'll end up on the streets.
3. We welcome you, although we can't, but might this serve as motivation for your deadly journey ("efecto llamada").
4. We welcome you, at least we say, so now we can pat ourselves about how good we are.
The opposite is reason.
This map  shows 2015 results for the municipal elections in Madrid. The center is just one small part of the whole thing. Sadly, it takes a lot more to convince everyone. There's plenty of people on that map that hardly ever visit the center.
8.9% ? Is a significant difference? Was the previous more polluted air any dangerous to breathe comparatively to all other daily risks people face? What are the absolute values of each pollutant instead of reporting everything in percentages and how do they compare to the usual EU limits for the definition of clean air? How does Madrid compare to Paris, London, Frankfurt, Berlin?
There are so many questions to ask before taking action on this kind of things.
Yes, but how much of it is due to improvements in newer combustion engines and new EU-wide emission norms?
Most of the backslash against Madrid regulations is coming from people that don't live in the center of the city and are using the issue as a proxy to voice their political views against the mayor's political party (affiliate to left-leaning Podemos).
Funny thing is that this measure was for the longest time in the previous mayoral team (under control from right-leaning Partido Popular) agenda as well.
On the anti-EU sentiment. I think it's important to point out that 62% of Spaniards (and rising since Brexit started) have a favorable view of the EU (according to Pew Research). Eurobarometer is also showing highest support for the EU in 35 years.
The issue is not really the restriction, but the lack of alternatives. Very few cities have a decent metro zone: these cities are the only ones where I see no objections to stricter traffic policies.
Most cities are only served by public _road_ transport services. This doesn't have the same level of service, by a long shot. There's a huge, _huge_ difference between having to plan your move in 1hr intervals and just hop on a platform having to wait no longer than 10 minutes. Not to mention the cost, inevitable delays due to traffic, shorter service hours and so on.
I would ban all cars tomorrow and sell mine too if I could get anywhere in a metro. Reality is, this is only feasible for very few selected places.
The governments here should make public transport massively better first. The reality is that they just enforce restrictions and provide no alternatives. What do you do then?
I didn't use the bus system at all so I can't comment there. Barcelona in comparison has fairly easy to navigate stations and a much friendlier fare system.
This in turn creates this shitty illusion of "public" service that nobody wants to use, because:
- it's unreliable (delays and strikes are common)
- short working hours
- poorly planned (or no) interconnections with other public services
- abusive service costs to recoup the costs
Even factoring all expenses of a car, several bus connections I was forced to take in the past where in the order of 5-6 times the total cost of car ownership. This doesn't even include the grave annoyances I listed above.
They are required to do so by law.
At least in the province of Venice, there was a complicated set of rules to pick between bidders of public contractors - so the law is certainly not universal in this regard.
If I recall correctly, it was based on percentiles instead of taking just the lowest bidder in an attempt to avoid companies racing to the bottom.
This in turn created a system where winning ad these bids was mostly by chance, and unsurprisingly was found to be rigged several times. But I digress...
If anyone wants to pour over the article and explain it to me: EMT is the TfL of Madrid, Mayor's office is left-wing, Regional government is right-wing.
Quite often, the people don't know what's good for them. That's we generally don't have direct democracies.
Note: I'm not saying I'm in favour or against Madrid's Mayor, nor her policies.
At more practical level getting financing for better public transport needs providing forecast of revenues. And it does not justify investments in public transport as long as people use cars, ubers, taxis etc. And people will continue choosing personal convenience over the prospect of having grandchildren living on planet Earth.
Tough choice for elected politicians.
Colorado is kind of an example for me. In 2013 the right mobilized over just-enacted gun control laws and recalled a number of Democrats, turning the majority to the right. But then in the general elections of 2018, everything went back to the Democrats again.
I think you could ask twenty people about what does this mean and you’ll get twenty different shades of ‘serving the people’.
On regards to the elections, let's see if she gets kicked out.
No. In the latest Eurobarometer, confidence in the EU is one of the lowest in Spain. 54% of respondents do not trust the EU, vs. e.g. 21% in Lithuania or 31% in Denmark.
When asked about membership in the EU, the answer is also more positive than average, although in a more modest 9th place (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/at-your-service/files/be-heard... page 37).
So it depends on how you ask. I would say saying that Spain is the least anti EU country is quite an overstatement, but it's definitely more pro-EU than average.
I think the results of the question on trust may be biased by the fact that Spanish people don't trust politicians in general. In page 6 of this Eurobarometer survey (https://ec.europa.eu/spain/sites/spain/files/eb88_nat_es_es.... - sorry, in Spanish, I couldn't find it in English) you can see that while trust in the EU is not very high, it's quite higher than trust in the Spanish government. So most people wouldn't want to leave the EU.
I'm an Environmentalist, but whenever I hear about government imposed solutions, I imagine someone's life is terrible.
-Elderly folks have a significantly harder time getting necessities
-Emergency vehicles take longer due to traffic
I won't go on, because I won't pretend I understand life and culture in another country.
This reminds me of the question a Lawyer said they debated- Does the world need a Tyrant to stop Capitalism from destroying the earth, or is Freedom the way?
People from halfway around the world call it 'moderate'.
That's not an irrational choice, unless your prerogative is that there's no value in personal transportation, which is extreme. I see that a lot, and it's a first cousin of the "if it just saved one life" argument, which erroneously assumes there's no value in any other perspectives.
Nothing comes without cost. Even public transit has consequences, and at least in the USA, it's far less "clean" than commonly believed.
I would be angry if my citie's government imposed a restriction with such a list of exceptions.
Tax entering the city center? Not a problem for the rich, who can pay easily.
Tax cars depending on emissions? The same.
Allow electric cars only? The rich have money to buy a Tesla.
Allow only even or odd license plates depending on the day? The rich can buy two cars, one with odd and another with even license plate.
Allow entering only if you use a paid public parking lot? The rich can pay for that.
Disallow non-residents? The rich can buy a flat in the center.
Let's not fool ourselves, saving the planet and people's lungs mean that some things that are now widely reachable have to become scarce. And however we frame it, elites will always have better access to scarce resources. Still, I'd rather save the planet and my lungs than do nothing. And we can always tax the rich more to compensate.
My expectation is that this one plan creates exactly such a tax in practice, but it's privately collected by the few people rich enough to own land there.
I'm not personally a fan of how much the US prioritizes car transport, but I do see the utility of personal transportation.
Now closing the Gran Via and surrounding roads is problematic for various reasons. For example, the most important museums and cultural activities are in this area.
An 8% difference with last year is nothing in Madrid. Madrid has big differences in pollution depending on what it rains, and specially on the wind. Pollution is bad there when there are anticyclonic weather and thermal inversion.
Madrid has very clear skies, it is like Denver,Colorado. The near mountains filter the low clouds. So at night most heat is radiated, making inversion frequent.
Carmena has created chaos in Madrid, an enormous congestion, just ask any taxi driver. I talked with people in the Politecnic University in Madrid in Winter and some levels of pollution were higher this year than last one(last year rained a lot so it was very clean).
I'd bet those numbers have been cooked to make Carmena look good. Most of the traffic goes now around the perimeter created and those places are way worse than last year.
In Spain most of the Media is controlled by the left and now also the leftist Government, that directly controls public Media(In Spain public Media depends on taxes, not like the BBC or Media in Europe).
Carmena is not a great technical person. She acts on feeling and ideology. Facts care very little to her.
A prior lawyer, judge and member of the General Council of the Judiciary – with a total judicial career of 29 years – cares not for facts?
Most media in Spain are not saying a single word about this, with others relegating it to small mentions, but Spanish media is controlled by the right and is pro-"communist". Yeah, right.
It's totally respectable to have a right-wing ideology, and there is plenty to criticize in the left. But seriously, if you are educated enough to be posting in an international website like this, you shouldn't be falling for obvious propaganda and spewing our local media's brainwash. Regardless of ideology, no one with a shred of neutrality, critical spirit or care to check different sources can think that Spanish media are biased to the left, let alone towards Podemos and their allies whom are almost universally disliked by all media.