Futures Forum: Restricting parking in Sidmouth > residents against commuters and tourists: part two
And one way to tackle it is to try and get people out of their cars - whether they are residents, commuters or tourists - because it all creates a stink:
Futures Forum: Air pollution, traffic congestion and development >>> Building a new shopping centre to the west of Exeter "would cause traffic chaos"
Futures Forum: Brexit: and taking the UK to court over air pollution levels
Futures Forum: Air pollution: urgent action needed
A comment received today looks at that bigger picture:
Here's the full article which DaryS refers to:
How to Reduce Air Pollution in Your City (the cheapest and healthiest way)
Every city in the modern era suffers due to the air pollution caused by the large number of vehicles on its streets, and also due to the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity and heat during the winter. In fact, in the XXI century, the high level of air pollution in cities is actually caused by the increased number of cars on the road.
Today, we are used to driving the car even if we need to go to buy something simple from a store located at the corner of the street. We are used to saying that we are using the vehicle because we are wasting time by walking there (time is money).
Luckily, many responsible governments around the world are starting to understand that air pollution in the cities is mostly caused by the large number of petrol and diesel vehicles on the streets, and they decided to ban the sales of the polluting vehicles in their countries, but only starting with 2025 (Norway), 2030 (India), and 2040 (France and the UK). I’m sure that many other countries will take similar decisions regarding petrol and diesel vehicles while promoting the less polluting ones such as plug-in hybrids and electric cars.
What causes air pollution in the city?
Air pollution in the city is mostly caused by the large number of vehicles on the street that burn fossil fuels, but also by the power plants that burn fossil fuels to generate electricity, and by the individuals using fossil fuels to produce heat during the winter.
What can we do to reduce air pollution in the city?
If we can’t do much (as individuals) to get rid of the power plants that burn fossil fuels (government’s task), we can do something to decrease the level of air pollution caused by us.
Let’s assume that we don’t have money to replace our polluting vehicle with a hybrid or an electric car even if the government is helping us.
Air pollution is mostly present in the city (outside the city the air is much cleaner and healthier), so if we can’t afford to switch our petrol or diesel car with an electric vehicle we least can afford to replace it with a bicycle. Switching from polluting cars to bikes would not only reduce air pollution very much, but would solve many of the biggest issues facing modern cities.
Air pollution is higher in the crowded cities where the large number of vehicles on the street is causing traffic congestions. By using a bike, you will not be affected by such traffic congestions, and you may reach your destination much faster than using the car.
Using the bike is also a much healthier activity for your body, it will improve your general health and will keep you in a much better shape.
If many people are using the bike to travel through the city instead using their cars, beside reducing the number and the intensity of the traffic congestions (less cars on the street) we will also create much more parking space available.
What to do to improve health and life conditions in the city?
The number of people is rising in all the cities of the world, but the space in cities remains about the same (limited), so it is more than necessary to use a bike instead of using the car for city trips.
We can still use the car for trips outside the city, but for shorter trips inside the town we can start using the bike even from tomorrow. It is known that using the car for almost every trip inside or outside the city besides causing air pollution will also decrease our general health due to the lack of physical activity.
A high level of air pollution in the city is causing lung diseases, heart attacks and even premature deaths among the population. Using the car too much (and forgetting the fact that you have legs) will decrease the volume of physical activity done by your body, will affect your general shape and your stamina, and in time could lead to an increased incidence of cancer, hearth disease and even sudden death (from any cause).
If you are already affected (your legs) by the long use of the car, it is more than necessary to start walking and cycling right away. Your health and your physical shape are much more important for you and your family than you think.
Time is money, but health can’t be bought with money, so I advise you to recover your physical shape by walking and cycling right away. At least for the short trips (under 3 miles) you can walk and for longer trips inside the town (under 10 miles) you can use the bike. Both these physical activities will improve your health and physical shape, and will make you feel better.
What to do to reduce air pollution during the winter?
During the winter, temperatures could reach very low values, and this will limit the possibility to use the bike. If we can’t use the bike during the winter to reduce our carbon footprint, at least we can use an energy source (for heating) that releases less harmful emissions.
If you are used to burning coal in your fireplace to ensure the heat during the winter, you need to know that coal might be cheap, but is the most polluting energy source used today, and can be successfully replaced with natural gas or other energy source that pollutes less. It is known that natural gas is a cleaner fossil fuel than coal and oil, and is considered the energy source that will replace coal in the next decades.
If more and more people will start using the bike for city trips, the level of air pollution will decrease, the quality of the air that we breathe will improve, and the city will be turned from a polluted town that suffers due to traffic congestions and a limited number of parking spaces in a city with less vehicles on the street, more parking spaces and cleaner air.