In February of this same year, the PP Government of the City of Madrid, backed by the rest of parties of the assembly, decided to approve the Protocol of measures for episodes of high pollution in the city. A series of points to follow that would affect the traffic, and that today is the first day that they enter in action.
Madrid is tolerating a level of contamination very high in the last days
Yesterday evening the decision was made to start the so-called Stage I, which is activated when you are logged two hours in a row of level NOTICE or WARNING. That is to say, during two hours two monitoring stations of the capital have registered amounts of CO2 above 200 or 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
As we say this the previous level of alert will affect the traffic but in a manner less restrictive of what you would expect. As had already been announced, and as reported to the posters of the roads, the maximum speed of certain roads will be limited during the day today to 70 Km/h. These pathways are the main artery, the M-30, and all the access roads from their intersection with the second ring road, the M-40.
At certain times of the day this will not be a problem, because as all of madrid well-know, it is very difficult to get close to 70 Km/h in rush hours. However there will have to be especially careful in times of less traffic, because radars can make them go bad drinks throughout the day today.
The emissions of the vehicles are extremely harmful for the health
If the problem persists, it will persist because there’s no rain in sight and the fact of reducing the maximum speed to 70 Km/h shortly going to make, the already mentioned Protocol of measures will increase the level of their restrictions. This will only happen when we get to level ALERT, that is to say that in three stations of an area exceeding 400 micrograms of CO2/m3 for three hours in a row.
In a first moment will prevent parking in the centre, within the inner ring of the M-30, non-residents, no matter if it is blue or green, except for commercial vehicles, vehicles for people with reduced mobility and zero emissions. Of course the speed on the access roads and in the M-30 will reduced to 70 Km/h.
The next step would be to restrict the 50% of the traffic around the inner ring of the M-30 depending on the last number of the registration and of the day. That is to say if your tuition ends in an odd number and the day of the month is odd, you will not be able to circulate, the same thing will happen if it’s even obviously. But again, there are exceptions, industrial vehicles, school transport, public transport, vehicles of people with reduced mobility, vehicles, zero emissions, vehicles essential, motorcycles and mopeds.
All traffic restrictions will focus on the almond interior in the capital
Remember that this protocol was activated by the previous Government of the capital. However, the current leadership team has decided to include motorcycles and mopeds in these restrictions. A maneuver as useless as unhelpful since, as already we tell you, the pollution that these vehicles generates is just 0.2% of the total. By the time this new plan has not been approved, is in its phase of allegations.
Continuing with the restrictions, and in cases of extreme gravity, the limitations mentioned above in terms of the number of enrolment and day of the month shall be extended to the M-30, but in no case beyond. All of this, and as stated in the official document, all these measures would be accompanied by an expansion of the public transport network, as well as an increased presence of Municipal Police.
What to really do to reduce the pollution and traffic of Madrid? The first thing to say is that it is extremely complicated to reduce the number of vehicles of the capital cities around the world. In a society where the car is the main means of transport, restrict the use without being prepared, it is like going hunting to the jungle with a rubber band and a piece of gum.
These restrictive measures should be accompanied by an attempt to social awareness. That is to say: to encourage the use of public transport, improve public transport services, to encourage the use of zero-emissions vehicles such as bicycles, assist the purchase of hybrid or electric vehicles, install more charging points for electric vehicles and encourage the use of the motorcycle or mopeds.
Limit the use of motorbikes in the city is of no use, it should be the opposite
These measures should always be taken before the restrictions. But of course, it is always easier and cheaper to prohibit that awareness. In the next few days the citizens of Madrid will see if the measures of Government to address the contamination are actually effective. In other capitals like Paris, these measures have been entering into operation, and although they have proven to be effective in certain moments, have caused serious problems to the drivers.