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Prague City Hall To Reduce Speed Limit

náměstí Míru in Prague
náměstí Míru in Prague

Prague City Hall worked out a plan to reduce speed limit across the whole capital city in the nearest future. It is expected that enforcing 50 km/h speed limit can help to decrease significantly noise pollution in the areas with heavy traffic. Also new noise protection shields will be installed in the right places.

The action plan informs: "In the vicinity of main roads is the biggest territory where noise limits are exceeded and it is where the largest number of citizens live affected by excessive noise." Noise pollution leads not only to sleep disorders and fatigue in people who live in such areas, but it can contribute to developing such ilnesses as hypertension (high blood preassure) and diabetes.

To slow down fast drivers City Hall plans to introduce a monitoring system and deploy speed cameras all over the city. The reduced speed limit is already introduced on 5. května street (which is part of Prague artery road) on the section between Spořilov and Michle where allowed speed was decreased from 80 to 70 km/h.

Some people can say that such measures as enforcing reduced speed limit will cause more traffic jams on streets of the capital city. But Petr Štěpánek, Prague's councillor for the environment, argues this statement. He said Aktuálně.cz that “paradoxically, <but> the traffic flow should be smoother”.

Mr. Štěpánek referred to Scandinavian experience where 50 km/h speed limit “not only helps to curb noise near streets, but also cuts car emissions and fuel consumption and boosts traffic safety considerably”.

Other measures to fight noise pollution will include enhancing tramrails in order tram chassis can produce less noise and replacement cobble stones still used on some streets with bitumen. The total cost of the whole anti-noise program can vary from hundreds of millions to billions of CZK.

Photo: náměstí Míru in Prague, by ŠJů (wikimedia.org)

Date: 21/10/2009

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