Berlin pilot test proves: Tempo 30 can reduce pollutants

A reduction of the environmental toxin nitrogen dioxide (NO2) can be achieved through Tempo 30 zones on main roads – but only to a rather manageable extent. This is evidenced by internal evaluation data from a pilot test in Leipziger Strasse in Berlin-Mitte, which is available exclusively to the German Press Agency.

The NO2 load on the section between Markgrafenstrasse and Potsdamer Platz was measured between April 2018 and April 2019. Due to the limit of 30 km / h, the annual exposure to this pollutant decreased by 2.3 micrograms per cubic meter – a minus of 4 Percent. In winter, the decrease was almost 5 micrograms, according to the Senate Department for Transport and Environment.

The measurement results on Leipziger Straße have been adjusted for other factors such as meteorological influences or a recently declining trend in NO2 emissions. The decrease in the course of the speed limit was "due to the low intensity and (time) length of pollutant-intensive acceleration processes". A shift of the NO2 pollution to other roads by avoiding the 30 zone was not found. The effectiveness of such speed limits is controversial nationwide.

The reduction on Leipziger Straße is rather small in relation to the total load. The latter averaged 59 micrograms per cubic meter in 2018, which is higher than at any other Berlin street with a measuring point. The measurement result significantly exceeds the EU limit of 40 micrograms. According to the Senate administration, the reduction achieved at 30 km / h along with other measures in the Berlin Clean Air Plan (diesel driving bans, more parking space management, retrofitting of particularly polluting vehicles) could be the decisive factor for a sustainable reduction in NO2 values ​​below the limit value. So it would stay here at 30 km / h.

As in dozens of other German cities, the European limit values ​​for harmful NO2 emissions are exceeded in Berlin. In 2018, the annual average resulting from a network of measuring points was 46 micrograms per cubic meter. In 2017 it was 51 micrograms the previous year.

(with material from dpa) /


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