Debate about 30 km / h in Krefeld misses out on new data

Mobility transition in Krefeld
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“Tempo 40 cheaper for the environment than Tempo 30”

Krefeld is to take part in a Tempo 30 attempt. However, new measurement data show that Tempo 40 is cheaper to reduce pollutants.

The initiative of the German Association of Cities for nationwide 30 km / h tests in city centers evidently misses out on more recent findings about the effects of speed limits. Other cities such as the Hessian metropolises Frankfurt and Wiesbaden or the Baden-Württemberg state capital Stuttgart rely on Tempo 40 – the Hessian cities with the express support of the green state environment minister Priska Hinz. Her central argument is amazingly simple – the FAZ quotes her as saying: “At 30 km / h, most people drive in second gear, while at 40 km / h they shift up to third.” The pollutant balance is then better.

According to the FAZ, the Hessian Ministry of the Environment relies on the latest calculations in the “Handbook for Emission Factors for Road Traffic” (HBEFA). HBEFA is an international European database that is financed and supported by the environmental and transport authorities of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden and France. The data enable calculations of greenhouse gas and pollutant loads in road traffic. The first version was developed in 1995 “in order to provide realistic emission factors for different traffic situations and thus for real driving situations” – HBEFA is continuously updated.

With the new HBEFA 4.1 it is now possible to computationally determine the effect of 30 km / h or 40 km / h on main roads, according to the Hessian clean air plan for Frankfurt. These data would have shown that “Tempo 40 is the best speed in almost all traffic conditions in order to keep nitrogen oxide emissions in cars low”; In the case of heavy commercial vehicles, a speed of 30 km / h in particular leads to a significant increase in exhaust emissions on the same route, the paper continues. It can be read in the “Clean Air Plan for the Rhine-Main Metropolitan Area 2nd Update Partial Plan Frankfurt am Main” from December 2020 (p. 76). The empirically proven finding that at a speed of 40 km / h on reserved roads there is a significant reduction in the alternative traffic on reserved roads also speaks in favor of Tempo 40, which means that motorists switch to other routes significantly less in order to be able to drive faster (p.78 / 79 des cited air pollution control plan).

The Wiesbaden council has just decided – in July of this year – to try a speed limit of 40 on main roads, with the modification that at night, for reasons of noise protection, even speed limit 30 applies. The pilot project is scheduled to run for a year and a half; then it should be evaluated. Wiesbaden is flanking the pilot project with a 30 million euro investment in “digital traffic control” – with a view to the fact that the flow of traffic in a city depends to a large extent on well-coordinated traffic lights.

Since the beginning of 2020, Stuttgart has also introduced “Tempo 40” zones in the city center and on reserved roads to reduce emissions of fine dust and nitrogen oxides, which take on the role of “main roads” and are mostly traffic axes. The program was expanded in mid-2020. It was only in the past few weeks that a reduction from Tempo 40 to Tempo 30 has been discussed in Stuttgart, regardless of the findings in the HBEFA and the arguments presented by the Hessian Environment Minister. The driving force in the background is the green state transport minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Hermann. Hermann refers to the pilot project of the city council, which in all probability Krefeld will also join.

As reported, on the initiative of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, Krefeld is to join the initiative of the City Council, according to which municipalities are introducing a nationwide tempo of 30 on a test basis. The cities of Aachen, Augsburg, Freiburg, Hanover, Leipzig, Münster and Ulm have so far joined the initiative. For Krefeld, this would mean that tempo 30 will be introduced on many reserved roads, which are now usually 50 km / h, as well as all side and residential streets. Candidates are streets that lead through closed residential areas – such as Uerdinger or Friedrich-Ebert-Straße. The project is part of the targeted mobility transition in Krefeld.

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