Model project: 30 km/h speed limit leads to better air quality

Model project: 30 km/h speed limit leads to better air quality

For a model project, the Berlin Senate has set up zones with a 30 km/h speed limit on five high-traffic roads in the city. On four of the roads, this has led to improved air quality.


© dpa

Ein Verkehrsschild weist auf eine zeitlich begrenzte Tempo-30-Zone hin.

These numbers were announced by the Senate on Thursday (December 30, 2021) after the analysis of data collected between the years 2017 and 2019.

Nitrogen dioxide levels dropped by up to 3.8 micrograms per cubic meter of air

According to the study, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on Leipziger Straße, Kantstraße, Hauptstraße, and Tempelhofer Damm fell by up to 3.8 micrograms per cubic meter of outdoor air (adjusted for other effects). The baseline values on these roads before the implementation of the speed limit averaged between 41.2 and 51.6 micrograms per cubic meter. To ensure that the improved air quality could be unequivocally attributed to the new speed limit and not to cleaner cars in general, comparative measurements were carried out on similarly busy roads with 50 km/h speed limits.

No decrease in NO2 pollution on Potsdamer Straße

The only outlier is Potsdamer Straße. Here, no decrease in NO2 pollution could be detected that could be explained by the speed limit. According to the study, this is primarily due to the high volume of traffic on Potsdamer Straße: Even before the model project, the average speed of cars there was well below 30 km/h already.

Significantly less stop-and-go traffic

According to the study, the stop-and-go traffic on the affected streets was reduced, significantly so in some cases, by the 30 km/h speed limit. The reductions were comparatively small only on Potsdamer Straße and Hauptstraße. The 30 km/h zones were not abolished after the pilot project; the speed limit still applies on the relevant stretches today.

Source: dpa/

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