30 km/h speed limit

Tempo 30, Luftreinhaltung
Image: SenUVK

Since the beginning of April 2018, the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection has imposed a 30 km/h speed limit on several main roads in Berlin that have particularly high levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution. The aim of the speed limits is to protect people from these harmful emissions. At the same time, a 30 km/h speed limit also means less stress and noise and greater road safety. For all these reasons, a 30 km/h speed limit has been an important transport policy tool for many years and is now in place along a total of 325 kilometres of main roads, and on 165 km of these roads throughout the day. The investigations into the 30 km/h speed limit which we have now started are intended to look more comprehensively at its impact on air quality and to take into consideration more recent vehicle models. An evaluation of air quality data along Schildhornstraße and Beusselstraße, where there has been a 30 km/h speed limit since 2005, shows that there has been a positive impact on air quality. NO2 pollution, for example, has fallen by 10 to 15%.

Our 30 km/h speed limit investigation in combination with an optimised traffic light cycle began in Leipziger Straße. In parallel, driving behaviour and the emission of nitrous gases are being measured. The intention is that traffic should flow more evenly. Less “stop and go” and less acceleration means fewer nitrous gases and less noise for residents.

Investigations like this were launched in the following locations in 2018:

  • Leipziger Straße (Markgrafenstraße – Potsdamer Platz)
  • Potsdamer Straße (Potsdamer Platz – Kleistpark)
  • Hauptstraße (Kleistpark – Innsbrucker Platz)
  • Tempelhofer Damm (Alt-Tempelhof – Ordensmeister Straße)
  • Kantstraße (Amtsgerichtsplatz – Savignyplatz)

The investigations aim to lower levels of nitrous gas pollution and to quantify these reductions. This will enable us to decide on the basis of a current dataset which roads will be suitable in future for a 30 km/h speed limit as a means of avoiding driving bans that could be imposed by the Administrative Court.

The German Environment Agency sees a 30 km/h speed limit on main roads (in German) as an effective measure for achieving cleaner air.