Tel Aviv launches air pollution reduction plan for transportation sector

By restructuring the municipality's transportation flow, the city hopes to achieve an 84% reduction in nitrogen oxides and 83% drop in PM2.5 emissions.

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December 30, 2015 19:00
2 minute read.
Tel Aviv traffic

Tel Aviv traffic.. (photo credit: INIMAGE)

 
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Aiming to significantly improve the quality of air its residents breathe, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa city council has approved a pollution-reduction plan for the city’s transportation sector.

By restructuring the municipality’s transportation flow, the city hopes to achieve an 84 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides and 83% drop in PM2.5 emissions – particulate matter with a diameter of 10 microns or less – by 2020, in comparison to the levels of each a decade earlier.

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The program, prepared in coordination with the Environmental Protection Ministry under amendment 84 of the Traffic Ordinance, serves as a complement to the city’s larger strategic master plan for air pollution and greenhouse gas reduction.

“Tel Aviv-Jaffa is making tremendous efforts to improve the quality of life in the city, including taking care consistently over the years to reduce air pollution through various means,” said Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

“Air pollution caused by vehicles, which the program we approved deals with, still constitutes a hazard that requires thorough attention.”

Among the elements of the plan is the addition of 70 kilometers of new public transportation routes throughout the city, as well as the promotion of legislation to grant the city enforcement powers along public transportation routes by means of inspections and stationary cameras.

The large public transportation terminals throughout the city also will be overhauled, as will specific areas designated for buses, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians, information about the plans said.

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Park-and-ride shuttles will operate from popularly frequented parking lots in the main centers of Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak, and a municipal car-sharing system will be established, pursuant to the program.

Other elements include limiting private automobile traffic in the city center; the expansion of the Tel-OFun bike-sharing program to neighboring cities; and increased collaboration in the public transportation sector, in general, with other local authorities in the metropolitan region.

Also part of the program is the establishment of more bike parking facilities and paths along the future light-rail route and a massive shift in the taxi sector to hybrid vehicles, the plans said.

The municipality has submitted a draft of the plans to all relevant national government bodies – such as the Transportation, Environmental Protection and Interior Ministries, as well as the Israel Police – and to the cities bordering Tel Aviv, the city said.

Tel Aviv was the first Israeli municipality to draft a master plan and comprehensive strategy for curbing the city’s air pollution – about eight years ago in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Ministry, a statement from the city said.

As a result of some of the activities carried out since, the city has experienced a dramatic improvement in air quality over the past decade, such as a drop in 51 high air pollution days in 2006 to 14 days in 2014, the statement added.

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