News
Air Pollution Warning In Reykjavík Prompts Criticism Of Drivers

Air Pollution Warning In Reykjavík Prompts Criticism Of Drivers

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published March 9, 2018

After yet another warning to stay indoors due to high levels of air pollution, many Icelanders have turned their criticism to Reykjavík’s car drivers.

Yesterday, RÚV reported that levels of air pollution in Reykjavík had once again exceeded safe levels. This pollution, comprised of dust and high levels of carbon dioxide, is a direct result of car traffic. In response, the City of Reykjavík advised that children and those with respiratory conditions avoid being outside, especially near major roads.

While this is far from the first time the city has issued such a warning, many Icelanders have now questioned putting the responsibility on pedestrians to stay indoors, as opposed to asking car owners to reduce their driving.

Jon K. Agustsson, a planning expert for Reykjavík, raised some troubling statistics about the matter on Twitter:

“Over 800,000 [car] trips per day are killing me, you, our parents and our children. No party running [for city council] is offering plans of action to reduce this increase, and after a few years it will be 1 million trips per day, killing me, you, our parents and our children.”

Numerous Icelanders have offered similar sentiments across Facebook, questioning the wisdom of telling people to stay indoors. As Hildur Knútsdóttir put it:

“Crazy recommendation of the day: pedestrians are told not to be outdoors on a sunny day due to pollution, instead of telling drivers who cause pollution not to drive.”

This topic is especially heated in the run-up to this May’s city council elections. While numerous parties support a long-term project called Borgarlínan, a mass transit system designed to ease traffic and reduce pollution, the Independence Party is against the idea, seeing it as an attack on car owners.

Air pollution in Reykjavík is a regular problem, especially on days when the winds are light. Not only are Icelanders very fond of cars, but the increase in tourism brings with it increased traffic, as more rental cars are added to the daily traffic fleet.


News
Iceland To Be Overrun By NATO Exercises, Reviving Anti-Militarist Sentiment

Iceland To Be Overrun By NATO Exercises, Reviving Anti-Militarist Sentiment

by

Concerted NATO war exercises will be conducted across the North Atlantic this coming October and November, Iceland included. The announcement

News
Fired Employee Sues Icelandic Energy Company That Ignored Her Harassment Claims

Fired Employee Sues Icelandic Energy Company That Ignored Her Harassment Claims

by

Áslaug Thelma Einarsdóttir announced on her Facebook page this week that she is planning to file a lawsuit after being

News
Controversial Icelandic Independence Festival Spent 22 Million ISK On Lighting Alone

Controversial Icelandic Independence Festival Spent 22 Million ISK On Lighting Alone

by

The festival celebrating 100 years since the Union Treaty between Iceland and Denmark that was held in Þingvellir National Park

News
Poll: Social Dems Rise, Left-Greens Bouncing Back, Conservatives In Slow Decline

Poll: Social Dems Rise, Left-Greens Bouncing Back, Conservatives In Slow Decline

by

The Social Democrats are continuing their upward trajectory, according to the latest poll from Market and Media Research. The Left-Greens

News
Excited For Autumn In Iceland? Too Bad, Winter Is Coming

Excited For Autumn In Iceland? Too Bad, Winter Is Coming

by

You may have seen some of Grapevine’s posts on the beauty of autumn in Iceland. While the autumnal equinox will

News
Iceland’s Naming Laws May Soon Change For The Better

Iceland’s Naming Laws May Soon Change For The Better

by

Þorsteinn Víglundsson, an MP for the Reform Party, will soon submit a bill to Parliament that would drastically change Iceland’s

Show Me More!