As Reykjavík City Council continues to struggle with a proposal to ban studded tyres in the city, the idea remains a controversial one. Fréttablaðið reports that the Young Conservatives of Reykjavík, Heimdallur, have offered some compromise proposals for reducing air pollution.
Studded tyres are a popular accessory in Iceland. While certainly understandable in the countryside, where road conditions are often unpredictable, especially in the winter, critics have long pointed out that roads in the greater Reykjavík area seldom if ever ice over. As a result, using these tyres on such roads kicks up a lot of particle air pollution, worsening the health of people in the area.
As such, the Reykjavík City Council majority is lobbying Parliament to allow these tyres to be banned within city limits; as there is no national ban on these tyres, the city must apply for an exception. Conservatives have been amongst those outright opposed to the ban, and Heimdallur offers some ideas of their own on how to reduce city air pollution.
First, they propose that city streets be cleaned more often. For comparative purposes, they point to Oslo, where they contend streets are cleaned daily and sidewalks are cleaned twice a month, while Reykjavík cleans streets less often and cleans sidewalks “twice or three times a year”.
Second, they propose speeding up the response time to ploughing streets of snow, and third, they propose that city residents who forego studded tyres be given discounts on city parking.
With this being the case, there appears to be little disagreement that particle air pollution in Reykjavík is a problem; the disagreement, as always, lies with what to do about it.
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