There are plans to increase the number of streets in the city with a 30kph speed limit, RÚV reports.
The reason for lowering the speed limits is because particulate matter pollution can be reduced by up to 40% by reducing the maximum speed on roads from 50 kph to 30 kph.
This is stated in a study carried out by Þröstur Þorsteinsson, professor of environmental and resource science at the University of Iceland, in collaboration with the Icelandic Road Administration (Vegagerðin). The study was presented last week.
Won’t effect the traffic
Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson does not believe that lowering the speed limit will effect the traffic in the capital.
The mayor says that many factors must be considered when making decisions about the maximum speed on the streets such as the safety of the population, noise and also pollution.
“We have been working now on new proposals following a traffic safety plan where we mapped both the results of the 30 kph districts, which has been great, and the result will probably be to expand them,” says Dagur.
It ain’t up to us
However, many of Reykjavík’s high traffic areas are the responsibility of Vegagerðin therefore it is not the responsibility of the city authorities to decide the speed limits.
“I think Vegagerðin is the strongest in looking at research, using the best data and contributing to the best quality of life in the city as imaginable, and not just the maximum speed of those who want to drive the fastest,” says Dagur.
The mayor goes on the say that “We know that at a slightly slower speed, on the contrary, the traffic will be more agile. But on the other hand, it is no secret that this is a certain balance. A balance between the interests of those who want to drive fast past playgrounds where people live near traffic streets, and then those who live there and worry about their children. They do not want the pollution or noise that accompany high speeds.”
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!