Madrid’s ban on polluting vehicles cuts traffic by nearly 32 percent in some areas

Last Friday, Madrid’s tough new vehicle emissions controls went into effect, resulting in a drop in traffic by nearly 32 percent in some parts of the city, reports El País. The new rules impose strict restrictions on which vehicles can enter an area of just under two square miles in the city’s downtown. The plan, known as Madrid Central, is an attempt to lower the city’s nitrogen dioxide levels, which have exceeded European limits since 2010 and are thought to cause around 3,000 premature deaths per year, according to one study.

The exact drop in traffic varied between different areas in the zone. One area, San Bernardo, saw a modest reduction of just over 5 percent, while Gran Vía saw the highest reduction of 31.8 percent. Although R…

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