#Ottawa, #loweringSpeedLimits; #SavesLives; #ClimateBenefits; #SlowsClimateChange
Ottawa, Aug 14 (Canadian-Media): The attempt to lower speed limits in Canadian cities from Edmonton to Montreal not only saves lives, but also leads to lead to indirect climate benefits by slowing down climate change, media reports said.
Lower Speed Limits. Image credit: Twitter handle
Natural Resources Canada estimated that an internal combustion engine driven vehicle with a speed of 120 km/h burns 20 percent more fuel than driving the same distance at 100 km/h.
Trucks with installed technology to limit their speed to 105 km/h, required by Ontario law were estimated to have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 4.6 megatonnes between 2009 and 2020.
But slowing down to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution would be not just on urban roadways but also on highways.
Certain pollutants such as nitrogen oxides are generated mainly at higher speeds, said Marianne Hatzopoulou, professor and Canada research chair in transportation and air quality at the University of Toronto.
Some eco-friendly driving tips from Hatzopoulo include sticking to the posted speed limit (or go slower if there's congestion or traffic signals ahead), Keeping a steady pace (cruise control can help), slowing of both acceleration and deceleration, and limiting the number of times you change speed which means fewer lane changes and less passing.
Lower speed limits lead to indirect climate benefits in discouraging car travel and, by making streets safer, encourage walking and cycling.
The city of Prince George, British Columbia, advocates reducing downtown speed limits to 30 km/h specifically to encourage walking and cycling as part of its 2020 climate mitigation plan.
"Slower speeds … actually create liveability," said Sandy James, a Vancouver-based urban planner who has been advocating for lower speed limits for years.