The traffic-calming exercise at the junction between C/ Tamarit and C/ Comte Borrell, in the neighbourhood of Sant Antoni, cut air pollution by 67% and noise pollution by 11% compared to when it is open to traffic. Reducing vehicles improves air quality and that directly benefits people’s health.
A mobile air quality control unit recorded data at different points of the city, before and during Car Free Day, as a way of quantifying the impact of reducing motor vehicles in public spaces.
Air pollution levels at the junction came out at 17% less than on previous days and 67% less than at the junction between Gran Via and C/ Comte Urgell, a nearby junction which was open to traffic. Noise pollution was also lower, at 3% less than on previous days and 11% less than the Gran Via – Urgell junction.
“Car Free Day mirrors what mobility should be like in Barcelona. Reducing private vehicles is imperative for public health”, observed the Councillor for Mobility, Mercedes Vidal.
Private vehicles currently account for 60% of the use of public space. One of the objectives of Car Free Day is to show what the city would be like if streets were regained for the public and if sustainable mobility was prioritised, an essential step in cutting pollution levels. Achieving this would prevent 659 deaths in the city every year.