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Effects of the 80 km/h and variable speed limits on air pollution in the metropolitan area of Barcelona
Bel i Queralt, Germà, 1963-; Rosell, Jordi, 1955-
Universitat de Barcelona
In 2008 the regional government of Catalonia (Spain) reduced the maximum speed limit on several stretches of congested urban motorway in the Barcelona metropolitan area to 80 km/h, while in 2009 it introduced a variable speed system on other stretches of its metropolitan motorways. We use the differences-in-differences method, which enables a policy impact to be measured under specific conditions, to assess the impact of these policies on emissions of NOx and PM10. Empirical estimation indicate that reducing the speed limit to 80 km h-1 causes a 1.7 to 3.2% increase in NOx and 5.3 to 5.9% in PM10. By contrast, the variable speed policy reduced NOx and PM10 pollution by 7.7 to 17.1% and 14.5 to 17.3%. As such, a variable speed policy appears to be a more effective environmental policy than reducing the speed limit to a maximum of 80 km/h.
Qualitat de l'aire
Barcelona (Catalunya : Àrea metropolitana)
Air quality
Barcelona (Catalonia : Metropolitan area)
(c) Elsevier Ltd, 2013
Elsevier Ltd

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