O NY Times tem um artigo dedicado à onda de políticas limitadoras de tráfego na Europa e a sua comparação com a realidade homóloga nos Estados Unidos da América. Os sublinhados são meus:
Europe Stifles Drivers in Favor of Alternatives
“In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving,” said Peder Jensen, head of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency. “Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars.”
Europe’s cities generally have stronger incentives to act. Built for the most part before the advent of cars, their narrow roads are poor at handling heavy traffic. Public transportation is generally better in Europe than in the United States, and gas often costs over $8 a gallon, contributing to driving costs that are two to three times greater per mile than in the United States, Dr. Schipper said.
Michael Kodransky, global research manager at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in New York, which works with cities to reduce transport emissions, said that Europe was previously “on the same trajectory as the United States, with more people wanting to own more cars.” But in the past decade, there had been “a conscious shift in thinking, and firm policy,” he said. And it is having an effect.
Today 91 percent of the delegates to the Swiss Parliament take the tram to work.
European cities also realized they could not meet increasingly strict World Health Organization guidelines for fine-particulate air pollution if cars continued to reign.
“Parking is everywhere in the United States, but it’s disappearing from the urban space in Europe,” said Mr. Kodransky, whose recent report “Europe’s Parking U-Turn” surveys the shift. While Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has generated controversy in New York by “pedestrianizing” a few areas like Times Square, many European cities have already closed vast areas to car traffic. Store owners in Zurich had worried that the closings would mean a drop in business, but that fear has proved unfounded, Mr. Fellmann said, because pedestrian traffic increased 30 to 40 percent where cars were banned.
Portugal está na Europa; a infra-estrutura das suas cidades foi construída antes do aparecimento do carro. Poderemos dizer por isso que em termos de tais políticas, Portugal segue a Europa e não os E.U.A. no destaque concedido ao carro nas suas cidades? Terão elas aceitação entre a população?