Target: Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy Brey
Goal: Applaud the implementation of a new law that encourages the use of environmentally friendly cars
Recently, a program implementing new smart parking meters has been approved for the city of Madrid. The updated meters will charge people based on the kind of car they are driving: the more eco-friendly their car, the less they have to pay for parking. This city regularly suffers from pollution levels above the European Union (EU) average and this is a step towards reversing the damage done by the millions of cars driving through the streets. Applaud Prime Minister Brey and his team for their progressive action to fight pollution.
The new system, which goes into effect July 1, 2014, will make it free for electric cars to park in the city, and will introduce a 20 percent decrease in parking costs for a hybrid vehicle. Regular vehicles, however, will be charged a 20 percent increase in parking fees. The main focus of this change is to improve the air quality in the city by decreasing the amount of individual cars driving through the city, and to increase use of public transportation. Elisa Barahona, head of Madrid’s sustainability division, publicly commented, “Particularly for those who have cars that pollute, we hope that having to pay more will make people think twice before using them.”
Studies estimate 1-in-4 driving through Madrid will have to pay the extra cost due to their car type. In a battle for clean air, no steps are too small. Having consistently ranked above the EU pollution average made it clear Madrid needed a change to help preserve the environment and the living conditions for its residents. The new smart parking meters will push the city towards both of these goals. Applaud Prime Minister Brey, and those who worked on this project, for taking action towards reducing heavy pollution in one of the most popular cities in the world.
Dear Prime Minister Brey,
I recently learned about the new smart parking meters being installed in Madrid starting July 1, 2014. The city has regularly ranked above the average EU pollution levels, and by raising the cost of parking for high pollution cars, residents will be encouraged to carpool, walk, bike, or take public transportation.
It is also gratifying to see the studies behind the cost increases and decreases based on vehicle type. The government is clearly taking this issue seriously by testing a program that has the potential to greatly reduce the pollution in Madrid. It is not some form of punishment, forcing people to walk instead of drive. Rather, the smart parking meters will provide residents with an financial incentive to walk instead of drive.
Thank you for acting to save both the environment and the citizens of Madrid, and working to maintain the beauty of the city as well as the health of its residents for many more decades to come.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Antonio Garcia Rodriguez de Espange via Flickr