Target: Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, Green Party, Oslo City Council
Goal: Praise plan to turn Norwegian city car-free by 2019, which will greatly reduce air pollution.
A pioneering plan to ban cars from their city center by 2019 in an effort to reduce car pollution has been announced by Oslo, Norway’s city council, comprised of the Labor Party, the Greens and the Socialist Left. The ban is the largest of its kind and will make Oslo the first major city to become car-free. The city promises to build 60 kilometers of bicycle lanes and better fund public transportation. The car ban was created in the interest of pedestrians, bikers, and the environment.
Buses, trams, and cars carrying the disabled and goods will still be allowed to enter the city. Although other European cities have announced similar plans, Oslo’s ban is the first and largest of its kind. The distancing from private transportation can open up space for parks, sidewalks and cafes.
Cars release huge amounts of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, contributing to a large percentage of pollution in cities. Major cities in America fail to meet federal air quality standards because of their populace’s reliance on cars. In addition to harmful effects on the environment, crowding dense cities with cars and parking spots is an inefficient model. Traffic is so bad in major metropolitans such as London that the average cyclist moves faster than the motorists. A study on commuting in Los Angeles showed drivers spend an average of 90 hours per year in traffic.
Oslo has created a comprehensive car ban with an aggressive timetable that should serve as inspiration for other cities to follow. Thank Oslo’s city counsel for their bold and reliable solution to poor air quality and congestion in their city.
Dear Ms. Berg,
Your pioneering and quick action in crafting a plan to make Oslo car-free will produce a cleaner and safer city. Car pollution creates unsafe air quality that is harmful to people and the environment, yet major commuter cities have made few attempts to address this issue. Your shift from cars to bike lanes and heavily-supported public transportation is the direction all cities should be going in.
Norway has been a leader in reducing air pollution and Oslo’s car ban supports the country’s commitment to reduce nitrogen oxide levels to 156,000 tons by 2020. As a newly elected city council, the swift car ban shows your honorable intentions towards the environment and the health of your citizens. Oslo is a lovely city and the ban on cars will strengthen its beauty and pedestrian well-being.
Thank you for caring about the health and safety of your citizens and for quick action in reducing air pollution through your plan to make Oslo car-free by 2019.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bjorn Erik Pedersen