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Earth Transportation

To Fight Pollution, New Delhi Restricts When Residents Can Drive (thehindu.com) 131

GillBates0 sent word that New Delhi, the capital of India, is growing increasingly bold with its attempts to fight air quality problems around the city. The metro area is home to over 21 million people, who own an estimated 8.7 million vehicles. On Friday, the government decided to divide the vehicle population in half, and ban each on alternate days. Starting on January 1, vehicles with odd-numbered plates will only be allowed on the road when vehicles with even-numbered plates aren't, and vice versa. "Emergency and public vehicles along with carpools will be exempt from the restrictions. The emergency meeting where the decision was taken ... came after a Delhi High Court observation that living in Delhi was akin to living in a gas chamber."
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To Fight Pollution, New Delhi Restricts When Residents Can Drive

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Job done!

    • Cheaper to register same car twice.

    • In India I imagine you could just ask your cousins friend to knock up some extra number plates.

      • Any program like this will have "exemptions" . . . for folks like doctors, policemen, politicians, etc. Normal folks will also be able to "buy" one by bribing the civil servant issuing the exemptions.

        In the USA in the 70's, during the OPEC oil crisis, I remember there was also a system of odd/even license plates, odd/even days determining when you could tank up at the gas station. People were incredibly creative at finding ways around it.

        I wonder if New Delhi has a way of tracking the effectiveness of t

        • Any program like this will have "exemptions" . . . for folks like doctors, policemen, politicians, etc. Normal folks will also be able to "buy" one by bribing the civil servant issuing the exemptions.

          In the USA in the 70's, during the OPEC oil crisis, I remember there was also a system of odd/even license plates, odd/even days determining when you could tank up at the gas station. People were incredibly creative at finding ways around it.

          I wonder if New Delhi has a way of tracking the effectiveness of this? Like counting the cars on the roads. It would be interesting to how many % less . . .

          Yes. Corruption will certainly be an issue. Nonetheless, even in India I would expect an overall reduction in pollution, and the corruption itself will create a tax and small incentive on those who continue to pollute illegally. You get an unjust result, where those willing and able to engage in corruption have more rights than those who do not--but you do lower pollution.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        I expect that will happen and the problem will get worse. People are dumb and unwilling to change, even in the face of an existential threat.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jandersen ( 462034 )

      Job done!

      Certainly, if you are the kind of person who only thinks about your own, instant gratification and care little about how it affects others. I have never been to New Delhi, but I have been to Beijing, where it is really bad, many times, and my impression is that New Delhi is much worse. In Beijing every family seems to insist on owning at least one car, and many have two - the result is that not only do they have a tremendous traffic chaos twice a day, but people are forced to park illegally everywhere: alo

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Also, that one car thing is for status symbol only. Because the materialistic China girl won't marry a man without car. Amd a house of course, so the price of houses there is so high. And yet they complain about the western world is materialistic. What a joke of a country.

        • Perfectly explained. I think that's what people without the ability to own material told themselves to hide their inability and satisfy their ego. In contrast, I find the west to be more non-materialistic.

  • We have been doing this in Itay since the 80's, even though not always for pollution problems. Even and odd plate numbers.
    • Well, it's news for them, but you're right that it's hardly a novel move worldwide. It tends to sound rather draconian to those of us living in the US though - probably part of our car culture, I suppose.

      I believe Paris implemented something like this last year. Mexico City had done this decades earlier, although I can't recall if it was to cut down on congestion or pollution. I wouldn't be surprised if there were many others. It's a pretty blunt hammer, as far as policies go, but you can't look at the

      • Re:Not news (Score:4, Interesting)

        by phayes ( 202222 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @08:36AM (#51066773) Homepage

        Paris' episodes of high pollution that trigger odd/even plates are due to infrequent, & short-lived meteorological conditions of almost no wind or rain. They only occur a day or so most years and the authorities always wait for the limits to be hit before implementing odd/even license plate bans. Of course, this also means that the peak has always been hit and pollution would be going down naturally but that doesn't stop the greenies from trumpeting how "effective" the ban is & how it needs to be instated all year long...

        Most Parisians that would be hit by the ban just take the day off (we have ~1 day/month to take off/month due to the 35hr workweek the socialists mandated). That makes it "easy" & relatively painless. Doing so more often would to shutdown part of the economy & is not a step anyone except the radical greens are willing to take -- at least until electrical vehicles become a significant part of those used.

        • Doing so more often would to shutdown part of the economy & is not a step anyone except the radical greens are willing to take

          Ever heard of peak oil? Parisians will have to do so some day soon anyway.
          Forget about electrical vehicles for 12 million people in such a concentrated area. Now would be a good time to sell the overpriced flats in Paris.
          This city is probably the less resilient one in France.

          • Ever heard of peak oil?

            Yeah, but it was just a bunch of whiny lowbrow faux-environmentalist propaganda. Oil is dirty and it sucks and other things are already cheaper. There is no need for a weird imagined oil supply catastrophe in order for people to switch to cheaper, cleaner, better fuel sources. That is happening already. Considering that we're already in a transition period, and the end of the modern world didn't happen as predicted, it seems a little late for you to be trying to recruit people to follow that nonsense.

            Oil's

            • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

              All electric vehicles will cause city prices to go up, well, at least not the underwater front cities. The other bug change on the horizon, arcologies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org], cities within cities. Definitely all electric or foot traffic. That being the drive (heh heh), being able to walk to school (continuing mature age education), walk to work, work to all government services, walk to medical services (if you are still capable of walking), walk to restaurants, walk to shopping, in fact everythi

              • by phayes ( 202222 )

                The dense public transport centers of Paris, New York, & London already have all of that, it is a big part of why they are so expensive and in Paris mortgages are already 20-25 year deals.

                I've been reading about arcologies since the early 70's but have yet to see one.

                Transit spots? Where exactly? Park/ride doesn't work when the suburban density is already high enough that every spot where you'd like to put a parking lot is already lived on.

                • Park/ride doesn't work when the suburban density is already high enough that every spot where you'd like to put a parking lot is already lived on.

                  They build that just the same as other urban buildings, they build up and dig down. The way it is already is that there are huge multilevel parking structures in urban centers, and broad flat ones in the suburbs, and they're both Park & Ride. Urban density actually makes it more efficient.

                  Also, urban construction can be achieved easily. Somebody in a condo doesn't own the whole building, and can't obstruct construction. All it takes is allocating the money to make this happen in a city. Parking can be,

                  • by phayes ( 202222 )

                    Your idea that someone could build above/below existing properties in NYC/London/Paris ignores that property rights for such are entirely different in each. Both London & Paris have height restrictions that rule out building up & building down is generally impossible due to existing infrastructure & the difficulties inherent in building large structures under existing inhabited areas. So, while we could theoretically destroy a bunch of neighbourhoods to build your park/drive infrastructure in ex

                    • No, those are fake problems. Building down is more expensive that building out, but it is not the impossible problem you believe. It is already done around the world. The cost of property is also balanced by the cost of parking; parking is more expensive in places where land is more expensive. And you don't destroy neighborhoods, buildings do indeed go up and down on a regular bases in cities, and many cities require the inclusion of parking in new construction.

                      The financial challenges are fake, because the

              • Yeah, I hear local tinfoil hatters talking about wanting to use zoning laws to create neighborhood zones like you describe. Locally there is no support, but I assume there are people around the world with the same idea. I don't say they're tinfoil hatters for supporting this; that is just the small niche in my community that is discussing "city within city" concepts already. They're nuts in thinking the local community would do that with our zoning laws, but the idea is generally sound. In most places it wi

            • by phayes ( 202222 )

              Given his moniker & his rant, pignouf is a typical member of that small but noisy French class that calls themselves altermondialistes (another worldists). Their screed is a jumble of extreme left (capitalism BAD!) and green/Luddite sentiment (technology BAD!) - imagine the character Jeff Goldblum played in Jurrasic Park with a heavy French accent. The French press is enamored of them which gives them an elevated sense of self worth but they never poll higher than single digits.

              His is the type that want

              • Inacurate but funny description nonetheless. :D
                I don't see myself being anywhere on the one-dimensional political spectrum. Capitalism isn't inherently bad, but it sure is when the only goal is to maximize short term profits. I happen to work in a research center, mostly on renewable energies and building efficiency. So I love and embrace new technologies, but I also know and accept what they cannot do.
                I don't want to ban all non-electric vehicles in Paris, but since there will be a time soon when it won't

            • Oil is dirty and it sucks and other things are already cheaper. There is no need for a weird imagined oil supply catastrophe in order for people to switch to cheaper, cleaner, better fuel sources. That is happening already.

              Would you please enumerate the oh-so-wonderful alternatives?
              http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the... [ucsd.edu]

              • Oil is dirty and it sucks and other things are already cheaper. There is no need for a weird imagined oil supply catastrophe in order for people to switch to cheaper, cleaner, better fuel sources. That is happening already.

                Would you please enumerate the oh-so-wonderful alternatives?
                http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the... [ucsd.edu]

                That's basic [your choice of internet search engine] material. I will enumerate it for you as far as to say, I'm only using the mainstream, top-shelf definition of "other things" in my statement. I am only talking about energy sources that are well known, and where is consensus that they exist, and that they are not oil. If you don't know of any, then start with reputable encyclopedic sources, don't just ask some random person on the internet.

                The funny part, aren't you the same guy who claims in another pos

                • I'm not trolling, I do work in a research center, and you didn't take the time to read the very insightful article I linked to.
                  You can find a list of no less than 20 alternative energy sources, with detailed description and why they all kinda suck in some way when compared to fossil fuels. Please take a look at it before you send me to lmgtfy.

                  • OK, but you're just waving your hands and insisting that a conclusion is correct because your preferred authority (a blog by Tom Murphy hosted at a .edu domain) wrote some words. But it is actually just a chart listing options. And it is entirely circular to claim that because somebody enumerated options, and has columns containing cons, that therefore there are no alternatives that are viable. It is total nonsense, even if it was what your authority is trying to teach you.

                    Also, you're conflating different

                    • Thanks a lot for your detailed answer.
                      I agree that the matrix I linked to is not entirely objective.
                      To me, it boils down to :
                      * oil has a huge energy density compared to pretty much everything except nuclear power
                      * oil is really cheap
                      * oil is easy to extract, easy to transport and easy to store
                      This is what makes oil so addictive to our society.
                      No other alternative come close when you take those 3 points into account.

                      You talk a lot about demonstrations, and say we would just need to sc

            • Also, why "forget" about electric vehicles for [lots of people]? Just some hand-waving to avoid thinking about obvious solutions?
              Perhaps nobody told you that France is a world leader in nuclear power?

              Nuclear power doesn't look too good in France : the new EPR plant is a botched job in 3 different countries, old unsecure powerplants are still running, young engineers aren't interested to work in this field and Areva probably will have to layoff many employees.
              Cars need a fuckton of energy, and if you want to

              • Electric motors are more efficient than ICE, it is silly to think that lack of energy is an impediment.

                And so, let me get this straight, you think because the French nuclear industry is accused of making some mistakes or something, (not clicking your link, if you want to be taken seriously link to BBC or similar, otherwise you'll have to paraphrase the specific claims you want to recycle) well that is just daft. Are French power stations melting down or something? [checks news] Nope, everything is normal on

                • The website I linked to is from Jean-Marc Jancovici (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Marc_Jancovici), probably one of the most knowledgeable engineers on peak oil and climate change. I agree that his website looks like shit, but it's because it's vintage, and he's too busy writing books, talking at COP21 or working at the shift project (no link because you wouldn't bother to read it) to update the design.
                  For any question related to energy, I'd expect his insight to be at least as valuable and accurate th

            • Yeah, but it was just a bunch of whiny lowbrow faux-environmentalist propaganda. Oil is dirty and it sucks and other things are already cheaper. There is no need for a weird imagined oil supply catastrophe in order for people to switch to cheaper, cleaner, better fuel sources. That is happening already.

              The transition is happening already because of concern over peak oil. If those environmentalists you deride had not existed, we'd still be careening towards the cliff in our 8 MPG V8 land-yacht Buicks.

              • Uhm, no, clue up man. You think power stations choose other technologies because of hippies?! Nice sentiment, but no. Things are not changing because environmentalists won some argument. Power sources are changing because the people making the choices are business people. If you have basic business training then the whole "peak oil" nonsense is obviously nonsense, because they were never the bumbling idiots that greens presume business people must be. They might have different values, and simply not care ab

      • No need to appeal to "car culture" for an answer, when we don't have the population density to replicate the problems. We have problems with traffic more than with air pollution from cars. Only a few US cities have significant auto-sourced air pollution. Vehicles here are also newer on average, and have mandatory emissions controls that only a minority of companies were cheating on. Luckily European cars aren't very popular here, so we don't have the high percent of vehicles with fraudulent emissions rating

      • I'd hope that electric vehicles are exempt, although it's likely their numbers are so small as to not really be much of a factor. I'm really hoping that some serious strides are made in bringing more inexpensive and reasonable performing electric cars to market.

        It'd probably have the same effect on electric cars as California's making it's multi-passenger lanes also alternate-fuel/hybrid lanes. You had people buying luxury hybrids because it was like a lane pass instead of for it's fuel efficiency.

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @03:57AM (#51066125)
    This already backfired in Singapore and the result was that lots of people went out and got a crappy second car; a crappy car that polluted even more. Or their kids got a car, or their wife, or they paid a neighbour, or whatever rule was put in front of them people went around around.

    A far better way would be a big bloody toll with every dime spent on good public transport.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      As I recall you need to buy an astronomically-priced permit, of which there is a limited number issued each year, to buy a car in Singapore.
      Maybe that came after earlier efforts to limit traffic failed.

      They also have congestion pricing.

    • Or add a huge tax to gasoline to triple the price and use it to make public transit free.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        and use it to make public transit free.

        Even free public transit doesn't help if it doesn't run near your home or work, or if you have to be to work at night or on Sunday when the buses don't run.

        • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

          "at night or on Sunday when the buses don't run."
          In London you can get around on night-buses and the service is only slightly reduced on a Sunday.

          The more people use the public transport, the more it will be worthwhile to run it to more places more frequently, more of the time.

    • - I couldn't find any information on such a scheme in Singapore.
      - Cars and permits are stupendously high priced in Singapore. Most people can not afford a car let alone two, and almost definitely not their kids.

      I think you may have your countries confused.

      • I think you may have your countries confused.

        I took it as "How does this hoy no circula regime being implemented in an India city compare to hoy no circula regimes already introduced in cities in other countries?"

      • by Threni ( 635302 )

        They did it somewhere, I heard about that too. I'm too lazy to google though, as it's not important.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      That's surprising, because cars are extremely expensive in Singapore. It seems like only the rich could afford to do that.

      It has worked well in other places, like Paris. One of the key aspects that isn't mentioned is that zero emission vehicles are exempt. You can drive an EV in whenever you like, which encourages people to buy and drive EVs and encourages companies to offer staff charging.

  • In the US many families have more than one car. Laws like this might encourage Delhi residents to try and get another car to work around this restriction.

    The city should have also exempted electric cars. people may not own them in significant numbers, but it would certainly encourage them to.

    • My guess as to why not to exempt electric cars is twofold. For one thing, EVs do not decrease pollution but instead shift it to coal power plants, though that might not apply quite as much if India goes solar. For another, EVs still increase the number of cars on the road, which causes legacy cars to have to idle at intersections just as long.

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        I know that when I lived in Germany that even though I owned a car I still took the bus most of the time. For one thing it was usually almost as fast as using my car and the major reason was that the parking there was so fucked up. If I drove I usually wound up walking further than I would if I had taken the bus. My car saw most of it's use in runs down the autobahn to another city. Even there I sometimes used the train.

  • I don't remember when Athens started this, but I think it was about 25 years ago. Other places have too. some suggest it doesn't work [theguardian.com] in the long term.
  • How do they hope to enforce this in a country where road rules are effectively optional? Or will the enforcement agencies magically care about this rule?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    2016 : Odd days: 168 Even days: 152 Difference: 16
    2017 : Odd days: 167 Even days: 151 Difference: 16
    2018 : Odd days: 165 Even days: 151 Difference: 14
    2019 : Odd days: 164 Even days: 149 Difference: 15
    2020 : Odd days: 166 Even days: 151 Difference: 15
    2021 : Odd days: 166 Even days: 150 Difference: 16
    2022 : Odd days: 168 Even days: 153 Difference: 15
    2023 : Odd days: 167 Even days: 151 Difference: 16
    2024 : Odd days: 163 Even days: 149 Difference: 14
    2025 : Odd days: 169 Ev

    • It's odd that you even know that.

    • I don't see anything in the article that says odd-numbered plates would be allowed only in odd-numbered days, or even-numbered plates on even-numbered days. All it says is "that vehicles with odd and even number plates would be allowed on alternate days only from January 1, 2016".

      A common way of implementing the odd-even scheme is to divide the week into six days, with Monday as the first day and Saturday as the sixth day. This makes for three odd-numbered days and three even-numbered days. The seventh day

    • I have vanity plates with letters but no numbers.

  • In the US, we still have clowns who think pollution is not important. Industry acts as if it as a right to pollute. Coal burning needs to be banned 100%. Jobs mean absolutely nothing if your lungs are gone or cancer is dragging you into the dirt. Worse yet there are notions similar to what occurs in Paris. There is the air is still and the pollution remains local Paris takes measures to shut down automobiles etc.. But if the wind is blowing and that pollution is spread over a much wider area of
  • To Fight Pollution, New Delhi Restricts When Residents Can Drive

    If you've ever driven in New Delhi, or even any major city with a significant East Asian population, you're keenly aware that the real issue isn't when they drive, but whether any sane government would allow them to drive.

  • I've seen some video clips. If you want to restrict people driving to certain designated times, how about starting with driving just when the lights are green?

  • To be pedantic - the government of Delhi is planning to impose this rule on the whole city of 21million which is Delhi, not only on the part of it that is New Delhi.
  • This might be useful in the short term. In the long term, India might want to consider putting an electric-car infrastructure in place. By that, I mean taxing gasoline to raise funds for more electric generation plants, installation of electric charging facilities, etc. Once the infrastructure is in place, or starts to be in place, offer discounted charging for electric vehicles.

    Combine carrot and stick so that the carrot corresponds to the pain points caused by the stick.

  • Free public transportation can curb air pollution;

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