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Nearly two-thirds of Vienna under 30 km/hr speed limit

The number of areas in Vienna where a 30 km/hr speed limit has been imposed has substantially increased in recent years, with 58 percent of the capital's streets now covered.

This amounts to 1624 km of the city's roads being covered, a significant change from the 33 km in 1987. The 1990s saw an expansion of the area covered by the speed limit but it did not changed dramatically in the following decade and in 2010 around 1500 km in the city were under the 30 km/hr limit.

Following the Green party seats gained in the capital in 2010, there was once again a large wave in speed reductions in a bid from the environmentally focused party to calm traffic, reduce accidents and decrease air and noise pollution. The programme was further supported by measures to improve traffic policy introduced by the SPOe party.

However head of Vehicle Technnology at automobile club OeAMTC, argues that it would be more efficient to optimise the flow of traffic as driving at 30 km/ hr requires cars to constantly turn, brake and restart. He also argues that the difference in noise between driving at 30 km/hr and 50 km/hr is barely discernible.

The city is now planning to take stock of what has been done so far and look for areas for improvement, although Mayor Maria Vassilakou has said the programme is "substantially completed."

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