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Build more Roads to Go, Green,

The Problem

Idling cars in traffic are a significant contributor to higher carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. When vehicles are stationary, but their engines are running, they continue to burn fuel inefficiently, releasing pollutants and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This idling phenomenon, often encountered in congested urban areas or during peak travel times, has several negative effects on both the environment and human health.

First and foremost, idling cars emit CO2, which is a primary greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. The combustion of fossil fuels in vehicle engines produces carbon dioxide as a byproduct. When cars remain stationary in traffic and their engines idle for extended periods, the fuel consumption per mile decreases significantly, leading to a higher emission rate of CO2. As more vehicles contribute to traffic congestion, the cumulative impact of idling cars on CO2 emissions becomes increasingly substantial.

Moreover, idling cars not only release CO2 but also emit other harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These pollutants have detrimental effects on air quality and human health. NOx contributes to the formation of smog and acid rain and is associated with respiratory problems. Particulate matter, consisting of tiny particles suspended in the air, can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause or exacerbate respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. VOCs are known to contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, another air pollutant that can harm human health.

In addition to the environmental and health impacts, idling cars waste precious energy resources. When vehicles are stationary and engines idle, they consume fuel without effectively utilizing it to propel the vehicle forward. This wasteful consumption of fuel not only increases CO2 emissions but also contributes to the depletion of finite fossil fuel reserves. It is an inefficient use of resources that could be minimized by adopting strategies to reduce traffic congestion and promote more efficient transportation systems.

Exacerbation of the Problem: Bike Lanes

When car lanes are reallocated for bike lanes, there can be concerns about the potential negative impact on the environment due to increased congestion and higher CO2 emissions.  Reducing car lanes will slowdown of traffic flow, which leads to congestion on the roads.

It\’s important to note that implementing bike lanes should not be done on the whims of politicians or an overly aggressive lobby. Careful consideration should be given to the specific needs and characteristics of each city, including traffic patterns, infrastructure, and community input. Bike lanes are seldom used by bikers on major thoroughfares.  Studies conducted by various organizations came to the conclusion that bike lanes on major thoroughfares or in large urban environments lead to more accidents between bikers and pedestrians, as well as bikers and cars. 

Bike lanes are counterproductive to they lead to high traffic congestion because the elimination of a car lane doesn’t magically take the cars off the road it, it takes three lanes of traffic and puts into 2 lanes of traffic, which leads to higher CO2 emissions.

We all want a clean environment, but our policies need to be well thought out and not knee-jerk reactions to the flavor of the week.  Taking people out of cars isn’t going to happen, the American love affair with the automobile is a love affair with Freedom.

In conclusion, a balanced approach that includes responsible road expansion and the construction of bike lanes on major thoroughfares, combined with investment in public transportation and smart traffic management, can help reduce congestion, promote sustainable transportation, and lower CO2 emissions.

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