Researchers have found a speed “sweet spot”. Emissions per mile are fairly consistent when a car is traveling between 35 and 65 miles per hour, but slower speeds tend to reduce fuel efficiency. Interventions that raise the average speed of a trip during rush hour could have a positive effect on efficiency. Programs such as ramp metering, which reduces stop-and-go on highways, and variable speed limits were shown to reduce emissions by 12 percent per hour during peak LA driving times, in addition to alleviating driver stress. Individual drivers can do their part by trying not to exceed 65mph and avoiding travel during the busiest times of day or on busier routes. Even further, efforts to make cities more walkable or increase the efficiency of public transportation provide healthier options for citizens.
Climate Protection: Reduces emissions by helping to eliminate traffic congestion
Energy & Mobility: Increases fuel efficiency
Health, Well-Being, & Safety: Alleviates frustration from stop-and-go traffic
This post is part of a series on examples of multisolving, or climate-smart policies that simultaneously work to mitigate climate change while providing co-benefits such as the ones described above. The multiple benefits analysis was done using the FLOWER framework.