Diesel cars soon banned in the city?
A German eco-activist group sues the city of Wiesbaden to push a ban of diesel cars. The local green party fights against the ban.
The city of Wiesbaden, Germany as we know it today was mostly designed and build around the year 1850. Back then people mostly commuted on coaches, horsebacks or by simply walking to work. Roads were planned quite narrow to use every bit of space for buildings, noone planned for anything like traffic lights and busy junctions and there was no need for "parking" as you tied your horse to whatever came in handy anyway. This however is a problem for city planners in 2016.
A historic city map of Wiesbaden, Germany
More and more people have to commute to Wiesbaden every day and most people do so by car. This is mostly due to the city running out of living space, rises of renting fees and the amount of companies settling in the state capital of Hessen. Since buildings can't be moved out of the way the modern city is still stuck with a road layout designed almost 200 years ago. This fact and the need for bigger, better designed roads causes traffic jams throughout the city on a daily basis.
One of the typical Wiesbaden traffic jams
Now however someone is taking action: The eco-activists of the DUH (Deutsche Umwelthilfe). Unfortunitely. Just remember: When it comes to city planning and car issues, eco-activists are NOT your number one adress to go to. The DUH (note: The same people who started to - without any evidence - blame every german automotive company of faking emission tests after VW was caught doing so) are now on a rant against diesel cars. Claiming that Wiesbaden will not meet the nitric oxide emission goals set for the future they are now sueing the city to ban all of the diesel cars. Even the local green party (= eco-friendly party) is against the ban. Since every third car in Germany is a diesel, this ban would cause a wide spread outrage. But the DUH doesn't stop there.
Wiesbadens closest neighbour, the city of Mainz has recently been sued by the DUH as well - again trying to push a diesel ban. However, since it has been proven that most emissions are due to cars simply stuck in traffic, fully stationary for minutes in a row the only reasonable way to cut down on emissions is to get the traffic flowing again. By making the roads wider and faster. Building more and new roads for the traffic and not sticking with a city planning from a time where cars were not a thing. Because cars are a thing and banning them is not a solution.