Worst air quality in all of Lombardy, skyrocketing traffic in Milan and fine dust over the threshold. This, according to Legambiente, is the situation at the regional level at the beginning of autumn, when, thanks to a dry climate, in October the pollution levels are well beyond the tolerance limit.
In the Lombard capital, in particular, the fateful 35 days a year have already exceeded the concentration limit of fine dust, granted by European legislation. The overcoming, recorded on Wednesday 27 October at the same time by the control units in Viale Marche and Senato in Milan, is of great concern as we still have much of autumn and the beginning of winter ahead of us, notoriously periods with a very high risk of smog.
Unfortunately, the situation in the rest of Lombardy is no better: in Cremona the days of poisoned air are already 49, in Lodi and Brescia 42, in Mantua 41 and in Pavia 39 (see table 1). A picture that testifies to the growing burden on pollution of emissions related to intensive farming, in one of the areas with the greatest concentration of stables on the entire European continent.
Traffic up 19% in Milan
According to the TomTom Traffic Index, the real-time survey measured for road navigation based on a 30-minute shift in Milan, if in the first half of 2021 the level of clogging of the roads was much lower than the average, after the summer there was a strong increase in congestion compared to the pre-covid period. In the week preceding the current overrun of the smog indices detected by the Arpa control units, from 18 to 24 October, the Milanese traffic has in fact increased, compared to the same period of 2019, recording congestion levels higher on average by + 19% and times of travel in the city up to 15 minutes longer than in pre-covid.
Against pollution, more public transport, bikes and smart working
“To get out of this dangerous traffic jam we need to regain confidence in collective transport – says Barbara Meggetto, president of Legambiente Lombardia -. Tpl is still underused compared to pre-covid levels, despite it is clear that public transport is not places of significant contagion. as many studies now certify. It is necessary to restore to citizens the confidence in the public transport they had before the pandemic and continue to support smart working “.
“For many large Lombard cities, the administrations are fresh from settling – continues Meggetto – it is the best time to set up tight programs to encourage citizens to use the bicycle for daily travel. The bicycle is the great protagonist of change in European metropolises. who wanted to fight trafficking. The heavy sentences inflicted on Italy by the European Court for the systematic violations of the limits of pollutants in the atmosphere must make us reflect on the ability to exploit the resources we have today, starting with those of the NRP , to prevent their effects on urban livability from disappearing in a cloud of smog “.