69% believe that citizens’ daily behavior would contribute to improving air quality in Sofia

Citizens are ready to actively take part in the measures to be introduced by Sofia Municipality for days with expected or actual peak levels of ambient fine particulate matter, reports a study commissioned by Sofia Municipality and carried out by Alpha Research. The mechanism is one of the hundred measures included in the Programme for improving ambient air quality in Sofia Municipality, which was approved in May 2017.

69% of respondents in the survey understand that the responsibility for ambient air quality is shared by citizens and the municipality and believe that their daily behavior would contribute to improving air quality. Sofia citizens rank vehicle traffic first as the main source of pollution (51%), 24% believe wood and coal heating is a major pollutant, and 19% consider the unregulated burning of waste in some regions a major source of pollution.

According to the survey results, there is high support for the individual measures under the mechanism put forward and to be introduced by Sofia Municipality after it is voted on by the Sofia City Council. The ideas of free city transport (93%) and the introduction of a Green Ticket on days with expected or actual peaks (89%) are supported by most. The possibility for free parking in buffer parking lots (87%) and switching to public transport ranks next. 60% of Sofia citizens support the closing down of Sofia areas for traffic. The ideas for a twofold increase in fees in the Blue Zone and reducing the duration of stay in paid zones meet the lowest rate of approval. Note that both measures were dropped in the final version of the proposal to be voted on by Sofia City Council.

Yesterday the Standing Committee on Environment voted the final version of Sofia Municipality’s response mechanism in the event of actual or projected excess levels of ambient fine particulate matter, and it is to be voted on by Sofia City Council tomorrow. It addresses different versions of excess emissions of fine particulate matter and proposes the introduction of a corresponding set of measures. The measures vary from increasing the frequency of washing, spraying and mechanized sweeping of streets; initiating extra motor vehicle inspections by the Traffic Police; carrying out extra inspections by the Sofia Inspectorate and Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water at scrap stations and car repair shops, to designating buffer parking zones in the right lanes of central entrance roads near city transport stops; restricting entrance in central city areas; limiting parking in parts of the blue and green zones, as well as introducing a daily card for all public city transport lines – Green Ticket at the price of 1 lev.

You can find the complete study of Alpha Research at: http://alpharesearch.bg/bg/socialni_izsledvania/socialni_publikacii/obshtestveni-naglasi-kam-merki-za-preodolyavane-na-problema-sas-zamarseniya-vazduh-v-sofiya.892