by Brenda Baletti, Ph.D. at the Defender
The “15-minute city” made headlines this month, spurred by controversy over plans by the U.K.’s Oxfordshire County Council to pilot “traffic filters” to reduce car use as part of the city of Oxford’s 2040 development strategy.
Under the filter plan, Oxfordshire will be divided into six districts. Beginning in 2024, residents will be able to drive within their neighborhoods, but license plate recognition cameras will fine private cars £70 for passing a filter without a permit. Vehicles such as bikes and public transportation will be exempt.
Residents can apply for a permit to drive through the filters up to 100 days per year, and residents living outside the zones can apply for a permit for up to 25 times per year. The filters will be in effect daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The county council said the plan is not meant to coerce residents into staying in their neighborhoods, but rather to address traffic congestion by “making walking, cycling, public and shared transport the natural first choice.”
Critics of the plan garnered thousands of signatures…Continue Reading