New Prague streetcars reverse noise pollution
An overlooked benefit of streetcars is the reduction in noise pollution associated with bus and car traffic. In fact, some pedestrians in Prague say the newest streetcars from Skoda are too quiet!
An article from iDnes, a Czech news portal, describes the experiences of operators of the new 15T streetcars built by Skoda for the Czech capital's tram system. Operators of the new streetcars have to be alert to pedestrians who may not hear them approach.
Other improvements include cruise control and the addition of an engine for each wheel. Operators can also now control engines for each wheel, sometimes shutting off up to 16 engines based on the presence of hills.
The District owns three Skoda-Inekon 12-Trio streetcars, currently parked at Metro's Greenbelt yard. They were built by a joint venture between Skoda and Inekon, another Czech streetcar manufacturer. The joint venture dissolved around the time DC's streetcars were being constructed, and the 15T is the latest model introduced by Skoda while Inekon has not produced any subsequent models. Riga, Latvia has also purchased the Skoda 15T streetcars.
Any vehicle powered by an on-board internal combustion engine generates more noise than one powered by electricity, be it from a battery or from an overhead or underground wire. Modern streetcars are even quieter than the trolleys that were commonplace in the early and mid 20th century.
Buses are the source of DC residents' particularly frequent traffic noise complaints. As streetcars being operation in DC and replacing buses on the busiest routes, the benefit to the quality of our daily lives and the enjoyability of our urban spaces will be significant. Newer streetcar models will further boost the mode's advantage.
Now if only there were a way to push emergency vehicles speedily through traffic without sirens...
- 9 things people always say at zoning hearings, illustrated by cats
- What if Montgomery County gave BRT a temporary test run?
- The Northeast Corridor carries more rail passengers than anywhere else in the country. What could it look like in 2040?
- The National Zoo has clarified its safety concerns. Turns out you're the problem.
- Montgomery will go ahead with BRT, but at what cost?
- Twenty-five gorgeous but non-famous US train stations
- Zig zag road stripes can get drivers to pay more attention