Air qualityAir Quality Now. One-hour average PM10 concentration
123 µg/m3 (godzina 21:00)
89 µg/m3 (godzina 24:00)
62 µg/m3 (godzina 23:00)
A very important source of air pollution in Krakow is transport, i.e. the gases emitted by various types of vehicles. Cars contribute to excessive concentrations of particulate matter and are a major source of nitrogen dioxide emissions. Krakow is one of three Polish cities, where concentrations of NO2 are exceeded.
Car pollution has a very serious impact on the health of residents, which can only partly be estimated in the form of medical expenses, the cost of absenteeism in the workplace, etc. However, even those costs are not taken into account in the discussion on the directions of the development of transport urban and urban transport infrastructure.
When it comes to solutions that are available today the absolute priority for the city authorities should be public transport. The city should by all means encourage to use the common transport by lowering ticket prices, improving the quality and quantity of rolling stock, creating special bus lanes and constructing new bus routes and tram lines, especially to places where collective transport does not reach. It is worth noting that even a generous grant for Municipal Transport Company (MPK) is ultimately a very cost effective for the city and any calculation which don't take into account the above-mentioned hidden costs of air pollution should not take place.
Activities such as extension of paid parking zones in the city center, promotion of car-pooling, introduction of one-way traffic around Planty area, or expansion of cycling infrastructure are also useful and desirable.
It is also important to control the vehicles on the streets of Krakow. Elimination of those that do not meet the currently applicable in Poland (very mild) emission standards would already be a major step toward improving air quality. A similar , though more difficult solution, is to limit the entry to the city center for cars that do not meet appropriate emission standards (like it was introduced in several German and Austrian cities). The effectiveness of both of these proposals requires the efficient action by the municipal police , as well as purchasing the right equipment (cameras, measuring devices).
Finally, an extremely important task is to complete the construction of the northern bypass for Krakow and the elimination of transit transport through the city.
In conclusion , it is essetial to decrease traffic, because without this move the level of pollution will still maintaian high and will have negative effects Krakovians' health and quality of their life. Krakovians should be discouraged to use cars, giving them in return an attractive alternative - efficient public transport.