On January 31st, 2010, Milan and a few neighbor areas declared a total traffic ban to reduce air pollution. Since such measures are already used in other countries or may be adopted in the coming years, the protests and questions raised in that occasion are useful to think about the real usefulness of traffic bans in general.
Some days ago I heard a radio interview to workers and Union representatives of the FIAT car manufacturing plant in Termini Imerese, Sicily. FIAT management announced this year that they plan to stop car production in that plant by the end of 2011, because it is not convenient anymore. The thing that impressed me the most in the interviews were people declaring that “in Italy we produce too few cars!” and that car production in Termini Imerese can and must continue with the same, no, with higher volumes than today, period. There was no doubt about this.