The advance of motorized traffic has brought our attention to its disadvantages. Noise and exhaust gases do not just annoy people, they threaten human health and welfare. This book reports the scarcely available measurements of emissions to which adverse health effects are attributed. From these data it appears that although hardly any particular health effect can be scientifically proven to be caused by road traffic combined these effects strongly indicate that public health is endangered and action should be taken. The 1950-1980 efforts by the US government to formulate exhaust standards for cars are used to illustrate the political difficulties inherent in such undertaking.
From a Tyrolean perspective
Since the second World War there has been an increasing number of vehicles in Europe. This development was initially welcomed as a sign of welfare and progress; it allowed people to go beyond their traditional boundaries. Since the 70s the reactions were not only positive. The side-effects of the volume of cars and trucks became more and more apparent. Politicians were urged to take appropriate measures which proved to be far from easy. This study wants to explore some of the dimensions of the problems as experienced by many people in Tyrol, Austria. The result of it is a precondition for any form of efficient action. Attention has been paid to through-going traffic, to free-time (tourist) traffic, and to the difficulties to stick to the preventive decisions.
The dynamics of the writing of a proposal
In September 1983 a new «Center for the Study of Language and Information» started at Stanford University. This has become an established institution in the field of linguistics. It originated from a proposal presented to a Californian foundation by several scientists interested in computational linguistics. This book first describes how the writing group came into being, and then how the members of this group worked out in common a proposal which was successful. Their different institutional and disciplinary backgrounds forced them to negotiate. These interactions - with their dynamics - are the main topic of this study which is based on analyses of many preparatory texts and electronic mail exchanges, as well as on extensive interviews with almost all of the participants.
Land transportation has become a major political issue. The book surveys the problems and the measures taken. It discusses the costs caused by traffic for which it does not pay. Additional measures also have to be taken to reduce the negative impacts. Intermodal transport, denser traffic, and peak or congestion pricing are being discussed. All these initiatives can not solve the mounting problems. The amount of miles traveled will have to be reduced. Alternatives will have to be promoted such as better public transport, and the transfer of freight from road to train. Even our style of living will have to be changed. The second part discusses the actual measures taken by such countries as the United States, Switzerland, and the European Union. This survey covers the whole spectrum of initiatives taken or planned. At the end, some fundamental issues will be raised.