Terrible traffic in cities around the world is a real blight on urban life. Increasingly, there are many cities where you simply don’t want to have to go anywhere by car during morning and evening rush hours.
Recently, we talked about the problems New York’s native turtles have during their mating season as they cross roads and highways seeking places to lay their eggs. The state Department of Environmental Conservation even issued recommendations for how people can help turtles avoid getting crunched by cars.
New York is home to 11 native species of land turtles. Many of the species can’t breed until age 10 and then they lay just one small clutch of eggs each year by digging in a suitable patch of sandy soil. As a result, breeding females are at a premium for the welfare of the species. Overall, turtles are on decline in the Empire State.
One of the crowning achievements for wildlife protection in the US was the establishment of the National Wildlife Refuge system in the 1930s, when the populations of waterfowl were perilously low. Refuges provided breeding and migratory habitat that has allowed a remarkable recovery of many species of ducks and geese.
France’s roadways are known both for their historic cobblestone streets and infamous traffic jams. But French officials recently decided to forgo the traditional brick and pavement in order to capitalize on all the vehicle traffic.
Traffic noise is something nobody likes. We shy away from homes too close to highways and major roads. We soundproof our houses. We build noise abatement walls.
Anyone who has walked the streets of New York City or Washington, D.C. on a stifling summer day can attest to the fact that cities feel hotter. It’s not a matter of perception.