On Feb. 18, thousands of people in Oxford, England, took to the streets to protest against traffic filters, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), and 15-minute cities. Video shared on Twitter showed crowds of people of all ages holding signs against traffic filters, LTNs, and 15-minute cities, with one sign reading “Say no to 15-minute cities ghettos.” Thames Valley Police said in a statement that “a series of demonstrations” were held against “low traffic neighbourhoods and proposed traffic filters in the city” and that the protests “concluded with no significant incidents or major disruption.” The Oxfordshire County Council has approved a trial of “traffic filters” that, starting in 2024, will restrict private car drivers’ access between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and impose fines for violations. Additionally, Oxford has imposed three LTNs in 2022 and will impose another six LTNs to blanket the city in 2024. The city has also laid out a “Local Plan 2040” that aligns with the concept of 15-minute cities, where basic amenities should be accessible to residents within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. Protesters argued that the traffic policies are a part and parcel with the 15-minute cities concept, which they say are aimed at restricting people’s movement under the guise of enhancing people’s quality of life and improving air quality. Five people were arrested during the demonstration.
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