Motorization in Eastern Europe

automobile myths


Czech Republic: 1993: 2,693,905, 1999: 3,439,745 (It grew by 4 to 6 % each year. )

Prague only: 1961: 44, 891… 7% of the current number, 1990: 336,037, 1999: 620,586… 85% more than in 1990


Number of Prague residents exposed to noise above health limits: 50%.

The limits themselves exceed what is bearable without harm, since they are adopted for city environment which is believed to be naturally more noisy.


Nitrous Oxide (NOx) produced in Bohemia and Moravia in 1992: 697 thousand tonnes.

In 1997: 423 thousand tonnes.

Amount of this produced by cars: In 1992: 30% (209, 100 tonnes). In 1997: 56% (236, 880 tonnes). Transport is the only growing source of pollution, and about 90% of the total pollution is caused by road transport (cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, etc. ).


Number of persons killed by automobiles since their invention: 17 million (as of 1991).

Persons killed in all road traffic accidents in the Czech Republic:?1994: 1637.?1999: 1455. In 1999, 334 pedestrians were killed by cars, 548 died in car crashes, and 160 died in accidents caused by alcohol.

Persons injured:?1994: 35,667.?1999: 34,710. In Prague: 74 people died in 1999, 540 were seriously injured, and 3558 lightly injured. Most people get injured in cities (20,398 in 1999).?The number of deaths and injuries is stable is because people are better trained to stay out of the way of cars, that is, they are scared of them and have removed themselves from many of the same spaces (For example, kids don’t play in the street or walk to school because of automobile danger. )

{loadposition content_adsensecontent}

Number of bikes that fit into the space of one car: 18 while parked, 30 when moving.

Number of acres of cars required to move one trainload of people: Four.

Average speed increase of cyclist over pedestrian: 300 to 400%

Amount of energy used by cyclist: 20% of that of a pedestrian.

Walking is great and the Critical Mass supports pedestrians. Anything up to medium distances in cities in always faster on a bike than on public transport. Example: To get from Flora to Podolska Vodarna on the #16 tram takes 20 minutes, and that is assuming there is no wait. A bikeride takes 15 minutes.

The city claims it must build a ring road around the city in order to control traffic in the inner city. This would include three tunnels around the Prague Castle. Cost of these tunnels: 19. 9 billion Kc (City estimate) This is nearly the entire yearly budget of the whole city. 38. 6 billion Kc (SOS Praha estimate)

One of the areas affected by tunnels would be Letenske Namesti in Letna. Number of cars that currently pass through Letenske Namesti every day – about 32, 000. in 2015 (City estimate) – on the surface 54, 000 plus through the tunnel – 111, 600.

Percentage increase in cars passing through Letenske Namesti area from now til 2015 if Prague Town Hall traffic experts get their way: Over 500%!

Completition of the whole system of roads according to the Town Hall traffic experts: 105 billion Kc.

Coalition SOS Praha estimate: More than 200 billion Kc. Source: Coalition SOS Praha, which is comprised of over 40 NGO’s.

The Prague Cyklo Jizda (aka Critical Mass) meets at Jiriho z Podebrad at 5:30pm on the third Thursday of every month and leaves at 6pm. So 6/21, 7/19, 8/16, etc.

For more information:
Car Busters: +02/74 81 08 49,
[email protected],
Center for Transportation and Energy: +02/74 81 65 71,
[email protected],
Critical Mass Worldwide Website: or