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Odd & Even numbered license plates & Parking in Cities

In Athens, Greece, because of heavy pollution, the Greek government warrants that on certain days of the week, only even numbered cars, and on other days, odd numbered cars can ply. Are there such practices in other Cities/countries?

I’ve never heard of this anywhere in the United States. However, during a natural disaster, there’s occasionally a similar rule about who can buy gas.

Never heard anything like that either in the US.

The closest thing is many cities have Odd-Even parking. But that only applies to the side of the street you can park on. One even days you park on one side of the week…odd days you can park on the other. This is mainly due to the narrow streets and making sure the plows can get through.

I have never seen this here in the US. I lived and worked in Mexico City for a year when they had the odd/even drive days. During the work week, cars with odd plates could only drive into the city on odd date days, and vice versa. Rich people bought two cars with odd/even plate numbers. It did nothing to combat the pollution and traffic congestion problems.

I never noticed that but then went everywhere by bus. Around here we just have odd even lawn watering but no bad idea will go unnoticed for the city council so I’ll hold my breath.

Yes, that is or was true in the Athens area. It was explained to me by a taxi driver there several years ago, when the economy there was still booming and before their economy collapsed. I was there in 2004 or 2005.

We here have pretty comprehensive emissions standards and controls, for good reason. Cars are a dirty filthy mess for the environment and air quality. Athens is a large, bustling city, and with the booming economy even the poorer people could afford cars. Due to overcrowding traffic, parking scarcity, and increasing air pollution, the government enacted a law that even-numbered cars could drive on even days, and likewise odd cars. You’d think that this would immediately cut pollution and traffic in half.

Instead, car dealers, free-wheeeling banks, and an over-exhuberant economy conspired to thwart the effort. Anyone who could remotely afford to simply bought another car and gamed the licensing system to have a car to drive every day. So now there were twice as many cars and just as much or more pollution.

I don’t think Mexico City has had odd/even days for some time. Each plate, based on first or last number, I forget, has a day a week it can’t be driven. Odd/even would not be driven half the time and this is not the case.

If smog levels go up, that number gets a second day

Also out of town cars can’t be driven on weekdays before 11 am to keep out of town folks from commuting with their cars. But, the numbers rules do apply for everyone, including tourists.

And, in case of a very high smog day, there are extra no-drive days. Usually on week-ends most can be driven, but in the case of very high smog Saturdays, Sunday can also be a no-drive day.

The problem is someone coming in from the North probably doesn’t have anyway to know the high smog or 2 days no drive. So, we usually do not recommend tourists even consider driving into the Valley of Mexico, which is much bigger than Mexico City itself.

Note that violations can run at least $700 USD fines plus towing costs and you have to give up your car until you find where it’s at the next day and pay the fine.

Don’t even think of driving into Mexico City. Bus service is simply too good in Mexico. Taxis are cheap in Mexico City. My wife took one this afternoon from the East bus station, called TAPO, to our house, and it cost like $8 for probably half an hour drive.

You can also hire a driver for all day at what would be bargain price in the US.