Identify a cycling or walking measure that you want to lobby for in your city. Are you ready to start influencing your decision makers?
We have already started to lobby for improvement of cycling infrastructure.
- Is there a problem to be fixed?
Every year number of registered vehicles is increasing and that causes the high demand for parking space, especially in the city centre which is main zone of attraction. There is no good quality sustainable mode option for private car replacement, so we have to work on improvements of other modes of transport. One of the option for the solution of the problem is the improvement in cycling infrastructure (establishment of cycle lanes and bike parking). Considering the city size, climate conditions and landscape the bike is very convenient solution.
2. What is your policy solution?
During the SUMP development process, we have conducted the survey among citizens, and one of the question was in order to realize why do they not use a bike as a mode of transport . We got several answers, but the majority said that they don't cycle because they don't feel safe, there are many cars and no bike lanes.
We have 2 bike paths in the city (on North part and on South), so our first step in process of solving the problem of congestion and traffic safety is to connect these existing 2 bike paths with bike lanes that will go throgh the city centre.
This route is useful for locals, but it can be interesting for the tourists, because it's a part of the EuroVelo 11.
In order to achive this it is necessary to remove on street parking places and make some changes in parking policy. In order to find the answer to the high demand for parking place, the idea is to construct the public garages on the outskirt of the city centre. One public garage is constructed this year, but citizens don't have the habit to use it, although some onstreet parkings were removed. The urban plan for construction of the second public garage is adopted this year and the funds for land preparation are reserved in the city budget.
The funds for development of design documentation for this bike lane are reserved in the the next year city budget. And we are working on establishment of bike share system.
3. What is the current state of political support?
The politicians are aware of the congestion problem and the problem of high demand for parking spaces, but their first opinion for this situation is that pedestrians are the cause of the problem. Firstly they thought only about cars. But this attitude starts to change towards sustainable solutions thanks to the ethusiasm and persistence of a few of us. Organization of the various activities about sustainable mobility e.g. European Mobility Week, helped in lobbying and increased the visibility in media and public attention about this topic. Great acceptance of the organized activities among citizens and positive feedback was the good argument in discussion with decision makers. The change in traffic organization is not an easy task and politicians will not accept to vote for some new measure easily. So it is necessary to prepare strong arguments and positive results in order to get political support. It's time consuming but it's important to go step by step.
4. Reviewing the three conditions above: Is my city ready? If not, what do we need to fix?
We need to continue the promotion of sustainable urban mobility, to start the implementation of SUMP and to find the funds for measures. Realization a small improvements at first, in order to avoid mistakes, so that "old paradigm mind set" shifts forward "new paradigm mind set".