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How To Effectively Promote Green Travel In European Cities?

  • Author:Murphy Qin
  • Release on:2021-06-10

In cities where travel distances are generally short, there is huge potential to encourage citizens to increase their use of walking and cycling. For example, Londoners could instead walk (within 2km) nearly 2.4 million motor (car, motorbike, taxi or public transport) trips a day. Most people walk 40 per cent of their journeys in less than 10 minutes. A study found an additional 1.2 million motor journeys, some of which could be made on foot (such as driving a car or taking a bus to and from a train station).


Therefore, to realise this potential, walking and cycling infrastructure should be invested. But some government policymakers often worry that adding walking and cycling infrastructure to cities will increase congestion. However, several case studies published by the European FLOW project show that putting in a walking or cycling infrastructure actually reduces traffic congestion. Strasbourg, for example, has cut bus travel times by 40% by improving its pedestrian infrastructure.


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There are a number of measures that cities can take to encourage walking and cycling and to ensure that these modes of transport are safe.


Sustainable Transport Planning


In order to plan a city's walking and biking transportation uniformly and to align walking and biking travel strategies with the city's overall transportation strategy, cities must develop specific plans or strategies for walking and biking transportation. These planning documents can form part of the Sustainable Urban Transport Planning (SUMP).


Krakow was the first city in Poland to adopt a sustainable transport policy in 1993, with the aim of making better use of space and treating different modes of transport equally. In this context, the city of Krakow is divided into three zones (Zone A, Zone B and Zone C). Zone A is restricted to walking and cycling only, Zone B is restricted to motor vehicles, and Zone C is mainly used for car travel. An important goal of all regions is to reduce the need for citizens to travel and improve the accessibility of the city.As a result, the city of Krakow has adopted voice message systems for traffic signals, stone ramps for sidewalks at road junctions, and elevators at large multi-story intersections. Some sidewalks have been added for the blind to remind them of nearby intersections. Improved infrastructure benefits not only those with limited mobility, but all users.


The Swiss city of Basel has put walking and cycling at the heart of its sustainable urban transport plan. A strategic document foresees a series of measures to improve infrastructure and raise public awareness. The most obvious measures include building a bicycle and pedestrian overpass at a dangerous cross-road junction, providing more bike parking at major public transport hubs, and organising personalized transport planning campaigns.


For walking and cycling transport infrastructure, it is important to provide spacious, comfortable, safe and well maintained sidewalks and non-motorized lanes.Providing adequate bike parking solutions is crucial to promoting bike travel in cities and building links with public transport, even allowing citizens to walk after cycling to the city centre.Many European cities are investing more in bike-parking facilities and even building large ones as needed.

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The innovative design of bicycle parking infrastructure is a feature of many European cities.


Promote walking and cycling with new toolsThe use of mobile apps and other electronic devices can help cities mobilize communities and encourage more people to walk and cycle.Walking and cycling are not just for children. Brussels has embraced cycling as a way of getting around by raising awareness through campaigns such as "Bike Commutes" or "Bike Experiences". In addition, Brussels has expanded its central pedestrian zone to 50 hectares, making it the second largest pedestrian zone in Europe, to encourage people to walk.