Challenge 4: Increase in the number of cars
Traffic congestion is the problem that all Lviv citizens relate to. The users of private motor vehicles spend increasingly more time in traffic congestion. Public transport passengers in peak hours not only stay in the traffic jams but also travel in overcrowded vehicles. Persons who walk and go by bicycle also suffer from highly polluted air and noise.
96% of air pollution in Lviv comes from the exhaust gases from motor vehicles.
Since income levels of most citizens are still relatively low, the number of cars in Lviv is not big compared to most European cities, both in terms of owning and driving the car. Presently, only 23% of trips in Lviv are made by private cars. According to the 2017 data, in Warsaw, the number was 32%, in Berlin- 33%, in Vilnius – 50%.
General comparative data about cities
* average annual rate (2018): position in the world in TomTom ranking, and traffic index (additional time to cover the distance). Source
For example, in Zurich, you need to spend +31% of additional time on average to take usual distances:
if the trip on an “empty road” takes 30 min, the +31% makes ~ 40 min. Average traffic congestion time is 9-10 min. With the increased number of cars in the traffic, the congestion time grows. The goal is to achieve the lowest possible car usage in the city’s modal split (see Tabl.: modal split) to reduce the traffic congestion, emissions, road accidents, etc.
The most “congested” cities in Europe in 2018:
Moscow (1), Istanbul, Bucharest, St. Petersburg, Kyiv(5), Dublin, Lodz, Novosibirsk, Krakow, Edinburg, Athens(10), Rome – traffic congestion index in these cities is from +39% (Athens) to +56% (Moscow). Kyiv was the fifth most congested European city, and 13th most congested city in the world, with the index +46% (2018).
Modal Split / Mode share
Modal share is an important component in the development of sustainable mobility within a city or region. In recent years, many cities have set traffic rates for balanced and sustainable modes of transport, such as 30% for non-motorized (cycling and walking) and at least 30% for public transport. These goals reflect the desire to change the mode or change the modal share, and usually include an increase in the proportion of trips made by using sustainable modes (PT, cycling, walking).
The higher is the share of cars in the modal split of a city, the higher are the traffic congestion levels, hazardous emissions, road accidents, etc.
Why modal split is so important?
Unexpectedly, but true: the behavior of mobility is generally the same – on average, all people spend about 1-1.5 hours a day on their travels, and make about 3-4 trips – regardless of where they live and what are their cultural customs. The only big difference is the type of transport they use for their movements. And here is what mobility management is: how to manage the choice of the type of movement effectively and with a positive result for the person, for the city, for the economy and for the planet. And the modal split is a key indicator for the results of this management.
The average travel time for all modes except the car remains almost stable. In recent decades, only the average length of urban car travel has increased. Thus, the goal is to change the type of movement by choosing more sustainable and efficient modes within the city.
Nevertheless, even with this moderate number of trips, the city center within the 3 km radius is overcrowded with cars during morning peak hours (8:00 – 9:30), and in the afternoon until evening (both weekdays and weekend). At the same time, while during the week most people are trying to avoid the transit through the city center by car, this situation is opposite during the weekend.
Decisions of city government to restrict access to individual cars are necessary but very unpopular. Communication with citizens and deputies shall be systematic and comprehensive. It should refer to the argument that traffic calming will automatically create better conditions for public transport, cycling, and walking.