What would each citizen want? Each citizen wants to have increasing comfort of staying, living and moving in the city. A large share of citizens are moving around the city every day in various directions, with different purposes, and taking different modes of transport.
Everyone finds it very important to reach the destination safely, on time (within expected time), stress free, and in comfortable conditions. At the same time, people always take not only one mode of transport, but rather their combination, even within one transfer.
To illustrate, one could refer to the data of experiments run in order to compare the speed of different mobility modes.
Scheme: Comparing different mobility modes for one route (experiment findings in a vlog by Oleksandr Shutyuk)
In a video, we can see dozens of conflict points between different road users. Some people sacrifice comfort for the sake of speed, while others give up speed for higher comfort. Each and every person believes their transportation is a priority.
Is it possible to create perfect conditions for all?
We do not imply different citizens, but rather different mobility modes.
Comfortable conditions for each mode of transport are different.
For pedestrian mobility, perfect conditions include the sufficient width of the sidewalk, shade and coziness from trees, clean air, no high noise levels, no barriers, possibility to move fast, with no need to slow down to cross the streets, with pedestrian crossings without much mandatory deviation, the arranged comfortable places to have a rest, and with all routes within the same horizontal plane.
For passengers in public transport, perfect conditions would include the high technical condition of the rolling stock, clean and neat vehicles, fast movement without unnecessary delays, expected arrival time, clear schedule, comfortable number of passengers in the compartment, comfortable stops and access ways thereto.
For a cyclist, perfect conditions include safe and barrier-free infrastructure for riding a bicycle that could provide for the fast uninterrupted transfer, possibility to safely store the bicycle throughout the day.
A private motor vehicle driver would require the sufficient number of lanes for uninterrupted movement, no traffic lights and speed calming facilities, high quality and clear road surface marking and signs, as direct routes as possible for fast movement, no other road users, accessible parking slots.
A freight vehicle or a delivery vehicle driver would want the possibility to stop for unloading/uploading the goods as close to the destination as possible (stores, cafés, etc.).
A taxi passenger needs an uninterrupted movement between the points of interest, possibility for pick-up/drop-off in a convenient location.
Each mode of transportation requires different approaches to spatial organization and to infrastructural solutions.
The above listed needs for everyone clearly illustrate that it is unfeasible to satisfy everyone with perfect conditions within the urban fabric.
Further directions to develop the city shall be prioritized. Each infrastructure shall be consistent and meet the stated principles and priorities.
Presently, Lviv is at the crossroads. On the one hand, the city extends the cycling infrastructure (Kniahyni Olhy, Sykhivska, Chornovola streets, bicycle lane to Briukhovychi), and develops public spaces (Rudanskoho, public spaces at Vernadskoho, Hasheka streets), upgrades public transport (in 2017–2019, the city procured 150 buses, 50 trolleybuses, 30 used trams from Berlin, ten more new low-floor 5-section trams are coming). On the other hand, other projects are designed to incentivize motor vehicle traffic and complicate it for other road users (reconstructions of Mechnikova, Bohdanivska streets, proposed transit way between Khotkevycha and Skrypnyka streets). It is a unhealthy behavior, that is why, there is a need to define the kind of city we are developing and the objectives we wish to achieve.
How to develop mobility in Lviv?
Analysis of infrastructural solutions in European cities reveals that priority is given to the modes of transport with the highest passenger capacity such as a tram, a trolleybus, and a bus. At the same time, a high quality pedestrian infrastructure shall be provided to relieve the road network from extra short-distance car trips and to provide for convenient access to public transport stops. Experience of European cities shows that most car trips can be replaced with more environmentally-friendly, more efficient and healthy modes of transport, such as a bicycle and other small size individual vehicles (a standup scooter, a gyroscooter, a.o.). However, these modes of transport can actively develop only given there is available safe cycling infrastructure and barrier-free environment.
Practices from other cities show a significant decrease in using cars given the high quality alternatives, such as public transport, a bicycle, or walking for distances of up to 15–20 minutes ride or walk to the destination.
European cities pay more attention to issues of delivery / logistics. Delivery cannot be utterly restricted since it helps economic development. However, it shall be regulated not to interfere with the city life. Delivery shall be provided by more environmentally-friendly modes of transport.
Therefore, the following priorities have been identified for Lviv:
Each of us can move around on foot. Walking is good for your health, it is free of charge, and environmentally most friendly. That is why walking on foot is No 1. A survey showed that over 50% of residents take public transport for daily transfers – making it a priority No 2. Priority No 3 would rather be the mode of transport with the high capacity such as cycling which is currently not popular enough due to lack of safe infrastructure. The following level in the priority pyramid includes vehicles delivering goods and materials. It has been left out of focus, thus generating issues for all other modes of transport. Private cars follow. It is the least efficient mode of transport in the city. It requires much space, bears lethal risks, and pollutes the air. The last but not least priority goes for individual motor vehicles standing by. One parked car takes up to 9 m2. It is the irrational use of street space. That is why many cities are trying to eliminate street parking, especially in the inner city.
Principles for Mobility Development in Lviv
SUMP principles – key statements which adherence will help to fulfill the SUMP as scheduled. It is a theoretical background to refer to in any decision-making on urban infrastructure or development.
- Street – it is the public space, not the “road.”
- Traffic safety has a priority over travel speed; human life and health are the highest values.
- Quality pedestrian space is a key priority in street planning.
- Public transport is the backbone of city’s transport infrastructure.
- A passenger shall benefit from taking public transport in terms of time and financial input.
- Transport for passengers, not passengers for transport.
- The city holds back the growth of private car usage.
- Possibility to safely and comfortably ride a bicycle along all streets in Lviv.
Planning principles for territory development (Integrated Urban Development Concept)
- New developments shall use the existing reserves and heavily rely on the available infrastructure.
- Development shall encourage ecological mobility.
- Development shall support old and create new spatial, social, and economic connections.
- Public transport infrastructure and cycling-pedestrian links shall connect new neighborhoods that have already developed.
- New neighborhoods in the periphery shall be planned only if good public transport infrastructure is available.
- New development shall produce public and shared private spaces.
- Public and green spaces shall be connected into a single network.
- Partnership between the city and developers, and citizens engagement enhances the projects and activities impact, and makes their outcomes more sustainable.
- Better perception of new development by the citizens can be possible due to new opportunities in mobility and improved quality of public spaces.
- New neighborhoods, as well as areas to be restructured and densified, shall be consistently planned under sustainable mobility principles and efficient use of available infrastructure.
The principles make it easier to evaluate investment projects, to forecast the consequences of each project idea, and show project efficiency enhancement.
Priorities in Implementation of Activities
Whenever there is a long list of activities, it is important to define the priorities in the context of limited resources.
- Does the activity / project meet SUMP objectives and priorities?
- Is the activity / project ready for implementation?
- What does the cost benefit analysis show?
- Is there financial capacity for project implementation?