Does the concept of mobility fit the Polish conditions?

Definitely. Polish cities are already successful in implementing various solutions in the field of sustainable mobility, which is appreciated by the majority of residents. Good practices in the field of sustainable urban mobility in Poland include:

  • modern road traffic engineering boosting the speed of public transport, reducing impact of road transport on the environment and facilitating use of non-motorised means of transport (e.g. reconstruction of streets in Jaworzno, construction of woonerfs1 in Łódź, closing of Plac Litewski in Lublin for motorised transport);
  • systematic development of public transport along with maintaining low ticket prices (e.g. Warsaw, Lublin, Biała Podlaska);
  • construction of bicycle infrastructure along with “soft” actions promoting the use of public transport (e.g. Gdańsk and the “Bicycle May” campaign);
  • construction of agglomeration railways with large-area tariff integration (e.g. Warsaw, Gdańsk and Szczecin metropolises);
  • active management of commercial premises in order to achieve the appropriate mix of functions (manager of Piotrkowska Street in Łódź, manager of Śródmieście in Gdańsk).

At the same time, however, Polish cities face various barriers in implementation of the concept of sustainable urban mobility, which are present not because of lack of knowledge about global best practices (although of course it is a challenge on a national scale), but, inter alia:

  • lack of linking the issues of mobility with issues of spatial planning;
  • lack of political consensus on the implementation of the principle of sustainable mobility;
  • need to establish positive economic indicators for road investments, resulting in the expansion of road capacity;
  • simultaneous investments in road infrastructure and public transport, where road development changes the number of public transport passengers2;
  • legal barriers, such as difficulties related to tariff integration;
  • difficulties in carrying out investments involving only pedestrian and non-motorized traffic or traffic calming, and lack of standards for such investments;
  • need to ensure current financing, importance of which may increase in the near future and which may result in the reduction of the public transport offer.

1. The term comes from Dutch and is a type of living street. The term refers to the way of designing a street in an urbanised zone in such a way that, while maintaining the basic functions of a given street, particular emphasis is placed on calming the traffic.
2. The Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment evaluation study showed that in the 2007-2013 perspective it was the expansion of roads that had the greatest impact on the change (decrease) in the number of public transport passengers.

1. A. Downs, Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion. The Brookings Institution, Washington, 1992.

2. Y. Zahavi, Traveltime budgets and mobility in urban areas.US Department of Transportation, Washington 1974.

3. C. Marchetti, Anthropological Invariants in Travel Behavior. „Technological forecasting and social change” 47, 1994, s. 75-88.

4. M. J. H. Mogridge, Travel in towns: jam yesterday, jam today and jam tomorrow? Macmillan Press, London, 1990.

5. A. Downs, The Law of Peak-Hour Expressway Congestion. „Traffic Quarterly” 16, 1962, s. 393-409.