Traffic planning: great barriers to more livable cities

“A lot of people are very used to the car.”(Helmut Dede, General Director of the German Towns Association)

Not only the city day is ready to resist. “A lot of people are very used to cars,” Didi says, as well as to the fact that parking is almost free. In this regard, one faces a municipal political challenge. However, shifting traffic doesn’t stand or fall with the super-mass concept, Didi says, it’s more about how to shift passenger traffic, shopping, and entertainment to other modes of on-site transportation. And in many cities, there was a lack of firm financial commitments and legal lead time so that cities could better control traffic.

Costs are kept within limits. “Big squares can be implemented relatively inexpensively,” says Rita Sigansky of the Berlin Institute for Transport Research at the German Aerospace Center. For columns and one-way street entry, no major transformation is required initially, and later the successfully tested remodeling can be carried out permanently with structural measures. Free streets should be as accessible as possible for green and social life. Children in particular should be able to play freely again.

However, the traffic researcher considers it very important not only to consider the individual super-block, but also an overall concept. “This is the only way to counteract negative effects such as the often dreaded relocation of traffic into neighboring areas,” she adds. In order to prevent this, the city must offer attractive alternatives to vehicular traffic. This includes well-developed and regularly scheduled public transportation, better and wider paths for pedestrians and cyclists and a view of the surrounding area.

“There are many ways to enhance the quality of accommodation”(Rita Sijansky, Berlin Transport Research Institute of the German Aerospace Center)

“Overall, Eggimann’s case studies have impressively shown that there is a lot of potential,” says Rita Cyganski. In the areas he marked, it is worth checking the transformation. But not just there: According to a traffic researcher, the potential is greater than expected. In addition, remodeling is possible in areas where Egemann deems unsuitable. “There are many ways to enhance the quality of accommodation,” she says. So what are you waiting for? Many cities and municipalities are interested, Sigansky says, but there are still many reservations, whether among residents or in planning. In this regard, it takes perseverance and courage to assert oneself against initial resistance.

The need to rethink traffic planning

For 70 years, everything in traffic planning revolved around the car, and so the habits that enthusiastic drivers take as common law have taken root. Traffic psychologists say that’s always the biggest hurdle in the end. If you only take one lane or a few parking spots away from drivers, there is a risk of resistance. It was so Years ago also in BarcelonaThe criticism was loud and sharp. But today no one wants to live in this city as it was before.

As traffic psychology studies show, resistance is always at its peak shortly before change; After that, acceptance increases, and tremendously. So associated psychologists recommend staying in power when planning a major transformation that fundamentally goes against people’s habits. After all, the city gains more than motorists think they will lose. There are many examples of this: many of the redesigns that are considered successful today were initially severely criticized. These include pedestrian zones, bike lanes, and other traffic-free concepts, as well as Barcelona-style superblocks.

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