These practical solutions to get a city without cars (or almost)

(ETX Daily Up) – A study by researchers at Lund University in Sweden, published by Science Direct, highlights particularly effective measures to reduce car traffic in the city center. Among the most successful are the introduction of a congestion rate, as well as the creation of streets without cars and separate bike lanes.

Drastically reducing the number of cars in circulation in the city means above all seeking to improve air quality and thus the quality of life. At the end of their study, researchers present no less than 12 measures to be taken to significantly reduce the number of cars in circulation in urban space.

Tax jams

This can take many forms, starting with the establishment of a real toll to enter and circulate around the city. London, which is a pioneer in this field, would have reduced car traffic in the city by 33%, simply by this measure. Proceeds from this tax could be used to invest in public transport or to establish new infrastructure for smooth mobility.

Optimize parking spaces

Many European cities have already decided to eliminate parking spaces and thus modify the corresponding traffic lanes. The idea is to be able to replace these parking spaces with car-free streets, bike lanes and even pedestrian lanes. In this way, a city like Oslo has managed to reduce car traffic by almost 20% in three years.

Limit traffic areas

More and more big cities are restricting access to their city centers to cars. This is especially the case in Rome, and soon in Paris. The aim is to promote the use of public transport by limiting access to the city center by car only to residents or professionals. In Rome, this policy has reduced car traffic by 20% during restricted hours. As with tolls, the resulting fines can be used to develop public transport and smooth mobility.

Offer mobility services to travelers

For professional reasons, many urbanites have the habit of taking the car to go from home to work, in the city center. In several cities, such as Utrecht, the Netherlands, local authorities and private companies are working together to offer free public transport passes to their employees, as well as private transport to connect public transport stops with workplaces. More than a third of these travelers reportedly gave up taking their car on weekdays to go to work.

Tax parking at work

Another way to “force” employees to come to work other than by car is to introduce parking fees at their workplace. The experiment has already been carried out in Rotterdam in the Netherlands or in Nottingham in England.

Better plan your business trips

Companies are also encouraged to limit the travel of their employees by car as much as possible. This may also be accompanied by the establishment of a fleet of bicycles and infrastructures that can accommodate them, close to their facilities.

Plan trips to universities

The same goes for universities. Students and their teachers are encouraged to use public transportation and active travel (on foot or by bicycle) to get to campus. One of the best examples of this is in Bristol, England, which, for example, favored the development of bike lanes.

Develop mobility services at university level

To prevent the use of cars, various initiatives can also be launched, such as free public transport passes or the establishment of shuttles on campus, in collaboration with the city council.

Encourage car sharing

Over the years, car-sharing has proven to be especially effective in cities such as Bremen, Germany, or Genoa, Italy, and the goal is, of course, to transport as many people as possible in as few cars as possible. Awareness campaigns have been conducted to encourage employees to opt for this type of group travel.

Plan school transportation

Students and their parents are encouraged to walk, bike or, in the worst case, drive to school. This must be accompanied by the improvement of nearby cycling infrastructure.

Personalized travel plans

More and more cities have developed personalized travel plans for residents so that they can discover their city on foot, by bike or by public transport. The idea is to promote smooth mobility and enhance certain places.

Develop applications for sustainable mobility

Finally, one of the latest levers to reduce car traffic in the city is to develop applications that allow you to earn “points” by walking, cycling or using public transport. The most successful users earn vouchers or various rewards offered by local businesses. This was implemented mainly in Bologna, Italy.

To arrive at this result, those responsible for this study reviewed nearly 800 peer-reviewed reports and case studies from across Europe, published since 2010.

(Photo credits: Carl Nenzen Loven / Unsplash)

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