Eliminating traffic on roads is always a difficult political decision. The idea of opening pedestrian areas may be popular and well known but to implement such a measure in Gdynia is still a very innovative endeavor. Cities in Poland which do have pedestrian areas are usually very old cities and it is easier to gain political and public approval to create pedestrian areas by closing the main historical square or street – a national heritage. The real challenge is for young cities like Gdynia which were built in 1920s and 1930s already with the intention of allowing traffic flow through the main streets. To close one or two of those main arteries – the main shopping streets in Gdynia – is very innovative and shows real maturity in introducing sustainable transport in the city.
Before DYN@MO, there were no pedestrian areas in Gdynia. The City with its rapid economic development has been undergoing a gradual transition from industrial/harbor city into a business centre. Areas in the vicinity of the harbor are subject to redevelopment. Considering the character of the city and the remarkable role of tourism for the city, there is still a necessity to increase the popularity of the main area of the city centre between Gdynia Central Station – Starowiejska Street – Swietojanska Street and Molo Poludniowe. The measure builds on the successful rehabilitation of Swietojanska Street undertaken within CIVITAS I. The newly designed road gained different specificity as a result of the above-mentioned project which achieved and significantly contributed to increasing the popularity of the area among pedestrians.
The main objectives of this measure were:
- To decrease of traffic in the city centre by 10% and to reduce negative impacts from traffic and congestion
- To create pedestrian areas as proposed in the Gdynia SUMP
- To increase the attractiveness of the city and the satisfaction of people