Nova Gorica in Slovenia is exploring how to mark safe routes to local schools with the aid of co-funding from the CIVITAS Activity Fund. The fourth call to the Activity Fund closes on Friday 20 November.
The city of Nova Gorica lies right on the border between Slovenia and Italy. The city is working on a cross-border SUMP (sustainable urban mobility plan) together with six other municipalities: five in Slovenia and the city of Gorizia in Italy. One of the aims of the plan is to increase the safety of children travelling to school on foot or by bicycle. To make progress on this goal, the city of Nova Gorica successfully applied to the CIVITAS Activity Fund for co-funding to develop a means of indicating safe routes for schoolchildren on the city’s roads, with the help of the universities of Perugia (Italy) and Maribor (Slovenia).
There are currently no national guidelines for markings for safe school routes in Slovenia, so the project began with a study to determine how the city could develop their own. This was carried out by experts from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Traffic Engineering and Architecture at the University of Maribor. They drew on good practice from elsewhere in Slovenia as well as across Europe and recommendations in European legislation, and also conducted field work to gather data on current levels of road safety in Nova Gorica.
As a result of this research, the project will produce three sets of guidelines; one for creating plans of school routes, analysing traffic safety on routes, and best practice for road markings. The feasibility of making road marking ‘smart’ by installing communications chips and allowing children and parents to find the safest route to school with a mobile application will also be studied.
Meanwhile, Nova Gorica will also exchange with the University of Perugia, which during CIVITAS PLUS developed a tool for assessing the quality of painted road marking to reduce the need for maintenance and replacement. The tool considers many parameters affecting the quality of road surface marking, such as the texture and condition of the road surface, traffic flow, weather conditions, and road lighting.
All of this work will result in a comprehensive plan for Nova Gorica to mark out the safest routes to its schools, which is expected to be delivered in December. The findings of the study and the guidelines will also be relevant for the other six municipalities involved in the cross-border SUMP.
Applications to the fourth call of the CIVITAS Activity Fund will close on Friday 20 November. For more information, visit the Activity Fund page.
Photos courtesy of City of Nova Gorica