Shopping can turn into a “heavy” experience, mostly if you find yourself carrying around piles of bags. In this case, parking a car close by or calling relatives to pick up the bags can be the most straightforward solution, but it does not come without costs: congestion gets worse, drivers become nervous and pollution increases.
This is why the Citizen Mobility Community in Trikala, set up as part of the Cities-4-People project, came up with a different solution to ease traffic around the main square, which hosts a busy morning market.
The installation of easily accessible, free lockers inside the Info Point on the square means people can now enjoy the city centre without worrying about weighty bags. The office of the Info Point is already a central hub, partly due to the possibility to borrow bikes from the office.
Thanks to Cities-4-People, it now hosts a new service. Lockers of different sizes are now available for use by anyone, upon provision of an ID card, during the office’s working hours. While tourists can drop their luggage for a couple of hours and explore the city, locals can leave their shopping and run to their next errand without carrying heavy loads.
Besides their primary goal, the lockers seem to have had a positive effect also on the use of alternative transportation means. As people do not have to carry around bags, they are now more likely to use bikes.
Cycling and walking will be also promoted through another intervention, namely the pedestrianisation of streets around the main square. This has already happened on Sunday 23 June 2019, with a car-free day keeping the streets vehicle free. Instead, people could enjoy several activities, including a football match.
With the possibility that pedestrianisation will be made permanent, the pilot serves as a good initial test to witness the measure's effects on residents and traffic circulation.
Sustainable mobility does not only mean going green: it also means taking care of vulnerable groups. Trikala’s Citizen Mobility Community also suggested to offer people with mobility impairments electric scooters they can attach to a wheelchair, transforming it into a three-wheeler which can cover longer distances faster.
The Info Point is now equipped with one scooter that people on a wheelchair can use for free and with no time restrictions. Should the pilot be selected for scale-up, more pick-up/drop-off points may be added and the scooter fleet may be increased.
To find out more information on Trikala's work in Cities-4-People, click here.