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Not just a day, a car-free WEEK in Ljubljana!

Author: CIVITAS Support
Posted on: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 11:19
Ljubljana , ELAN

Until this year, the city of Ljubljana celebrated a car-fere day on 22 September during European Mobility Week under the motto, “In Town Without My Car Day”. In 2011, the city decided to take it a step further and extend the action to seven days and call it “A Week Without My Car”.

The city administration, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, the police, non-governmental organisations and many other institutions prepared around 40 activities to invite citizens to use more sustainable means of transport under the slogan “Alternative Mobility”. During this time, 12 events were organised by CIVITAS ELAN partners to raise awareness of sustainable mobility. Usually the main street through the city centre, Slovenska cesta, was closed for all private motorised transport but open for bus transit for one day only. The decision to close it for a whole week and even extend it to a longer stretch of the street than in previous years disrupted many car-drivers who tried to convince the police and traffic wardens by the street barricades to let them pass through. At the same time, the city centre was filled with smiling faces of pedestrians and cyclists who moved freely in this area, which is usually full of smelly and loud vehicles. The public bus operator reported an increase in bus users by 2 percent compared to the previous year. Citizens experienced that public transport can be fast and effective, if it is not obstructed by cars. This road closure for the whole week was a good opportunity to see changes in traffic flow, to measure the impact on public transport and the public bicycle sharing system Bicike(LJ), and also on air quality and noise pollution. The results should be published at the end of November 2011. Furthermore, the City of Ljubljana plans to permanently close a part of Slovenska cesta for cars next year, after the inner circle road around the city centre, which is currently under construction, has been completed.

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