What is the approach taken by a city that drastically reduced traffic in 20 years, revitalized the city, increased population and increased birth rate?



Traffic jams and greenhouse gas emissions from cars are a major problem, and many cities are working to reduce traffic, but it is difficult to come up with effective measures. However, a city called Pontevedra in the southwestern part of Galicia, Spain, has succeeded in drastically reducing traffic in 20 years without harsh penalties or huge costs. It summarizes what kind of approach was taken in Pontevedra that made the difficulty possible.

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◆ 1: Know local trends
Some regions aim to reduce traffic by charging a “driving fee” when driving on a specific day or prohibiting the passage of vehicles completely, but it is not necessarily the same in all regions. Is not feasible. First of all, it is necessary to understand the political trends and the characteristics of residents in the region where the reform is desired, and to implement measures within a realistic range.

Pontevedra is an area where the conservative party has been dominant for many years, but since 1999 the mayor of Miguel Ancho Fernández Laures, who belonged to the left wing party, took the ruling to reduce traffic. The mayor of Laures still thinks that Pontevedra has a strong conservative philosophy, and when the first parking regulation was implemented, a concession was made such as “local companies are not subject to regulation”, and traffic volume reduction has been realized little by little. It was. “We did not start a grand project, but we did what we could see,” says Laures.

The following image is the center of Pontevedra before the traffic reduction, and the bottom image of the same place after the traffic reduction. The fact that there are few cars in the center of Pontevedra is welcomed by many residents, regardless of political trends. Some people say that even if they can't sympathize with Mayor Laureth's left-wing political thought, he will vote for Mayor Laures after evaluating the changes that have actually occurred.


◆ 2: Prevents cars from passing through
In Pontevedra, congestion on the boulevard has been regarded as a problem for many years, and sometimes the road was filled with 30,000 cars. However, in fact, many of these cars were 'cars passing Pontevedra on the way to another place'. So Pontevedra designed many roads that couldn't get through and looped at the edge of the town. The car that tried to pass from the south to the north of Pontevedra, after all, to the south side of Pontevedra, has been said to prevent the intrusion of cars passing through.

◆ 3: Make double parking impossible
Most of Pontevedra's roads are one lane on one side, and if you park on the street, the lane will be blocked, so you need to park the car you want to park on the street at several stops. In Pontevedra, street parking is not completely prohibited, and there is a limit of “15 minutes” at a dedicated stop, but you can park freely. This allows taxis to wait for passengers and delivery trucks to unload luggage.

◆ 4: Provide large-scale parking lots to accommodate cars
Although aiming for a city without cars, it is difficult for many residents and visitors from outside to use cars. So Pontevedra built a vast free parking lot that could accommodate more than 1,600 cars outside the town and underground, so that car owners could put their cars there and walk into the town. . Of course, not all drivers welcomed free parking from the beginning, but Pontevedra itself is large enough to cross in 25 minutes, so most people now put their cars in the free parking It was.

by Pok Rie

◆ 5: The message “Roads have priority for pedestrians”
In some areas of Pontevedra, measures are taken to eliminate the distinction between sidewalks and roadways. As a result, the pedestrian walks along the same road as the car, indicating that the road is a pedestrian priority and that the car should follow the pedestrian. In addition, the pedestrian crossing is at the same height as the sidewalk, and it is necessary to get over the steps when the car is passing. The message is that the car is unconventional for Pontevedra.

◆ 6: Treat walking as a kind of transportation
An example of how Pontevedra is a city for pedestrians is the “road map written like a subway map”. This roadmap, with information on how far you can go in the city and how long it takes, means that Pontevedra is an attractive city for pedestrians.


◆ 7: Put local business owners on your side
In many cases, retail owners tend to be opposed to reducing cars, but in small cities like Pontevedra, it is possible to go to each store and appeal to the government to discuss it. Mayor Lawless said, “There is an idea that people in the commercial sector tend to oppose policies such as car cuts, but we argue that this is not necessarily the case. 'The reason for the opposition is just a personal or political speculation,' he said, arguing that a few oppositions should not be mistaken as a consensus.

◆ 8 : Appealing positive effects widely
Initially, there was a lot of opposition to reduce traffic, but Mayor Lawless widely advertises the positive impact of reduced traffic. “The center with a lot of history was dead.” “A flood of drugs and cars, it was a danger zone. The city was declining and polluted, there were many traffic accidents and people had the opportunity to be Pontevedra. Laures said the former situation, but at the time of writing, the family that raises many children gathered in Pontevedra.

While the decline in fertility rate is a problem for Spain as a whole, Pontevedra has seen an 8% increase in fertility rates since the start of traffic reduction measures 20 years ago. Pontevedra's population has grown by more than 10,000 since 1998, making it the fastest growing city in Galicia. In addition, it seems that effects such as a reduction in crime rate and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions were seen, and it can be said that the traffic reduction measures have brought many benefits to Pontevedra. “The amount of cars needed to make the city function is small,” Mayor Lawless said.


in Note, Posted by log1h_ik