The Car Free Weekend is almost as popular as Sziget Festival in Hungary

 

Seven days for sustainable mobility, seven days for a healthier, full of experienced environment, seven days for the city - for the city in which we would live. More than half a million people visited the events of European Mobility Week 2011 in Budapest,  because they were curious or wanted to be active in the above goals. This is a new record level of participant’s number.

The European Mobility Week is a triumph of Budapest over the last ten years. Events are well known in the capital, and people even love and expect the programs. On the opening day we organised an urban traffic competition with drivers, bikers and riders of the public transport. It compared how fast they could get from A to B while stopping at eight specified points and performed everyday issues. The fastest riders were the bikers - but all competitors won, because public transport and alternate-powered, low-emission CNG cars are sustainable alternatives each other in city traffic.

More and more people walking up and down on Andrassy Avenue in every year at car-free weekends of Budapest. This avenue of the capital is one of the most crowded location in weekdays, but actually on September 17nd and 18nd it was fulfilled with culture, theatres, exhibitions and civilian activities. We presented the country’s largest theatrical festival, TeARTrum and also Hungary’s largest interior tourism event, FőSzezon at the car free weekend. Proudly ordered the competition of alternate-powered vehicles, first in the downtown of a capital city.

The car-free weekend is the most popular event of European Mobility Week Budapest. There were about 450 thousands active visitors on that two days, it’s also the largest number of participants of the last ten years. It’s more than all visitors of Sziget Festival. Further benefit was the dramatically decreasing of air pollution, these days it were about halved.

The European Mobility Week Budapest expendid by a new element this time. We launched a campaign to replace street-parking to garages on September 19th. The main message was using garages are not only cheaper, but  significantly increases the mobility of the city, because extended the available spaces on the roads. Some of garage providers given half-price services during time of EMW .


Traditionally we organized a conference on September 20th, where professional lecturers dicussed the new city-operating model and current developments of traffic and transport of Budapest.
Next day, on Day of the Pedestrian Streets we filled with content the new pedestrian area of Buda, in Lövőház Street. The aim was to rediscover the city dwellers walking experience. The experience, community and cultural space were formed, artists came out of their workshops so people used the normal functions of their car-free environment.

The European Mobility Week’s closing event was the European Car-free Day with Critical Mass on September 22nd. This year it is Alkotmány street, in front of the Parliament that we made car-free to present pedestrians and cyclists the brand new public bike network called BuBi, coming soon.

The Hungarian Railway Company gaves free travels to motorists by presenting the car registration certificate. They also contributed to the promotion of sustainable mobility by giving free cargo to bicycles during time of mobility week. On September 22 more Hungarian bus companies and local community transporters also had flights to travel free of charge.

For more detailed programs visit www.mobilitasihetbudapest.hu.

The inhabitants of the city of Budapest may enjoy several permanent measures for sustainable mobility in this year, as a the green reconstruction of downtown city center Deák square with tram line in green grass and cycling paths; the reconstruction Margit-Bridge  cycling paths on it; the starting construction of ten brand new 14,5 km long cycling paths in the suburbs; allowance for cyclists to bike on-coming in one-way streets and to use bus-lanes; and an Internet-based route and travelling-planner for more comfort of public transport passangers. Two important projects were launched during the EMW: the network expansion of 1-3 trams and the signature of the charter of Bubi public bike network.

 


2011-10-11 15:29:19
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