An increasing number of citizens prefer to travel around the city by bicycle, which increases the need for an adapted urban infrastructure. That is why Green City Lab - the urban innovation laboratory supported by UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with the expertise of ECOPRO and Automobile Club of Moldova, have developed a strategy for developing infrastructure for alternative transport in Chisinau.
The purpose of this strategy is to formulate the vision for the Municipal Council, to make Chisinau a friendly city for pedestrians and cyclists.
"Our support aims to ensure that people can choose how to travel in the city where all sustainable travel options are available for people be it public and private transportation, cycling or walking in order to ensure comfort, speed, sustainability and efficiency of movement,” said Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova.
"European practice shows that for the sustainable development of cities it is necessary to improve urban mobility, the ecological situation and the health of the population. Urban cycling is an effective tool in this regard and we aim to ensure the best possible conditions for those who choose the bicycle as a means of travel," says Ion Ceban, the general mayor of Chisinau.
A very important role in the elaboration of the strategy for the development of the infrastructure for the alternative transport was directly played by the future users. The strategy’s development process was participatory, involving active citizens, cyclists and future users of the bicycle infrastructure. A series of working group meetings, as well as public surveys, ensured real engagement and the collection of information from bicycle users.
According to a 2020 survey of 2003 respondents, 4 out of 10 people cycle 5-10 km, while a quarter cover 10-20 km and only 15.4% - up to 5 km, and 17.7% - distances greater than 20 km. Thus, bicycle transport can take over a significant part of daily trips to Chisinau.
¾ of the respondents stated that they would definitely opt for the bicycle, in case of an adapted infrastructure for this ecological means of transport.
The main results expected after the implementation of the Strategy for the development of infrastructure for alternative transport in the city of Chisinau, until 2026, are:
- Creation of a network of routes for alternative transport, with a total length of 200 km, which will connect all sectors of Chisinau;
- Changing the attitude of the inhabitants towards alternative transport;
- Increasing the share of alternative transport in relation to the total share of daily movements of all types of transport up to 1%;
- Increasing the number of bicycle parking lots near public institutions, educational institutions, and leisure centers.
The strategy was discussed at a public consultation event, conducted on 13 March 2021. The document is to be approved by the City Council, and its implementation is the responsibility of the local public administration.