Traffic management plan improving mobility in Gent
Along with other European urban areas, the city of Gent experiences significant traffic problems due to traffic congestion. Policy measures taken in the past to improve the traffic situation, consisted in the extension of the infrastructure. This of course led to an increase in vehicle use, further worsening the situation. In order to control the environmental effects and the mobility nuisances due to traffic, a systematic transport management is essential, aiming at a more efficient organisation and control of the traffic within the existing infrastructure. The traffic management plan is based on more alternative transport methods, directed at the specific needs of the road user. The target groups considered in the project were schools and public administration. The target groups and the decision-makers committed themselves in various agreement to concrete actions leading to a reduction of kilometres, and to integrate these initiatives in future policy. The action plan consisted of a set of measures, such as an intensive promotion campaign, a car-pool and school-pool, and individual travelling advice. The short term aim of awareness raising and increasing public involvement to start using alternative transport methods was very successfully. However, concrete actions were only undertaken by a minority of the participating partners and soon abandoned. Only continuous long-term efforts will encourage in sustainable measures (such as improving public transportation) and change of transport behaviour and thus to a reduction in traffic congestion.