Lviv, a city of 1.5 million in western Ukraine, was founded more than 750 years ago, and has an historic city center that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2012, the City of Lviv has implemented a host of measures to improve public transport, walking and cycling as well as general mobility conditions in preparation for hosting the EURO2012 Soccer Championship. These activities will support a sustainable development process in the transport sector with lower emissions, less energy consumption and fewer traffic fatalities. The successes of Lviv demonstrates that the preparation for large-scale events can be used initiate a transformation process in urban mobility with long lasting and sustainable input.
Ukrainian cities are under immense pressure. Private cars are flooding cities, buses and trams are stuck in traffic jams, parked cars are blocking sidewalks and accident rates are increasing. Lviv is facing the same set of problems, compounded by the fact that the city is very dense and not built for private cars. In addition, Lviv is struggling to implement much-needed reforms: the new route network plan was heavily discussed and partially rejected by citizens, funds are not always released on time, and acceptability of new schemes and approaches are sometimes low. However, Lviv has made a commitment the long, sometimes adventures journey towards sustainable urban mobility, and is already today acknowledged as role model for other Ukrainian cities.
Improvements to Public Transport and Public Space
In 2012, Lviv initiated a new route plan to strengthen the role of its tram, trolleybus and public bus services. This includes preparation of a new electronic ticketing system and a new traffic control center. The traffic control center, which will include smart traffic lights, will serve the rehabilitated tram routes 2 and 6 and help to prioritize public transport vehicles and to reduce congestion at intersections.
Lviv also began the rehabilitation of tram lines and upgraded its bus fleet, with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Under new service contracts, second hand vehicles were procured that offer more space than the former “midi-busses”. In addition, more streets in the city center are pedestrianized, and traffic-calming measures are being continually introduced to reduce the speed of cars.
Promotion of Cycling
Lviv is using a systemic approach to develop cycling infrastructure and to improve the situation of cyclists in a comprehensive way. This approach includes the establishment of regular working group on cycling, the development of 9-year implementation plan for the set-up of cycling infrastructure, and an investment by the city council to cycling infrastructure. Beginning in 2011, 15 km of new cycling infrastructure, including bike lanes and bike parking, has been ongoing through 2012.
More information on Lviv and sustainable mobility in Ukrainan cities: http://www.mobilnist.org.ua