In our publications we have discussed many solutions increasing traffic safety implemented in Poland and abroad. Pictures, descriptions, rules and regulations and interviews with people responsible for increasing trafic safety. This time we decided to show other elements of our project - Łódź and the way we are trying to implement new ideas in our own neighbourhoods. It is not an easy job, and that is clear both from our publications and media coverage or Internet comments.
In our project Bezpieczne Miasto - Inna Droga (Safe City - a Different Way) we want to focus not only on the theory, but also on the engagement on the side of residents in order to implement changes in a particular area of the city. To proceed with such changes, we have chosen free model areas, each different and located on a different side of the city. They differ in location, but also residence structure. Julianów with its detached houses, Stare Polesie which mainly includes pre-war buildings, and Karolew - mainly full of blocks of flats with not many shorter buildings.
Karolew, an estate in the vicinity of Łódź Kaliska Station is surrounded by wide streets - Bandurskiego (from the North and West), Waltera-Janke (from the South), Maratońska (from the East). Each of those streets is wide and allows higher permissable speed. Such an arrangement allows any driver to drive past Karolew if it is not their final destination. That is the main aim of the project - discouraging drivers, especially of bigger vehicles, from entering the estate if it is not their purpose.
The main beneficiaries of such approach are the estate residents. The aim is for the streets to serve the residents, those who attend schools, shops and cyclists for whom the surrounding streets are not to safe, but also motorist road users for whom it is easier to use the road when there are less cars on it. For them, we also wanted to create additional parking spaces, as their main compain was that there are never enough of those.
Thanks to co-operation with the road supervisor, we were able to put our ideas into practice. Mid-December 2015, first tempo-30 zone was introduced in Łódź - such a zone includes road engineering elements which aim at traffic calming. Of course it was not an entirely smooth ride. Media coverage focused mainly on a 5-metre long line which narrowed the road to such an extent that it made it impossible for more than one car to drive past it. The line was removed within 24 hours, but journalists were not interested in changes implemented in the whole area.
Therefore, in this publication we are presenting a full manual on the whole process, from meetings with residents, through collecting their feedback up to cooperation with Road and Transportation Authorities, adding Community Council's comments, drafting the project and putting it all into practice.