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Vilnius - becoming the new sustainable transportation hub of Europe
City/Region : Vilnius , Lithuania

Our transformative action is about changing mobility culture in the city. Vilnius seeks to move from car-centric city and become sustainable mobility hub, where the most convenient way to move around is by walking, cycling or public transport. It does not mean we want to worsen commuting conditions for cars, but our goal is to create equally good conditions for all mobility means and encourage people to choose alternative means of transport, which are more eco-friendly, better for your well-being and gives a pleasure of daily commute.

Agendas addressed
DecarbonisationUrban mobilityPublic space
Pathways followed
  • Nurture a sharing economy
  • Support open data standards
Context
Vilnius transport

For decades Vilnius prioritized cars and developed infrastructure around them. These kind of actions led to current situation in Vilnius: on average one driver spends 132 hours in traffic jams yearly, 40-50% of trips by car in the city center is transit, on average 1,32 person is travelling in one private car, almost half a million cars more in the city everyday, 49% of daily trips in Vilnius are made by car. This situation is changing due to transformative action, which is based on strategy, contained in key document - Vilnius Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. Under implementation of this plan, Vilnius seeks to reach its goal, that in 2030 walking, public transport and private car would take an equal part of modal share - one third of total trips. At same time cycling would make up to 7,5% of total trips made in the city.

In Action
Vilnius transport

In 2015 Vilnius municipality took its focus on developing a fully connected bicycle track network and Vilnius city mayor then said: "I see, that many of bicycle paths were designed by people who do not ride a bike. There are so many mistakes and misconducts, plenty of inefficiencies. ... In three year perspective I believe, that most of the Vilnius residents should live not further than one kilometer from good condition bicycle track...". Since then Vilnius made huge effort on developing bicycle infrastructure, it's reflected in numbers: in 2016 city paved 6 kilimoters of bicycle pats, in 2017 - 12km, in 2018 - 20km, in 2019 - 13km, and this year city plans to pave more than 18km, which will almost triple the number of bicycle tracks lenght at the very beggining in 2015. Vilnius already have achieved the goal, which was mentioned my the mayor, now we're doubling it down and reaching even greater excess - by upcoming years Vilnius seeks to develop bycicle track network in such a way, that for every resident the good bycicle track wouldn't be further than 400 meters from home. Moreover, city has started to install new design - "U" form bycicle racks all over the city and there are now more than 2200 comfortable bycicle racks, this number is rising steadily by couple of hundrets. Last ly, the most recent and one the the most important measures implemented - loop circulation plan in the Oldtown. Under this project many of the center areas were closed for cars and given back to pedestrians and cyclists, also a trasit car transportation were forbiden and new bicycle lanes appeared all over the Oldtown. Parallelly city invested a lot in "greening" the city by planting over few thounsand trees, thousands of buches and lots of other plants.

Results
Vilnius transport

While quatified measures in modal split polls changes slowly, there are some really encoureging numbers that show residents possitive reactiong towards new approach to mobility. In 2016 an average of bicycle infrastructure quality was 4,6, last year 2019 the score was already 6,7. What is more pleasing, that more and more people noticed good changes in the city: 73% of Vilnius residents think that cycling infrastructure got better, this number is 5% higher compared with 2017, and 3% compared with 2018. Same changes are with pedestrian infrastructure as well: last year 72% of Vilnius residents think that pedestrian infrastructure got better and this number is 6% higher compered with 2018. Even more impressive results are seen in public transportation: a made survey showed that in Vilnius public transportation passengers give score 8 out of 10 to public transportation quality and it is the highest rating of the city transport yet.

Impact

The most important measurement we focus on - change in modal split of daily trips. Vilnius seeks to reach by 2030 that public transportation, walking and cars will each make one third of all trips make in the city. We also expect to reach the goal that 7,5% of residents would use bike for their daily trips. The main measurements for the impact will be wide range of polls, surveys. Also city is installing more and more bicycle counters, which give real time data about cycling flows.

Challenges and lessons learned

The challenges we faced are perception of society about the benefit of sustianable transportation, lack of knowledge how to develop infrastructure in the right way from the start, lack of resources to make substantial changes quick, bureaucracy that slows things down.

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Contact

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0
Fax: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 19

E-mail: info@sustainablecities.eu
Website: www.sustainablecities.eu

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