Gdańsk Cycling Infrastructure
and Promotion Project
city in northern Poland at the Baltic Sea coast. Inhabited by some
465,000 souls it is a part of "tri-city" conurbation together with
smaller cities of Sopot and Gdynia. It is a free Hanseatic city; its
roots are Polish, German and Dutch. Gdańsk cycling and alternative
community is perhaps the most vibrant in Poland. Gdańsk was the first
city in Poland to have the Cycling Task Force, long requested by the
cycling community and finally organized by the Mayor. Gdańsk was also
the first city in Poland to have its own bicycle infrastructure design
standards, developed by experts from the Technology University of
Gdańsk with some participation of cycling activists and based on the
"Sign Up For The Bike" manual for cycle-friendly infrastructure from
the Dutch organization CROW.
Bicycle rides organized by the Obywatelska Liga Ekologiczna (local
environmental NGO, the chief cycling advocate in the region) attracted
more than thousand people and impressed local politicians. In 1999, the
Mayor set up a team to investigate whether cycling infrastructure could
be possibly funded under European Union ISPA program. This was exactly
when Global Environment Facility (GEF)
announced its Operational Program 11 - mitigating climate change
induced by transport. Cycleway construction projects were eligible.
Gdańsk authorities, local cycling community and Cities for Bicycles,
aided by Przemek Czajkowski of UNDP Poland were quick
to make decision: Gdańsk will apply for GEF OP11 medium sized grant,
not ISPA. The team that immediately started work on the project
proposal included Roger Jackowski (OLE Gdańsk), Marcin Hyła (Cities for
Bicycles), Przemek Czajkowski (UNDP Poland), mr. Antoni Szczyt
(Municipality of Gdańsk), Susan Legro (UNDP Climate Change coordinator
for Central Europe) and Cynthia Page (UNDP Headquarters). The draft
proposal was ready in September 2000, the formal submission procedures
were completed in December 2000. In May 2001, the GEF decision was
positive: Gdańsk got funding (see the project document, .pdf file, 3 MB). It
turned out that it was the fastest developed medium sized project in
Now, with some unexpected delays, the project is under way and -
according to the Project Document - will be completed in 2004.
|Gdańsk Project is about three things:
- Construction of 30.7 km segregated
facilitie and calming
traffic on 70 km of existing streets (see the map of segregated
facilities to the right - click to enlarge)
- Public awareness and public
participation campaign in Gdańsk
- Know-how dissemination and project
The long term goal is to
increase bicycle use in Gdańsk to 5-10% of all
trips (currently near 1-2%) and in this way, control the motorized
transport induced emissions of greenhouse gases by 250,000 tons in 15
years. The 5-10% figure is similar to the cycling levels in cities in
southern Sweden, just across the Baltic Sea. It seems feasible, judging
from the polls
commissioned by the Miasta dla rowerów from polling and market research
companies (TNS OBOP and BBS Obserwator).
Most people interviewed by those reserach groups quote lack of cycling
facilities as primary reason they do not cycle. And there apparently is
a vast pent-up
demand for cycling in cities as every fourth person expresses readiness
to cycle to work.
The segregated facilities were selected following a multi-criterional
analysis that included the present journey matrix for Gdańsk,
bottleneck analysis, technical feasibility analysis and cost analysis.
The cycleways to be built concentrate along the main transport
corridors in Gdańsk and can easily be continued into the cities of
Sopot and Gdynia. There is a good integration with urban rail system.
And the Upper Terrace hilly part of Gdańsk has been scrapped, as it is
not so densely populated, there are steep hills and segregated
cycleways would have to be very long and expensive to build. To see the
cycleways under construction, please click here.
The awareness raising and public participation campaign is
self-explanatory. To see the street actions, click here
and just follow the links (this page is in Polish). An important part
project is quality control and public participation, including users'
representation. Pictures from public meetings can be viewed here.
The know-how dissemination and project replication includes bulletin
production and distribution, workshops for local authorities across
Poland and consulting. Ten workshops have been completed and one
proposal for cycling infrastructure funding has been prepared and
submitted by the Municipality of Cracow.
We see the Gdańsk project as a major
breakthrough for Poland. This is the first and so far only case
in Poland that the grass-root community developed project of this size
(total cost of the project is 2.5 million US dollars), got the
municipality involved politically and financially, succeeded in
fundraising and now co-operates on implementation together with the
Ministry of Environment and other project partners (see below). The
Gdańsk project is the first complex cycling activity of local
government in Poland that is user-oriented and quality-oriented. It is
also the first one that has already resulted in radical improvements
for cyclists in Poland.
The Gdańsk project in fact created a model for co-operation and project
management ("Cycling Package") that seems to work
well, is easily understood by potential beneficiaries, fits the Polish
legal framework and is being implemented in other cities.
Will keep you updated on the Gdańsk Project developments.
Below, you can find the contacts for all institutions involved in the
Miejski w Gdańsku (Municipality of Gdańsk):
Sojka, Project Manager
Szczyt, Wydział Inżynierii Miejskiej
ul. Nowe Ogrody 8/12 80-803 GDAŃSK
Obywatelska Liga Ekologiczna:
Jackowski, Przemek Miler
ul. Zbyszka z Bogdańca 56A 80-419 GDAŃSK
Polski Klub Ekologiczny/Miasta dla
(Polish Ecological Club/Cities for Bicycles)
Sławkowska 26A 31-014 KRAKÓW
Ministerstwo Środowiska (Ministry of
Departament Instrumentów Ochrony Środowiska
dyrektor Wojciech Jaworski
ul. Wawelska 52/54 00-922 WARSZAWA
UNDP - United Nations Development
Pusz, Program Officer
al. Niepodległości 186, 00-608 WARSZAWA