The Transportation System of Warsaw: Sustainable Development Strategy up to the year 2015 and successive years

On July 9th 2009 “The transportation system of Warsaw: sustainable development strategy up to the year 2015 and successive years” was adopted by resolution of the Capital City of Warsaw City Council. A document that was developed before the law from December 15th 2010, obliging Polish cities with more than 50k citizens to create a sustainable development plan for public transport became effective in March 2011, and much wider.

The scope of actions incorporated into this document fits perfectly into European trend of implementing measures towards sustainable mobility. It makes it one of the first documents of this kind in Poland as Polish cities, especially big ones like:  Kraków, Wrocław, Gdańsk or Gdynia, where transport issues are those of the bigger importance, just recently began to undertake similar attempts.

“Strategy ..." is a framework document, which introduces the general directions of actions undertaken in the various aspects of mobility in Warsaw and partly in the municipalities covered by the Warsaw public transport system. Characteristics of the current situation is presented in sixteen points that describe the problem areas, such as "walking", "parking", "road safety". The document also includes a general recommendations to help improve present situation. It indicates goals, needs and helps to prioritize the activities towards sustainable mobility undertaken by 2015.

These priorities were divided into two categories:

  • modernization and organizational activities,
  • investment activities.

These priorities are focused on development of infrastructure and it is visible in indicators used to evaluate the changes in Warsaw transport system, like: kilometres of new roads and bike lanes, number of Park&Ride parking lots, or mean distances between pedestrian crossings.

Most important thing about the document is that it is actively being implemented. With efficient use of European funding, Warsaw started two big projects: construction of 2nd metro line and expansion of tram network. Apart from that the city was able to implement Park&Ride system on 12 interchange hubs, introduce bike sharing system or implement plan for liquidation of barriers in pedestrian traffic. By undertaking actions like those listed above, Warsaw transportation system becomes more coherent and accessible for its users.

Transportation systems in cities often differ from each other significantly, but “Strategy…” is such an extensive document that it can be used as an example and aid in creation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans for other cities in a region. Also the measures selected to achieve set goals are a good examples of actions undertaken towards improvement and balancing of transportation.