On January 27, 2022, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic, a meeting was held to present the results of the first-ever survey of traffic calming carried out between Slovak cities and villages.
The survey, which was implemented within the project Cyclurban+: Mobility Change, Not Climate Change, was launched in cooperation with the National Cycling Coordinator Peter Klučka and the Association of Slovak Towns and Municipalities (ZMOS), the Union of Slovak Cities (ÚMS) and the Association of Self-Governing Regions SK 8. In addition to informing the participating representatives of ministries and local and regional authorities about the results, the project partners presented the topic and their findings and recommendations in the form of a short position paper (so-called Policy Brief), which you can find (in Slovak) at this link.
The results of the online questionnaire survey, which was answered by 49 cities and villages, show that almost every Slovak municipality is struggling with the problem of disproportionately high vehicle speeds. At the same time, almost all representatives of Slovak municipalities are convinced that the elements of traffic calming are a functional tool for increasing traffic safety. Also, almost all municipalities claim that they would accept the possibility of expert advice on the practical implementation of traffic calming elements. The results of the survey also suggest that it is no exception that we do not encounter any Zone 30 in the streets of several Slovak cities and villages.
The speed measurements carried out by Cyklokoalícia, which confirmed the aforesaid experience of local governments, also became an additional activity within the preparation of the Policy Brief. More than 1,100 measurements of the maximum speed limit in Zones 30 in nine Slovak municipalities show that, on average, only one out of ten drivers respect the given speed limit. Every fourth driver exceeds the maximum speed limit of 30 km/h by 50% or more.
In view of the above findings, Cyklokoalícia and ideas into energy gGmbH recommend to Slovak ministries active education of local governments in the field of traffic calming, enabling measurement of the maximum permitted speed by municipal police, the establishment of micro-dotation scheme focused exclusively on the implementation of traffic calming measures and, last but not least, support for this topic at the level of the state and municipal associations.
Given that the representatives of the Slovak ministries agreed with the selected recommendations, we believe that this activity will become the beginning of wider use of traffic calming measures in Slovakia, the potential of which has so far been almost completely neglected.
Author: Dr. Boris Valach, ideas into energy gGmbH