The active mobility strategy in Prague is the main strategic document of the City of Prague in the field of active mobility. Together with the active mobility standards, it creates a framework for supporting pedestrian and cycling traffic in Prague. The documents, approved in August 2022, were published on the website of the Institute of Planning and Development of the City of Prague (IPR).
The author of the article was a member of the working group that prepared the documents of the Active Mobility Strategy in Prague and the Active Mobility Standards in Prague.
The Active Mobility Strategy in Prague and the Active Mobility Standards were approved by the Council of the City of Prague through Resolution No. 1859 dated August 1, 2022. The preparation of the documents started at the end of 2021. The development of the Strategy and Standards fulfills one of the tasks of the Prague Sustainable Mobility Plan, which was approved by Resolution No. 7/32 of the City Council of Prague on May 24, 2019. The Strategy and Standards were published on the strategic documents portal of the Institute of Planning and Development without further notice. Although the documents were approved in August, there has been no other information about them until now.
The preamble of the documents states:
The implementation of this Strategy is the task of the City of Prague Municipal Authority, relevant contributory organizations of the City of Prague, and companies within the property portfolio of the City of Prague. The implementation of these Standards is the task of the City of Prague Municipal Authority, relevant contributory organizations of the City of Prague, and companies within the property portfolio of the City of Prague, especially in the development activities of the territory and when commissioning investment actions in public spaces.
The Active Mobility Strategy formulates a number of goals that are to be fulfilled by city institutions in collaboration with city districts.
The following strategic goals have been defined for the year 2030:
- Achieve a combined share of active mobility and public transport in transport demand of 81%.
- Increase the share of pedestrian traffic in transport demand to 27.5% (annual average).
- Increase the share of cycling traffic in transport demand to 3.5% (annual average).
Furthermore, the following specific goals are formulated to be met by 2030:
The fulfillment of these strategic and specific goals is regularly evaluated through a set of indicators. These include, for example (abbreviated):
An essential part of the Strategy is also the establishment of rules for the preparation of non-motorized urban projects, including multi-criteria evaluation and a manual for city districts.
The standards define specific principles, rules, and parameters for planning, designing, and building infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as for all users of active mobility in the area of the City of Prague. They are the „implementing“ document of the Strategy. The standards do not replace legal or technical norms, nor existing strategic and conceptual documents, but complement them. They primarily define the „standard“ for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure solutions for the Prague area. The standards define the optimal state that needs to be aimed for and must be met in construction projects (new buildings or reconstructions), which may not be adhered to by non-construction modifications.
The standards address the principles of design and pedestrian standards in their text quite extensively. For the standard of cycling infrastructure, the following principles are defined: continuity, directness, attractiveness, safety, comfort, and speed. Infrastructure is designed with consideration for different groups of cyclists (new and inexperienced, moderately experienced, experienced, professional).
A hierarchy of cycling infrastructure is defined, resulting in a trio of standards (highest, higher, and basic). The highest standard corresponds to recently defined superior routes, the higher standard should be met by most cycling routes, and the basic standard applies to all roads accessible to cyclists.
Recommended and permissible measures are defined for each standard and type of communication. For example, for low-traffic streets, a cycle street is recommended in the highest standard, and a 30 km/h zone is recommended in the basic standard. Typical measures are then described in more detail. In some cases, the standard goes beyond the applicable standards and technical regulations. For example, it requests a width of 3 meters for sidewalks and allows entry over pedestrian crossings in 30 km/h zones. The following requirements are essential in cycling:
Standards also define a type of measure called a meeting zone (Shared Space), which must first go through the legislative process.
Standards also newly define the number of bicycle parking spaces for each type of building. However, these are only recommended for investors outside the capital city of Prague.
Finally, principles are defined for surfaces that should generally be smooth and reinforced. Suitable types of pavement are listed for public spaces, and a nature-friendly reinforced surface is specified for protected areas.
A more detailed acquaintance with the Strategy and Standards can be made by studying them (downloadable here – in Czech). An action plan should follow the strategy and standards. The Strategy and Standards are currently approved by the City Council and the city authorities can be informed of their existence and requested to implement them.