Improved Pedestrian Environment in Krakow

The activity was implemented in the early 1990’s and is still running. The main objective of it is to improve the environment for pedestrians who move through the city on foot.

The key partners of this activity are the local public transport company (MPK), the Municipality of Krakow, the City Council and local road authorities (ZDiT and KZK, now  called ZIKiT).

Background & Objectives

The conditions for pedestrians were not of the highest European standards until the activity was implemented, i.e. they were not adjusted in the best way to the requirements of older and disabled people.

To change that was the general objective of this activity. The most important focus groups were retired, older, blind and visually impaired people, but the activity has had a good influence on the other passengers’ travelling conditions as well.

Implementation

Sound or voice information concerning traffic lights has been installed at the main crossroads in Krakow, particularly at those with public transport stops and lines. It helps older people to better recognize the current situation at the crossroads which are difficult points in their pedestrian trips.

Signals are of two kinds:

  • a direct voice communication together with a green light that encourages pedestrians to enter the crossing or
  • simple sound signals while there is a green light for pedestrians.

Some of the kerbs at crossroads were lowered and at the biggest multilevel crossroads, lifts were installed.

On some pavements, special lines have been built in. Thanks to them, blind people can feel when they approach the crossroads.

The key condition for the implementation was constant political support from the City Council and local road authorities (ZDiT and KZK, now called ZIKiT). However, an important factor was always the opinion of blind people organisations (involving also many older inhabitants), which was taken into account each time new voice communications systems etc. were installed.

Conclusions

Due to this activity there is a better and safer pedestrian environment in Krakow now that encourages older people to use public transport more. Potentially, this measure helps to reduce the number of private car trips and to reduce the number of road accidents with the participation of older and blind people.

The security audit in Krakow now focuses on the 1st ring road, however, the area covered by the activity will be extended in the nearest future.

The activity is easy to transfer to other cities and the costs of the installation of new solutions are quite low.

 

Contact Person
Mr. Tomasz ZWOLINSKI
Firm: Municipality of Kraków
Address: os. Zgody 2, 31-949 - Kraków, Poland
Phone: +48-12 61-68 748

The AENEAS project is supported by:
Inteligent Energy
The sole responsibility for the content of this case study lies with the authors.
It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Communities.
The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.