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Dear reader,

As the summer holidays approach and the FIFA Worldcup is in full flow, this e-update focuses on the topic of events and recreation. Organising an event raises many challenges. Not only waste prevention and noise pollution are important topics to consider in advance, also mobility management deserves careful consideration. A succesful event attracts many visitors during a short period of time. Smooth accessibility minimises the inconvenience for the local inhabitants, makes the event more attractive for visitors, and diminishes at the same time its ecological impact.

In cooperation with the DELTA project, EPOMMs organises a conference on this theme:

 

Organising an event

MM measures have to be considered at the very beginning of event preparations. Cooperation with the event er is crucial. Both the event organiser and the traffic sector have a shared interest in preventing traffic chaos. The key issue is to provide several access possibilities to the event and to promote sustainable transport modes. For the latter, communication is of utmost importance. Already before the marketing campaign of the event starts, detailed information on all transport modes should be available. In several European cities, event organisers are obliged or encouraged to produce a mobility plan. For instance, the Belgian city of Antwerp is working on a mobility policy for events.

Have a look at their presentation from the ECOMM 2010 workshop "Mobility Management for Events".
The EU project SMASH EVENTS (concluded in 2004) produced a set of guidelines that help event organisers to plan their MM measures. An elaborative checklist was made, listing all relevant measures to be considered in the planning phase, the implementation phase and at the end of the event. These measures range from offering combined ticketing, improving public transport and starting the event already in the bus, to setting up a carpool matching system, signposting for sustainable transport modes and communication by mass media. For each of these measures, a detailed fact sheet offered information on possible actions, why to implement them, how to do it and the costs and benefits associated with the implementation. SMASH EVENTS tested the MM measures in four different types of events: from short sports and music events to long lasting or seasonal events. You can read more about these measures and their implementation at the SMASH EVENTS website.

Example: carpooling in Slovenia

A good example of how MM avoids traffic chaos in the context of events, are online platforms to organise carpooling among event visitors. In Slovenia for instance, student organisations implemented an online community where students offer empty seats in their car to those who have no means of transportation to a concert, party or any other event. For the general public in Slovenia, a websitepromoting sustainable transport options, including shared transfer to events, was developed in the framework of the EU project PRO.MOTION.

Example: organising side events in the Netherlands

Another measure preventing traffic peaks, is the organisation of side events before and after the actual programme starts. Often all visitors wait until the last performance is over and then travel home. They all want to catch the same train, the same metro or want to leave the parking lot at the same time. In Amsterdam for instance, the yearly SAIL event traditionally closes each evening with fire works. However, the organisers set up music shows after the fire works, in order to spread the flow of people and to prevent traffic chaos. Spreading the flow of people is also interesting at the start of an event. The capacity of trains, buses, ... is limited and, similarly, also the ticket centre at the entrance of the event, has only a limited capacity.

Example: embedded journey planner on event organisers' websites in Belgium

Tailormade and clear information is crucial to promoting Public Transport use. The Flemish PT company De Lijn is developing a widget (an internet application) that makes its online journey planner available on the websites of popular destinations such as concert halls. For personalised travel advise, the visitor will no longer have to leave the website of his destination to go to the journey planner website. Moreover, the widget will include an indication of the amount of CO2-savings compared to making the trip by car. The application is now in its test phase (check it out here, only in Dutch) and will be distributed to all interested event organisers from September onwards.

Major event

For major events, not only attracting local visitors but aiming at a worldwide audience, mobility managers not only have to consider visitors' trips, but also the mobility of employees, VIPs, players or performers and the general logistics of the event (catering, deliveries, ... ). The current EU project STADIUM aims to provide local authorities with a set of guidelines and tools to implement the traffic management system of such type of events, with a focus on ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) tools. It will include measures such as integrated ticketing and information for PT, bus priority and travel information based on mobile communications.

Major events are catalysts for city and public transport improvements. Public transport can benefit from the network development and image improvement realised in the framework of a large event. Early consultation and continuous cooperation between PT providers, event owners and local authorities are vital. Read more about events and PT in this UITP Focus Paper (FR, DE, ES.)

Example: The Olympic Games in Athens, Greece

The Olympic Games in Athens (August 2004) generated a large number of competitor and visitor movements, on top of typical local movements. Since only very few infrastructural changes could be made to facilitate travel during the Games, Mobility Management was a crucial technique to manage traffic congestion. All spectator movements were planned to be served by public transport, which was extended and ameliorated, and also normal city traffic was urged to minimise car use. Parking control zones, where parking was only allowed for residents and employees with a special permission, were established. Special attention was given to inform athletes, technical officials, volunteers, media, local and international spectators about the Olympic Transport System. To accomplish this, a wide range of communication means were used: a detailed spectator's guide with maps, brochures, newsletters, letter box drops, (variable) outdoor message signs, call centre, television and radio broadcasting, internet, ... By using MM measures, the organisers managed to adequately control traffic movement during the entire Olympic Games. Read more about the complex task of planning and managing transportation for the Athens Olympics in this ITE article.

Example: The FIFA Holland-Belgium Bid

© Robert Stussi

The Netherlands and Belgium have presented the bicycle as the symbol for a green FIFA Worldcup in 2018. Bikes for rent and cycle highways are the backbone of the concept. The bidbook presented to the FIFA included a mobility concept which enables supporters to travel to the stadiums in an environmentally friendly way. The spearhead action of the programme is the availability of 2 million bikes for the football fans. Car free zones will be installed in city centres and areas close to the stadiums during the World Cup. Park and Ride and Park and Bike facilities will be placed on the edges of these car free zones. New bicycle routes will be built where needed, especially focusing on cities where World Cup games will be organised. The current programme of cycle highways will therefore be intensified. Read more about it here.

Recreation and tourism

During the tourist season, certain regions are affected by heavy seasonal traffic. Managing this huge traffic stream is an important challenge for the local government and all the organisations involved. However, similar to one-time events, recreational traffic and tourism can be regarded as an opportunity for public transport as well. Read more about the benefits of tourism for PT here (FR, DE). Through pilot projects in seven countries, the EU project STREAM (2006-2009), provided tourist destinations with sustainable solutions, diminishing car use in natural environments like mountain regions, recreation areas, coastal regions, ... The final report offers an overview of the measures implemented.

DELTA: Regions affected by heavy seasonal traffic peaks unite

The current DELTA project focuses on the problems and needs associated with the management of seasonal traffic peaks. DELTA launched a networking platform enabling knowledge exchange between regions and mobility experts on how to handle seasonal traffic peaks in a sustainable way. Being a member of this platform will enable them to use the final outcome of the project (a Decision Support Instrument delivering dedicated mobility schemes for their region), and will help them to build up contacts to other affected regions and exchange mobility management practice. For more information on the network, or to become a member, please visit www.delta-network.eu.

The Decision Support Instrument (DSI) the DELTA project is developing, aims to assist local transport and other agencies of regions experiencing strong seasonal variations of transport demand in the selection of the most appropriate mobility schemes for their situation. A first external evaluation session of the DSI was held on the 5th of May in Graz (Austria), during which 17 experts provided valuable feedback and participated at thematic discussions. The beta version of the DSI can be found at www.deltadsi.imet.gr, while its final version will be presented at the joint DELTA and EPOMM conference "Mobility management and Seasonal Traffic Flows" on the 4th - 5th of October 2010 in Athens, Greece.

Example: transfer point for natural landscape in The Netherlands

The Veluwe is a large natural area, situated in Gelderland (the Netherlands), attracting many tourists. On sunny days there is a lot of traffic, disturbing the natural environment. The area is not easily accessible by public transport, leaving visitors no choice but to use their car. To reduce the traffic stream, measures have been taken to steer car traffic. This steering involves fairly simple measures, like providing road signs that keep cars at the edge of the area, and more elaborate measures like designing clustered facilities that steer visitors to a certain part of the area. Veluwe transfer point Nunspeet is an example of such a clustered facility. It is situated at the edge of the area, near a railway station and a freeway. The transfer point has a large parking space and offers many activities attracting parents with children (playground, activity centre, starting point of hiking routes, ...). By offering all these facilities, traffic is kept away from the central part of the natural area. More case studies from the Netherlands can be found in the brochure A day out. Examples of recreational traffic".
 
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