The pandemic instilled great changes in transportation habits, and these could remain for the long term. Personal travel has received a greater role, the use of cars and bicycles have been appreciated, but this use will become unsustainable in the long run as the city cannot cope with the permanent increase in the number of cars.
Home office has also been heavily influencing our mobility, as working from home requires less travelling. The city’s duty however, is to shepherd the process and Budapest’s travel habits into a beneficiary direction, which would prevent the negative tendency of car dominance. We cannot forget some key positives during the pandemic either: the reduction of traffic in the city centre, the improvement of air quality, and the reduction of traffic jams.
The development of pedestrian and bicycle-friendly public spaces and infrastructures is a task of high priority for the city, placing emphasis on road safety and the prevention of accidents. In order to create organized and lively public spaces, it’s important to revise traffic-related public space utilization, bringing to the foreground the needs of citizens and local businesses. It’s also crucial to insure and publicize safe use of public transport in order to achieve greater faith in these types of transport. Because of this, it’s important to prolong peak traffic periods, expand the capacities and to reconsider the question of fees.
The main aim is to make walking and cycling more attractive to citizens and visitors – including commuters – thus enabling the city to change its mobility habits on the long term, creating a safer and greener Budapest.