Urban Mobility

Telephone surveys to help understand urban mobility

June 3rd 2009
Our modern lifestyle has filled the roads with motorized traffic, leading to an unsustainable situation where road congestion is the norm and pedestrians and cyclists often feel marginalized, and even at risk.
Xàbia wants to find a local solution to these problems and to contribute to a better life-style through a Plan of Sustainable Mobility.

This was introduced on June 2nd at an Agenda21 meeting in the Casa de Cultura
Improvements in the standard of living and urban development has changed people's mobility. Not long ago, not all families had a car, now it is normal to have one for each family member. This, together with the increase in leisure travel, has contributed to growing traffic congestion, increased levels of polluting gases and unsustainable situation in modern urban mobility. The EU has given priority to address this problem throughout the Union since it affects not only environmental pollution but also the quality of life, especially in urban areas. Thus, in its white paper on mobility, the EU has set itself a target that one third of vehicles used for travel should be private cars and motorcycles, while two thirds should be composed of sustainable transportation, i.e. bus or tram, on foot and bicycles.

In Xàbia, where the index number of vehicles per capita is among the highest in Valencia, with 738 per 1000, two thirds of journeys made within the 2001 period were made by car, according to data from the INE. While the population is spread out in residential areas is forcing many to use the car, IDOM, the company contracted to carry out the Plan of Sustainable Mobility, thinks that this figure could be improved and become much closer to the suggestions of the EU.
To do this there will initially be a traffic survey in Xàbia carried out by counting vehicles using sensors placed across the roads of the municipality. These sensors calculate the passage of three sizes of vehicles (trucks, cars and motorcycles) according to the distance between the axes of the wheels through a hydraulic pressure system. They will provide data that will cross-referenced with those obtained through population surveys.

Beginning Friday and for a week, Idom technicians will conduct telephone surveys of 2,000 Javea residents whose representation will determined by information obtained from the National Statistics Institute (INE). To supplement this information, and ensure that it is representative, especially among the foreign residents who live mostly in urbanisations and are precisely those who most use cars, IDOM will make contact with major clubs and associations that represent these groups.
The Town Hall and IDOM ask for cooperation from everyone, (already saturated with telephone marketing), and would like to inform them that the type of questions asked will be as follows:

1.Gender and age of people living at your residence
2.Yesterday - did you go out?
3.How many outings? Can you describe them?

  • a.Time
  • b.Mode of transport
  • c.If you used the car, where did you park?
  • d.Time taken by your outing.
  • e.Reason for travel

1.Number of vehicles in the household
2.Number of bicycles in the household
3.What is your current status (unemployed, studying, working, retired …)
4.Are you registered (in the Padrón) in Xàbia?

The information obtained from surveys, together with the capacity of vehicles, data from the INE, the contributions of the local Agenda 21 to issues of mobility (Accident black spots, buses, cycle lanes, cars parked on sidewalks ,…) statistics obtained previously to ascertain the status of Xàbia's urban mobility will be compiled. With this information, IDOM will make a diagnosis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the municipality in terms of transport and sustainability criteria.
Since the company is also in charge of drafting the new General Town Plan, both plans will be developed in a coordinated manner. All these data will be processed through specific software that will provide information on how to improve mobility throughout the area, suggesting changes in traffic direction or the creation of bicycle routes and lanes, places to park, and improvements in public transport.

Also, the mobility plan will yield a virtual simulation model, whose implementation will be progressive according to the financial and logistical resources of the municipality. According to the Councillor for Citizen Participation and Urban Development, Pepa Chorro, the Xàbia Plan of Sustainable Mobility must be made among all citizens so that we can adopt it as our own, not as something imposed from above. Similarly, the suggestions which result which should be carried out as far as possible. While some actions may be immediate, others will require a long time to implement.
Chorro also noted that the Town will in 2010 again seek a grant to implement a municipal bicycle rental scheme, paid 100% by the Valencian Agency for Energy (Aven). In this regard, the representatives of IDOM responsible for drafting the Plan of Sustainable Mobility, (Francesc Burgos and Arechavala Francisco), explained that they would make an annex covering mobility by bicycle which is a requirement by AVEN to seek such funding.

Adapted from Xabia al Dia : IDOM Realizará....

This Article also appears on Xabia al Dia on: Telephone surveys...

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License