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Multimodal Transport and Land Use Planning

The Global Plan for the Decade of Action 2021-30 emphasizes that with about 70% of the global population expected to live in urban settings by 2030, increased demand for urban mobility will exceed the capacity of systems that rely largely on private vehicles such as cars and motorcycles.

The Global Plan says “Investment in public transport systems to facilitate safe and efficient movement of large and growing populations is therefore central to addressing this issue. Public transport systems such as buses, trams and commuter trains carry more people compared to private cars and are generally more affordable. They reduce exposure to crashes and are a key avenue to improve safety, as stressed in SDG target 11.2.”

“Multimodal transport and land-use planning is an important starting point for implementing a Safe System. It establishes the optimal mix of motorized and non-motorized transport modes to ensure safety and equitable access to mobility, while responding to the diverse needs and preferences of a population. Multimodal transport and land-use planning should be adapted to local contexts and climates. Land use planning must include consideration of travel demand management, mode choice and the provision of safe and sustainable journeys for all, particularly for the healthiest and cleanest modes of transport but often most neglected: walking, cycling and public transport. This should be accompanied by standards that explicitly avoid or mitigate potential road safety risks and require minimum safety performance for all expected modes, abilities and journeys.”

“The availability of parking for bicycles and private vehicles at bus stops and train stations, for example, can facilitate multimodal commutes. In addition to eliminating risks to pedestrians and cyclists from motor vehicle traffic, people need to feel safe. To this end, infrastructural investments and policies that improve people’s perceived safety, both from traffic and crime, and especially those that address gender safety concerns, are important prerequisites to encouraging multimodal transport and active mobility.” 

The Global Plan makes a series of recommendations to encourage multimodal transport and land-use planning:

  • Implement policies that promote compact urban design.
  • Implement policies that lower speeds, and prioritize the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users.
  • Promote transit-oriented development to concentrate urban and commercial developments around mass transit nodes.
  • Strategically locate – where feasible – public, subsidized, and workforce housing to provide convenient access to high-capacity transit services.
  • Discourage the use of private vehicles in high density urban areas by putting restrictions on motor vehicle users, vehicles, and road infrastructure, and provide alternatives that are accessible, safe, and easy to use, such as walking, cycling, buses and trams.
  • Provide intermodal connectivity between transit and bike share schemes at major transit stops and create transport connections for bicycle and pedestrian travel that reduce total travel time.
  • Construct (or reconstruct existing) transport networks to ensure that non-motorized modes of travel are as safe as motorized ones, and most importantly serve the travel needs of all ages and abilities.
  • Promote positive marketing and use of incentives such as employer cost-sharing of public transport subscriptions.
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