Objective 2: Communication Plan (soft measures)

By combining all the elements the paradigm can be changed at the following levels:

2.1. Changing the approach of local politicians.

Urban policy representatives must take the ownership - this is the prerequisite for both the approval and implementation of the Cycling Strategy. The problem is that local authorities change every four years (in the CR) but meeting the targets of the Cycling Strategy requires much more time, it is a long-term challenge. Moreover, political parties, for obvious reasons, approach their voters with popular and non-conflict topics and try to avoid those that may cause tension in the public, including car traffic restrictions. However, this apparent unpopularity might be just a prejudice. The aim is not to cancel car traffic, but to optimize car use and to make urban areas more attractive. And therefore, communication between experts and politicians is fundamental. There is one simple fact that should be highlighted, the more people ride bikes, the more available parking spaces for the drivers.

2.2. Changing the approach of media.

Public impacts of journalists and of their description of cycling or traffic problems can be significant. Their work requires a high level of a transport flexibility, and private cars are the only suitable alternative how to do their work properly. Is that why transport is often limited to car traffic in the media? Here again, the experts could help so that the journalists approach transport issue in a more comprehensive way and help improve the image of cycling towards the public and politicians.

2.3. Changing the approach of public.

Whether the required changes in transport behaviour are achieved, it ultimately depends on the majority behaviour of the public, largely influenced by media. However, the general perception of mobility and cycling cannot be changed without further education (schools) and giving positive examples (families). We need to replace car use and find a new basis for travel behaviour, not only because of the environment, but the public health and economy as well. Public demand for alternative transport options is gradually growing, and the political will of municipal authorities might either support the trend or slow it down due to a missing sustainable and long-term vision for urban planning.