In addition to the movement by human power, active mobility also includes other transport alternatives, which can also use various means of mobility (vehicles), often electrically powered. Although new types of active mobility means are being developed and the number of their users is growing constantly, the rules for how to use them on different types of roads are still missing. Therefore, all sorts of active mobility need to be defined, as well as legislative rules for their coexistence, according to the type of road and type of use, with the aim to provide data and documents for an amendment to the Road Traffic Act.
3.2. Changing traffic signs regarding active mobility
Several topics were identified in the field of traffic signs that need to be addressed in the draft amendment to the Act No. 361/2000 Coll., On Road Traffic, or in an update of the Technical Conditions 179 - Designing infrastructure for cyclists.
3.3. Safety of vulnerable road users regarding active mobility development
Cyclists as well as pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users who miss the protection of a solid vehicle body with its crumple zone. Unlike walking, cycling is a movement at higher speeds and usually closer to motor traffic. Therefore, cyclists' safety will be guaranteed first and foremost by providing safe, designated roads for them to ride on. As many researches and statistics from other countries show, there is a direct proportion between modal share of cycling and the level of their safety. Towns and cities focused on support for cycling and non-motorized transport in general, this could work as a "tool" to prevent road accidents.
3.4. Support for active mobility infrastructure funding and development
Cycleways are at the level of local roads with local government as the owner. Although cycling as a transport is primarily used for short distances, cycleways should connect towns and cities with one another so that bicycle transport services are available throughout the territory. This implies the ultimate goal of ensuring for every municipality to be a part of the cycling network. A model for the development of line structures for cycling will be provided. Moreover, a cooperation must be set up between the Czech Directorate of Roads and Motorways (DRM) and the Railway Administration during the implementation or reconstruction processes of large transport structures that include construction of cycleways. An example: When there is a bypass planned to be built around a town, either by the DRM, or by a Regional Road Administration, simultaneously traffic calming should be done on the existing roads or crossing infrastructure for non-motorized transport considered.
To reach the goal, the following specific objectives will help:
The cycling network is usually planned to go through some municipalities with a large territory, but small population, thus a small budget to build a safe cycleway as a part of the cycling network. Cycleways fall under local roads, and as the Czech law stipulates, it is owned and managed by a municipality. However, these cycleways often go around the urban area and are used mostly by other than local cyclists (either citizens from neighbouring towns, or bike tourists), therefore the local authority does not consider building it as a priority. When the implementation is postponed repeatedly, it results in gaps in the cycling network with no appropriate routes for the cyclists, who are forced to use more dangerous upper-class roads. This situation is a significant hindrance to increasing levels of cycling.
It is necessary to consider funding from regional resources for these cycleways and sections in the planned cycling network, if the aim is to provide continuous and safe network for cyclists who then will be able to pass through the territory completely off the heavy traffic on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd class roads.
The municipal structure is fragmented in the Czech Republic, there are small and economically weak municipalities in many regions, with a lack of personal capacities to cover large cycling projects, therefore it is the Region to take over coordination activities. However, the system does not set up conditions for doing this.
It is important for this smaller municipalities to have a model available which is sophisticated and which transfers responsibilities for building line structures for cyclists to regional authorities. After completing the sections of cycleways, these can either become property of the municipality, or the region will keep them as a utilitarian communication. Funds to build cycleways can be obtained from the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure (SFTI), for example, since the Regions have now become entitled beneficiaries.
The aim is for the regional level to take over responsibility for both building cycling network in rural areas from the local level, and delivering Regional Cycling Infrastructure Development Plans.
The owners and administrators of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd class roads are recommended to take over responsibility for cyclists' safety measures. Both reconstruction and construction of new roads are currently aimed at motor traffic. Therefore, conditions must be defined for the cycling development concept that will be used within new transport structures funded from regional resource, within reconstruction of regional roads and of other transport structures. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd class road owners might be asked by municipalities and other key stakeholders to address the safety of cyclists, with a preference for integrating cyclists into the main traffic area. Co-financing of the implementation and maintenance will always be set in the line with local practice. And it is the municipality that must make request for including cycling solutions in the planned road construction / reconstruction works; moreover, the request needs to keep conceptual continuity in a concrete form.
It is required to prevent the following problems:
It is also recommended to prevent risk of barriers for cycling and walking that can arise during state roads construction and reconstruction (or large railway structures projects, etc.). At a request of municipality or any other key stakeholder, the regional authority will join the project preparation process on the construction or reconstruction of a 1st class road (with the Directorate of Roads and Motorways as the owner and administrator), or on a large railway construction (with the Railway Administration as the owner and administrator), because the implementation of those could result in new barriers to cycling and walking. Co-financing of the implementation will always be set in the line with local practice.
Pursuant to the Water Act, the protective dyke, or so-called anti-flood dyke is banned for any type of vehicles, except from those which are used by the River Basin administrators. The law evidently considers motor traffic only and its negative effects on the dyke, while ignores cyclists with their little impacts. Therefore, neither bicycles as the vehicles can move on the dykes.
To support bicycle transport serviceability throughout an area, land reparcelling can be helpful. Land reparcelling relates to changes in legal status by which land is rearranged in public interest, either consolidated or divided. Land consolidation can be used to improve infrastructure and accessibility, or to create conditions for more rational land use. Land reparcelling is binding for spatial planning and closely relates to the implementation of the rural renewal programme which among other things aims to improve serviceability of a territory with an appropriate network of unpaved roads, suitable also for cyclists. Towns and regions are recommended to apply for gratuitous transfers of the land through which important cycle routes are leading.
Intermodality in DCP aims to develop BIKE&RIDE systems in integrated transport hubs and in newly built transport terminals. The aim is to gain support for programmes focused on integration of cycling and public transport for daily commuting to school and work. It is necessary to make stations and platforms accessible as well as provide bike parking spaces for the BIKE&RIDE system at bus or railway stops and stations. However, this aim can work only if the importance of public transport, especially rail transport, is strengthened.
It is highly recommended to support investments in specific BIKE&RIDE infrastructure, as well as to provide parking solutions for bicycles at transport terminals (include the cooperation since the assignment of project documentation), preferably as lockable covered spaces or boxes (in case of high demand consider automated bicycle storage systems, such as a bike tower).
The national long-distance cycling network includes several regional cycling concepts where the regions assign their priorities in financing selected projects. Transnational networks like EuroVelo, Greenways and others are just a matter of marking in the Czech Republic, as well as of tourism products (bike tourism resp.).
3.5: Active mobility coordination
The coordinator focuses on methodical management to enhance and promote active mobility, to support the development and balance of active mobility in the territory. The coordinator disseminates good practice examples. It is necessary to decide on the scope of his/her competencies; there are three possibilities to choose from:
The coordinator's competencies must be defined based on a professional discussion, and the office of a regional / national coordinator for cycling / active mobility / alternative mobility must be institutionally arranged.
It is necessary to distinguish the following administration levels:
Based on experience from other countries, it is recommended for the national cycling coordinator to be employed by the Transport Ministry or any of its authorized organizations. The coordinator will be in charge of cooperation with respective departments and will work on assigned tasks within his responsibilities. The following departments are recommended to be established:
Currently, the role of cycling coordinators is individually defined in different regions. It is recommended to develop a uniform definition so that the approach to cycling development is comparable in all the regions. The importance and competencies of the regional cycling coordinator depend also on how the competencies that are necessary for the cycling infrastructure development will be distributed between local and regional governments. In case the competencies remain as they are today, the role of a regional coordinator must be strong enough to facilitate implementation of cycling infrastructure projects which involve more than one municipality, which is very difficult currently due to a strong decentralization at the local level. There are four ways how to provide the office of a regional cycling coordinator: