Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Policies taken to make walking, cycling safer in winter

15 Dec 2018, 03:03 ( 1 Month ago)

DF Report
Photo VisitFinland by Juho Kuva.

A new winter maintenance policies, to be implemented in 2019, aim to take into account abnormal weather conditions in the maintenance of walking and cycling routes more effectively and with higher quality results.

The policies taken by the Finnish Transport Agency and ELY centre for winter maintenance seek to promote walking and cycling in winter, said a press release issued by Finnish Transport Agency.

High-quality maintenance of walking and cycling routes increases the safety in winter.

It is now possible to offer, in cooperation with city governments, a higher service level for busy pedestrian and cycling routes through the use of “quality corridors”.

With quality corridors, efforts are made to implement a standardised level of winter maintenance regardless of the party responsible for the maintenance of the road.

On these travel routes, a high service level is recommended; one which promotes walking and cycling as a means of travel and which also facilitates the use of prams, wheelchairs and Zimmer frames.

The objective is that, at a regional level, these quality corridors will form a coherent network which would provide an excellent service to those cycling to work, as well as many others. Quality corridors have already been either initiated or completed in a number of cities, including Oulu, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Kuopio, Helsinki and Vantaa.

In abnormal weather conditions, the safety and reasonable functionality of traffic routes is ensured first of all for the most central routes. The most important methods for this are clearly agreed procedures and careful advance planning, as well as the use of all the road maintenance equipment available.

Information systems are actively developed. Cooperation with road weather operators and contractors is being strengthened so that even more precise weather and road condition forecast data will be available. Quality assurance is also being strengthened using digital technologies.

Regular dialogue with contractors, city governments, municipalities, ELY centres, and other stakeholder groups aims towards the identification of changing customer needs.