Urban Mobility Plans and Accessibility
Keywords:transport, land use, accessibility, disabled people
AbstractIn France, as in other European countries, towns and cities have committed to reducing the negative effects of automobile traffic---accidents and air pollution---either by regulation or voluntarily in order to improve their inhabitants' quality of life. Creating urban transport plans (PDUs) involves favoring non-automotive travel modes---walking and cycling---as well as public transport. Investment choices and planning of corresponding facilities are an excellent opportunity for improving accessibility to the town and public transport for disabled people and those with reduced mobility. The French law of February 11, 2005 “for equality of rights and chances, participation and citizenship of disabled people” included an obligation for PDUs to include an accessibility appendix whenever they are created, changed or revised. After a short review of the new regulatory obligations for authorities responsible for public transport and cities, this paper examines how PDUs approved since 1997 have dealt with the issue of accessibility for pedestrians and users of public transport. Two examples are analyzed. The first is the PDU for the town of Mulhouse, the actual decisions made concerning highways and public transports and the lessons learned by following indications and the difficulties encountered in involving local authorities responsible for accessibility modifications. The second example is the experience of Valenciennes in creating a street accessibility plan that will form part of the revision of the PDU. These examples highlight the institutional difficulties encountered and suggest methodological elements to facilitate cooperation between the various partners concerned and agreements with disabled people’s associations.
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