Future Policy Implementation: A Case Study Fostering Bicycle Inter-Modality in Skopje

Future Policy Implementation: A Case Study Fostering Bicycle Inter-Modality in Skopje

Ana Guseva (Innovation DOOEL, Macedonia), Marjan Gusev (Innovation DOOEL, Macedonia & University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Macedonia) and Biljana Veselinovska (Innovation DOOEL, Macedonia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6236-0.ch017
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This chapter presents a comprehensive new governance model to support the policy design and implementation lifecycle. The innovations are driven by the demand of citizens and political decision makers to support the policy domains in urban regions with appropriate ICT technologies. It will target domains such as sustainably development, urban planning, and more specifically, fostering bicycle inter-modality in the city of Skopje. The scientific approach is based on complexity science. The proposed optimization model is aimed to explore barriers and facilitators to using bicycles as a transport means in Skopje, considering bicycle riding for transport on private bicycles, and different share schemes.
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1. Introduction

The urban agglomeration Skopje is a complex, dynamic system with an extremely high concentration of functions and population within the Republic of Macedonia and in the wider surroundings. The intensity of the spatial, functional and demographic development registered over the past period includes Skopje among agglomerations with an above-average developmental dynamics in Macedonia. The City of Skopje is considered to be an area with an impaired quality of the environment. There is an urgent need to undertake measures and activities in order to provide a healthy environment for the citizens of Skopje (Stefanoski, 2004). One such measure is fostering intermodality in the daily transportation of people and goods, more specifically, the use of bicycles.

Intermodal passenger transport, also called mixed-mode commuting, involves using two or more modes of transportation in a journey. For example, Herman et al. (1999) give a specific action plan full of well thought out and pragmatic recommendations as a challenge to New York City to treat its cycling citizens better and to promote bicycling as a tool for achieving a more livable city. The goal of mixed-mode commuting is often to combine the strengths (and offset the weaknesses) of various transportation options. A major goal of modern intermodal passenger transport is to reduce dependence on the automobile as the major mode of ground transportation and increase use of public transport.

The benefits of the use of bicycles for flexible mobility are multiple, some of which include emission reductions, physical activity benefits, reduced congestion and fuel use, individual financial savings. However, there are some barriers that should be properly addressed to successfully promote the use of bicycle as an alternative to well consolidated transport means.

Among the barriers, safety is a major concern including a perceived lack of suitable bicycle infrastructure, as well as regular a negative attitude of some car drivers. Considering the former concern, it has been reported that the right location of bicycle docking stations to be better integrated with public transport, as well as suburban locations, beyond the inner areas bordering the municipalities is a critical factor to be analysed.

Unsurprisingly, the support for a more pronounced bicycle use is great among the citizens of Skopje. Also, it is perceived that the community accepts government‘s measures in allowing multimodal transport connections. Various citizen associations have already raised numerous independent initiatives (Na Tochak, 2013) to promote the bicycle use in Skopje. Intermodal transport means, and more specifically, the use of bicycles, is a hot topic in Skopje, which requires attention by the government officials.

Last studies (IDORM, 2010), (JP Ulici i Patista, 2012) and (GUP, 2012) showed that bike usage in Skopje varies between 1.4% to 2,5%, which is very low in comparison to average European cities. Therefore, the overall goal of the administration of City of Skopje is to increase the bike usage up to 5% by one of the following measures, introducing intermodality (car parking and bike-renting around Skopje central region), improving existing bike paths, establishing new bike paths, establishing new facilities for bike parking and rent-a-bike, etc. However, with limited budget disables an instant action on realization of all planned projects and the overall optimization, simulation and visualization tools will help the administration of City of Skopje to make better decisions what measures to be taken step by step in the next period and start the projects with highest impact.

Our research will use input data gathered from sophisticated channels, including surveys and social networks. The goal is to develop an optimization model that will analyse the needs and will propose an optimal schedule of number of bike users that will include bikes as transportation mean. The derived optimization model will lead to better policy decisions, more efficient implementation of government policies as well as better identification of consequences for citizens and businesses. It aims at reducing the complexity through a comprehensive policy spiral design lifecycle approach deemed appropriate for complex societal problems.

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