Walking in Vienna

Who would have expected 30 years ago that one day “moving forward” would have such a literal meaning? From the current perspective, the future of mobility in Vienna means more buses, trains, bicycles and last, but definitely not least, the good old way of travelling: going on foot. Walking currently accounts for almost 30 percent of total daily trips in Vienna. This is an encouraging figure but there is still a long and difficult journey ahead. A remarkable 95 percent of citizens walk distances of up to 100 metres, but the rate drops to 78 percent when they have to cover a distance of 500 metres. While 53 percent still opt for walking a kilometre, only 28 percent are willing to take a 2-kilometre (or 20-minute) walk. Percentages decline to single digits for longer distances. This means that the perception of what a short distance is should be made longer – both for residents and for tourists. What is the shortest route? Where is the nearest public transport stop? Where am I? More information makes walking more pleasant. The City of Vienna is therefore exploring new avenues by presenting the best walking routes on the new “information pillars”.

The City of Vienna already provides a high quality service in active transport (pedestrian and bicycle traffic) and has numerous attractive public spaces.

The City of Vienna promotes these qualities through the implementation of new traffic regulations, such as meeting areas and pedestrian zones. A recent example is Mariahilfer Straße, where the groundbreaking ceremony took place on 19 May 2014. The extension of 30 km/h speed limit zones in residential areas improves quality of life and renders traffic safer. Walking is also promoted with needs-based traffic lights and construction measures in cooperation with public transportation.

Strategic routes and new signage systems: In light of dynamic population growth in the City of Vienna, it is crucial to maintain the compact nature of the city and support short-distance walks for everyday mobility. High-quality cross-district strategic routes are being developed to allow people to explore the city comfortably on foot. A new wayfinding system on totems in the public space will show routes and provide information on the area, public transport and cycling in order to facilitate orientation and to motivate people to walk. A service for questions and complaints management, campaigns for walking and offers for schools and kindergartens are being implemented to boost the desire for walking. The awareness-building strategy includes events that let people experience the public space with all their senses.

Factsheet: Master Plan for Walking – Strategy for Walking in Austria
BMLFUW, BMVIT & Umweltbundesamt, 2015

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Vienna Walking – Facts and Figures on Pedestrian Traffic
Mobility Agency of the City of Vienna, 2015

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Strategy Paper on Pedestrian Traffic
City of Vienna, 2014

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