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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Mobility

Crews redraw metred parking spaces across Formentera

Foto nou pintatThe Formentera Council's Office of Mobility reports that for three weeks beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, April 17, additional metred parking spaces will be added in Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and es Pujols.

Besides marking out vehicle parking spaces, crews will also repaint traffic lines on the adjacent road surface. Work will be specially coordinated to minimise inconveniences. Local law enforcement will issue updates concerning the time and locations of activity.

In first participatory session, Formentera reaches out to islanders on sustainable mobility plan

foto pla mobilitat 2Yesterday the Formentera Council's Office of Mobility held its first participatory drafting session as the administration prepares to put together the island's "Sustainable Mobility Plan" (Pla de Mobilitat Sostenible). The gathering was attended by Councillor Rafael González, of Formentera's infrastructure and mobility departments; Councillor Sònia Cardona, head of citizen participation; and representatives of IDOM, the firm tasked with preparing the document. The officials officials gathered before the neighbourhood, land and environment sections of the Consell d'Entitats to share details of their research.

Aim of Sustainable Mobility Plan
According to Councillor González, the plan is about “identifying measures and actions that will help reshape mobility on the island, making it more sustainable and in tune with the environment”.

The strategy, said González, entails four working phases: piloting a review of local mobility, past and present; articulating strategic courses of action; preparing an action plan for a fixed set of objectives; and, lastly, planning and budgeting for manoeuvres in the coming years. Last night, meeting attendees got a look at the first two phases of the plan.

Mobility survey: now and moving forward
Holding up the results of surveys and headcounts administered last year, officials reported that on any given day in summer, 118,9111 people went mobile in some capacity. In 36,609 cases, those people were residents. Another 72,726 were travellers with plans to stay the night on the island. In the remaining 8,576 cases, respondents arrived and departed anew the same day.

Of the 37,609 displacements by locals (equivalent, on average, to 3.2 trips per person per day), 82% happened with a privately-owned vehicle. The remaining 18% of the time, residents opted for sustainable options such as walking, cycling or public transport.

Overnight visitors accounted for 72,726 displacements, or an average of 3.6 trips per person per day. In 66% of those cases, people used hired vehicles like cars or scooters to get where they were going; 11% of the time they drove their own vehicle. Sustainable transport was used in 17% of the trips taking place on the island. Other, non-sustainable transport was used 6% of the time.

And what about the 8,576 jaunts taken by daytrippers? For starters, each of these excursionistes took an average of 2.3 trips during his or her stay. They opted for sustainable mobility 40% of the time, followed by rental vehicles (38%); individually-owned vehicles (10%); cabs (9%) and other kinds of transport.

Survey administrators found that mobile islanders tended to stay in Sant Francesc, travelled between Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran or travelled between Sant Francesc and es Pujols. Overnight visitors tended to cover more ground, taking trips across the island, while single-day visitors usually stayed inside ses Salines nature preserve.

Strategic courses of action
Looking at the data, Councillor González highlighted “the soaring number of trips made by residents, overnight visitors, and daytrippers alike with privately-owned vehicles”. The task at present, he concluded, is to work towards a more sustainable understanding of mobility that accommodates more travel by foot, bicycle and publicly-subsidised transport “in order to strike a balance with transport that is sustainable and respectful of the environment”.

Nearly a dozen guidelines, most of which focussed on encouraging people to walk instead of drive; creating suitable infrastructure for cyclists; reshaping public transport to reflect the needs and demands of islanders and tourists today; improving options and accessibility for people living far from established urban areas; promoting more sensible use of privately-owned vehicles; improving road safety; and reorganising and managing parking areas.

From today, islanders can offer comments on the strategy for consideration ahead of the drafting of an action plan to be unveiled at the next meeting of the Consell d'Entitats.

Formentera won't delegate management of lighthouse this summer

The Formentera Council reports that this summer access to es Cap de Barbaria lighthouse will again be self-managed.

The decision means calling off the search for an outside contractor to monitor access to the monument as well as oversee bike rental and other services. For its part, the contractor would have been permitted to run a drinks stand at the site.

Mobility secretary Rafael González pointed out that “part of Formentera sees the drinks stand as a human presence that would be counterproductive to care of the lighthouse”, concluding, “that's exactly the opposite of what we want”.

According to González, the push to manage the monument, close roads to vehicle traffic, and other actions past and future, is aimed at preserving the lighthouse and conveying a point: the only guarantee to economic prosperity is in caring for the island's natural environment.

The Gent per Formentera strategy, says González, is built around preservation and making sure Formentera remains a place for peace and quiet. The process of opening the project for bids was conducted in total respect for the law, though administration officials now say their preference is now to scuttle the project. González calls it a crystal clear demonstration that “what drives this administration is preservation and consensus-based action”.

The secretary said his department would need several days to hammer out details like what management will look like, how long the arrangement will last, and opening hours at the landmark.

Formentera convenes neighbourhood meeting to talk sustainable mobility strategy

Carretera-reduxThe Formentera Council's Office of Mobility invites islanders in the neighbourhood, land and environment sections of the Consell d'Entitats to attend the first participatory meeting ahead of the drafting of Formentera's sustainable mobility strategy, an initiative known as the Pla de Mobilitat Sostenible. The gathering will also be open to the public at large.

Secretary of Mobility Rafael González said the strategy was about “defining measures and actions that will reshape mobility on the island, making us more sustainable and more eco-friendly”.

Mobility reports commissioned by the Council in 2017 served as the basis for an analytical study into mobility on Formentera. Research for the reports, the fruit of interviews with islanders, tourists and excursionists, also included tallies of pedestrians, bicycles, cars (even rented vehicles) and public transport.

This Wednesday at 8.00pm in the conference hall of Formentera's dependent care centre, a group including Councillor González, CiF citizen participation secretary Sònia Cardona, spokespeople from the firm charged with preparing the mobility plan, IDOM, will meet to share results of the analysis in hopes of setting strategic lines for sustainable mobility.

Moving ahead, a concrete action plan will be drafted and a budget proposal prepared. The plan is set to last eight years.

Neighbours in Es Pujols get a look at impending metred parking rollout

foto presentacio parking regulat epThis evening, the conference hall of local hotel sa Volta was the site of a presentation on the proposal to extend metred parking to Es Pujols. Islanders in the crowd heard explanations from Formentera Council representatives on plans for a pilot run in June ahead of a full rollout by July. The definitive system will mean 455 regulated, blue-zone parking spaces (320 new spaces plus 135 already-available spots in the underground car park at plaça Europa). Overflow parking, meanwhile, will remain unchanged—free and unmetred.

Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer explored some of the rationale for taking the system to Es Pujols roads—“more rotation in blue-zone areas and more vibrant commerce”, he offered.

Mobility secretary Rafael González spoke about the success of a similar venture in La Savina, a town whose historic parking crunch was brought to heel by regulating how drivers park—a move that involved rebranding commercial areas as “blue zones” and residential ones “green”.

González said officials hoped blue-zone parking would have a similarly soothing effect on the situation in Es Pujols. While drivers must respect metred parking rules across the town's network of non-pedestrian roads there, overflow car parks and spaces next to the town's roundabout will remain open.

Es Pujols's blue zone
Formentera residents will receive full rebates on parking fees up to one car per person. By means of one yearly application, local drivers can get authorisation to park across the island, much as with the current system in La Savina. Blue-zone passes will be valid island-wide, for 24 hours in summer.

Non-residents must pay to park (€1.20 an hour) from 10.00am to 12 midnight, Monday to Sunday, from May to October. Patrols will continue until 2.00am.

To meet parking demand near popular shopping areas, a new, 15-minute pass will be available to all drivers. Parking in Es Pujols will be free from November to April.

Some motorists —individuals with reduced mobility and scooter drivers— will enjoy free parking. So will people operating electric vehicles. Drivers of hybrids will get discounts of 50 per cent. Lorries used for loading and unloading commercial goods will be limited to 30 minutes in appropriate areas. Quad bikes meanwhile, are prohibited everywhere—in metred zones and overflow lots.

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