In October 2002 the city of Gent started with the campaign ‘smart travelling’. The city gathered at that time more than 1.300 signed traffic commitments, where inhabitants of Gent commit themselves
to travel as much as possible with sustainable transport modes
to drive carefully and
to follow the traffic rules.
In return the city of Gent offers campaigning material and informs regularly the inhabitants of the traffic measures implemented.
Every three months the city of Gent publishes a newsletter reporting about the activities of the club during that time, but also the realisations in the field. Some examples of previous editions:
overview infrastructure works near school surroundings
activities during the Week of the Soft Road User stimulating the cyclists (second hand cycling market, the so-called 'short distance contracts', the cycling journey 'Cycle for Life', ...)
measures to stimulate the freer circulation of public transport.
Every year the city organises a ‘Smart travelling club-day’.
Through the EU-BYPAD project (Bicyle Policy Audit), the members of the Club played an important role in the evaluation of the cycling policy of their city. The audit is a self evaluation proces by an evaluation group, consisting of three groups: politician(s), civil servant(s) and user group(s).
This group is guided by an external actor-the BYPAD auditor. In most cities the user group consists of cycling organisations, in Gent the users are members of the 'Smart travelling club'. A call was launched through the newsletter for candidates willing to participate as user in the BYPAD process.
This club is an ideal basis to test the mobility and bicycle policy of the city, as the individual users can be questionned on a regular basis on cycling and mobility issues.
This project was on the shortlist of the innovative cycling measures, in the frame of the EU project BYPAD (Bicyle Policy Audit). BYPAD was implemented in Gent in 2004.
BYPAD stands for Bicycle Policy Audit and is based on the methods of quality management, which have already been used in the business world for many years.
Yves De Baets