Editor’s Notes: First Impressions of Urban Mobility in Kraków

One of the many things that has surprised me about Kraków is the mobility profile here. I was aware of recent modal share data – a graph from 2018 by Civitas.eu shows the city’s modal share as: 

39,5% CAR 
6,9% BIKE
1,1% OTHER

However, I was not expecting the intensity of automobile traffic here and road design that is often reminiscent of car-centric US American cities I have grown up and lived in. 

Photo: Annika Lundkvist (September 2021, Kraków)

However, parallel to this car-centric focus in planning is also often practical and well-connected pedestrian infrastructure as well as sensible and far-reaching public transit.

Tramlines are numerous, extensive and often run in between major roads, uninterrupted by the flow of traffic – a good thing as rush hour here can more than quadruple commuting time. 

Photo: Annika Lundkvist (September 2021, Kraków)
Trams have been in operation in Kraków since 1882 (with electric trams being introduced in the 20th century). The contemporary system is managed by ‘Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne w Krakowie’ (http://www.mpk.krakow.pl/) which runs a total of 27 lines -22 ordinary, 2 fast, and 3 night tram lines. Photo: Annika Lundkvist (September 2021, Kraków)

It is a dynamic and intriguing scene, at times almost seeming like an operatic dramatization of progressive sustainable mobility in development and on display right alongside a vigorous and committed car-centric culture. 

Photo: Annika Lundkvist (September 2021, Kraków)

I am definitely ready to roll up my sleeves and learn more including about recent and current efforts to influence the modal shift and increase shares of PT, walking, cycling and other forms of active mobility.

-Annika, Founder & Editor at Pedestrian Space

Photo: Annika Lundkvist (September 2021, Kraków)