Pula Car-Free Day: Should Lungomare Promenade be Car-Free?

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Given that Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, the city may often take up more room on the Croatian news scene than other cities and places in the country. Such an example was the programme the city prepared for European Mobility Week (like the event in the Zagreb City Museum), the celebration of which took place on Wednesday with the commemoration of World Car-Free Day on September the 22nd.

That said, other towns in Croatia had their programmes too. One such example is the Eastern Istrian coastal town of Pula.

As the local Pula.hr website stated, this year’s edition of the European Mobility Week programme in Pula was added to with a motto ”Mobility with zero-emissions for everyone”, with which Pula entered its fifteenth year of organising activities for the occasion.

”In marking this important event, partners from the Muscular Dystrophy Society of Istria, the Istria County police force, and the Croatian Car Club Pula-Rovinj have been joining us every year. By participating in European Mobility Week, we want to encourage sustainable development and upgrade urban traffic. Twenty new buses operating in Pula are fueled by natural gas which satisfies the highest ecological standards and are adapted to disabled people. This all contributes to the image of Pula as a modern European town,” said Pula’s Deputy Mayor Elena Puh Belci at the opening in the programme earlier this week.

On Wednesday, in the spirit of Car-Free Days, the main waterfront, Lungo Mare promenade, was closed for car traffic from 06:30 to 15:30.

”The pedestrians we bumped into yesterday thought some construction work was underway instead of it all being a promotion of a more healthy lifestyle, given the no-traffic-sign was placed all the way from Valkan to Mornar,” wrote the local Glas Istre daily newspaper.

Glas Istre journalists also asked the locals whether or not Lungomare should be closed for traffic in general and not just symbolically on September the 22nd.

”It would actually be really nice if people could have a promenade without traffic so they could walk its whole length. Given that the younger population gathers here on benches at night, maybe it would be good for the promenade to be open for traffic from 22:00 to 06:00,” locals Tin Knežević and Ana Milotić told Glas Istre.

”It should be closed off for traffic. People need to move more and walk around more, and there’s too much traffic here. People want to jump straight from their cars into the sea without doing any walking. The beginning of this road is slim and the road from the restaurants goes off in two directions, so everyone should arrive here by walking,” said Marta Pešutić.

While many in the article felt that cars on Lungomare should be limited, apart from not being sure whether or not something like that would be possible in the near future, some people also openly took into account the fact that cars aren’t useless.

”Cars get in the way, but sometimes they’re needed, so maybe we should think about that too,” concluded Glas Istre with a quote from Mira Filipović.

Learn more about Pula in our TC guide

For more about ecology in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

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