About the most interesting events of the upcoming European mobility week the "Minsk-Novosti" Agency correspondent was told by Sergey Maslyak, Chairman of the Minsk City Committee for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
- Sergey Mikhailovich, last year's event impressed and pleased all of us. Do you think in 2017 it will not be worse?
- The experience we received last year, when the European Mobility Week (EMW) was held in the capital for the first time, turned out to be quite positive. Positive feedback was received. In preparing the event, the committee was seriously helped by the city, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus, sponsors and public organizations known as "the greens". Together we managed to make a beautiful ecological holiday. So, now we have tried to keep the basic concept and at the same time to add some bright actions and events”.
- What main events will be held during the seven days of the Week?
- This year the motto of the EMW is "To unite for the sake of the future". Guided by this slogan, we have tried to involve in the event as many participants as possible and organize various events. During the European Mobility Week, for example, we will hold thematic quests, excursions, seminars ... A big celebration is scheduled for September 22, when the day without a car traditionally takes place in Minsk. The event is to be held in Lenin Street. This will be a large-scale and diversified event. During the event, the State Traffic Police will block the movement of vehicles in Lenin Street from Nezavisimosti Avenue to Kirov Street. From 6:00 to 24:00 motorists will need to choose other routes to move in the city. The holiday will end with an enchanting night bike ride of luminous bicycles. Its participants will start at 21:00 from Lenin Street and will move along Nezavisimosti Avenue to the National Library. In addition, on September 22 representatives of the Minsk City Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology and Belhydromet will measure the level of noise and air pollution.
- The basic object of the action is the popularization of public and alternative modes of transport, isn’t it?
- About 900,000 vehicles are now registered in the city. If we take into account that one vehicle throws out about 1,200-1,400 kg of harmful substances a year, quite an impressive figure is obtained. In addition to the fact that cars are the main source of air pollution (their share in total emissions, according to the data received in 2016, is 87%), they also deprive townspeople of green areas in their yards. I think people shouldn’t be indifferent to what is happening in their city. This is the main reason for our holding similar actions.
Many events have been planned in Minsk for the European Mobility Week.
Excursions to the Museum of the Minsk Metro
During the EMW the museum is ready to host organized groups of 5 to 20 people. Excursions for them will be free of charge. In the museum which is located at the metro station "Mogilevskaya" there is much to see. True, a preliminary registration will be required. A tour will last for 1.5 hours. During this time, the metro guests will learn many interesting facts about the history of the underground in the capital, they will see unusual exhibits.
Lowering of the side stone at intersections
Similar work will be carried out on the most popular cycling routes. Last year, the field of work was limited to 22 sites. In 2017, this figure has almost doubled. The side stone is supposed to be lowered on 40 sites of the city.
Carrying out of cycle races
Such events will take place from 16 to 22 September in each district of the city. In addition, there have been planned walking tours, thematic events.
Action "On a bike to work"
It is organized by representatives of the NGO "Minsk Cycling Society". The activists intend to arrange special "energy" and information points for cyclists with photo zones in the city's streets, where lovers of two-wheeled transport will be able to have tea, coffee and fruit for free, receive promotional materials and information materials about the EMW. The action will be held from 16 to 22 September.
This year the Republican Center for Ecology and Local History has joined this large-scale environmental action. Its specialists will organize an ecological quest for schoolchildren called "Clean Air", and also, on September 18-20, they will hold thematic information hours for children.
A day without a car
This event will once again cause joy to owners of cars. On September 22, they will be able to travel in the city public transport for free. This decision has already been taken by the Minsk City Council of Deputies. The main condition is that a car owner must have a driving license and a technical passport for the car. According to the estimates made by specialists, in 2016 8,500 people participated in the project.
By the beginning of September, more than 1,500 cities from more than 40 countries had already joined the European Mobility Week. Belarus and Minsk are among them. At the end of August, a charter on the accession of the city to the European Mobility Week was signed in the capital. This ceremony is held every year.
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