MOBILITYACTIONS in the spotlight

Parking & Space Management
Road Safety

Prototype rearrangement of traffic at Miarki Street in Bytom Poland

15 September - 31 October 2021

Tackling speeding traffic with low budget solutions – a Polish success story

Imagine living at an urban road that is misused as a rapid thoroughfare, where cars are peaking with more than 100 km/h during certain times of the day. One can assume that it must be a rather noisy, polluted and dangerous urban area. This was the challenge that some citizens in Bytom faced. The Polish city, which is locate around 15 kilometers from Katowice, has more than 150.000 inhabitants and therefore some significant traffic.

The above-mentioned challenges accumulated in the Miarki Street, a stretch of road that was highly frequented by transit traffic, which did not follow the general speed limit. Thus, a group of citizens and city officials tackled the challenge. Their successes even led to the nomination as best MOBILITYACTION by the European Secretariat.

How to calm down thoroughfare of up to 1400 cars per hour, which drive up to 126km/h and create noise pollution of more than 60 decibel inside of residents’ apartments, with as little as 15.000€? An interdisciplinary group of more than a dozen local experts and citizens from different backgrounds, such as traffic engineers or public transport specialists, have tackled this issue in cooperation with city officials from Bytom.

Since the budget of 15.000€ was very limited and did not allow significant alterations of Miarki street, clever ideas needed to be found. These included an uninterrupted two-way cycling lane, additional zebra crossings, as well as traffic calming measures. The latter was achieved by strategically installing on-street parking areas to artificially narrow the street around areas without junctions. This curved lane forces car drivers to adjust their speed to bypass the newly created parking areas.

The most significant aspect of the successful project is the fact that traffic calming measures were achieved with signs and paint alone. This avoided significant investments into road construction that would also hinder the traffic flows during times of construction. Even though the solutions were low budget, the results are significant. Thanks to thorough speed measurements of vehicles prior and after the implementation, one can observe an average speed reduction of more than 20km/h. Additionally, 400 cars per hour are avoiding the street, which significantly reduces the burden of air- and noise pollution for residents.

Even though the interdisciplinary group faced significant criticism during townhall debates and via social media, the overall opinion of the residents is very positive. The nucleus of the group that was created around the traffic challenge of Miarki street will continue to solve other problems around the city and is confident that such budget solutions can be replicated across the urban area of Bytom and in other European cities.


ulica Karola Miarki, Bytom
(whole distance, more than 1km)
Poland Poland