The festival started in Polotsk on September 16, when a bicycle rack appeared near the city hall. Also, on that day, the “mobile box” for Polotsk residents’ ideas on how to solve Polotsk transportation problems was installed in the city's central avenue. Furthermore, Polotsk schoolchildren supported the European Mobility Week by cycling to their schools. The European Mobility Week in Polotsk will continue with such events as a cycling race, a cycling city quest, an excursion on bikes, a cycling carnival, and even an open-air screening about city life. The majority of these events are scheduled for the weekend, September 19 and September 20.
Hundreds of cities support the European Mobility Week every year. These are the cities that have aims to develop bicycle lanes and improve public transportation. In July, this year, Polotsk became the first Belarusian city that officially joined the campaign. Among some other cities supporting the European Mobility Week: Budapest, Vienna, London, Madrid, Stockholm, Moscow.
September 19 and September 20 are going to become the most interesting days of the European Mobility Week, replete with various events. All of them will be happening in the central square – Svobody Square.
This is how a new bicycle rack near the city hall in Polotsk looks like
For instance, on September 19, Polotsk residents will be able to compete in cycling contests, to learn how to repair bicycles during a special master class, or visit a photo exhibition about urban cycling. There also will be a children’s zone where kids will be making bicycles from cardboard.
This “mobile” day will culminate in a cycling carnival for the most outstanding cyclists and in a BMX riders' performance. In a special extreme zone, one will be able to "test" longboards and balance boards as well.
A poster (in Russian) of the European Mobility Week in Polotsk
Apart from entertainment activities, right in Svobody Square, Polotsk residents will have an opportunity to talk with experts in order to find solutions to city transportation issues. Anyone can also put their suggestions regarding these issues into the “mobile box”, which is to be in Polotsk during the entire European Mobility Week, in Francisk Skoryna Avenue, 13, right in front of Polotsk's major hotel.
On the next day, September 20, the festival will continue. A city cycling race, a cycling city quest, and a cycling tour around historical places – these events are scheduled for September 20. All of them are arranged to start in Svobody Square.
«And on September 21, on Monday, there is going to be an open-air screening at one of Polotsk coffee shops. The social networks in Polotsk have already gone aflutter because this is the first time such an event comes to Polotsk. Besides, Polotsk residents are now choosing a movie on urban development they will be watching on September 21. The European Mobility Week will end with the word carfree day. During that day, some bicycle rental stores in Polotsk and Novopolotsk will be offering 25% discounts to drivers, while a bicycle shop in Polotsk will be offering 3% discount on new bikes,” – noted Anton Radniankou, Project Manager leading the development of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for Polotsk.
The Europen Mobility Week was organized in Polotsk exactly within the framework of this initiative. The project was launched in 2014, thanks to the financial support of the European Union. The project will result in a long-term ecological strategy for transportation development of Polotsk that will reflect interests of all categories of Polotsk citizens: pedestrians and drivers, passengers and cyclists. The strategy should enable Polotsk become a better and a cleaner place to live in.
Polotsk District Executive Committee and Interakcia Foundation are implementing the initiative and, consequently, organized the European Mobility Week in Polotsk. These efforts were supported by entrepreneurs and media from Polotsk and Novopolotsk.