No longer 'golden': Every 3rd Praguer wants to leave

Michal Štůsek
25. 9. 2010 9:40
Ahead of municipal elections, parties promise to solve Prague's pollution problem
Prague is currently undergoing many changes. After the elections, the pace could get even faster
Prague is currently undergoing many changes. After the elections, the pace could get even faster | Foto: Ludvík Hradilek

Prague - Less than one month before the Czech municipal elections, Prague's politicians has received a rather serious message from the inhabitants of the capital.

More than one third of Prague's inhabitants would like to move to a different place during their life, according to a poll conducted by the Dema agency.

Read more: Aiming high: Ex-central banker runs for Prague mayor

Citing their reasons, most of them stated they want more contact with nature, breathe healthier air, and to own a house, instead of living in a flat.

Read more: Comeback:US to install missile warning center in Prague

Half of those who think about leaving the capital already know when they want to do it. Some 21 percent of them would prefer to leave Prague in 2 years, 32 percent in 5 years. The rest of them have no clear idea.

The poll results are very important, because the parties that will win in the upcoming municipal elections in October will determine the development of Prague in the following four years. And in their programs, they comment on some of the problems that make every third inhabitant of the city think about leaving.

Let's clear the air

Of course, probably the most immediate problem is the low quality of air. All parties thus say that once elected, they will do something about it. Most of them say they will introduce some changes in Prague's transportation system. Currently, an inner and outer highway bypass is being built in order to channel some of automobile traffic out of Prague's center.

The right-wing Civic Democratic Party and the Communists want to build more park zones and introduce electric cars, while the Social Democratic Party and the conservative TOP 09 plan to make Prague's public transport more robust. Other parties suggest introducing a special fee for driving through the city center.

Read more: Beware of step. Risky crosswalks in Prague put to test

Currently, Prague's Legerova street is the most polluted street in the Czech Republic. All parties agree that this key traffic artery needs to be limited.

Read more: Prague's street most polluted in Czech Rep: Study

Some parties even suggest the street should be turned into a city boulevard with minimal car traffic.

Good idea, Boris!

Other important topic of the electoral campaign in Prague is bicycle-friendliness. All parties now declare their support of creating cycling infrastructure for Prague, much more than before the municipal elections in 2006.

All parties promise they will build new and better-connected cycle tracks, parking zones and even bike rentals.

Recently, London's mayor and avid cyclist Boris Johnson has introduced a bicycle-sharing system in Britain's capital.

 

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