The ULL proposes restricting free parking and modulating entry and exit times

The University of La Laguna (ULL) announced this Tuesday the conclusions of the mobility survey it carried out at the beginning of this year among students, teachers and other staff of the institution. Rosa Marina González, director of the CajaCanarias-Universidad de La Laguna Chair of Economy and Mobility, presented the results of the study, described by the expert as “not very encouraging.”

The survey highlighted that the individual car continues to be the majority mode of transport for those who go to the ULL, specifically for 45% of those surveyed. However, 66% of the university community is concentrated in the metropolitan area, in which “very convenient” public transportation alternatives are available, but they continue to opt for private vehicles.

For this reason, the ULL could include in its future sustainable mobility plan some measures to contribute to the decongestion of Tenerife’s roads, such as restricting access to free parking spaces in its facilities or modulating entry and exit times. .

The survey was aimed at all the groups that make up the community of the University of La Laguna, which at the time of its preparation amounted to approximately 25,414 people, of whom 10.6% responded to the questionnaire.

The study also revealed that the times of the largest inbound and outbound trips coincide with peak traffic hours.

Thus, among students, the peak of displaced people at entry time occurs between 8:00 and 8:30 in the morning shift, and between 15:00 and 15:30 in the afternoon shift.

Regarding departure time, among students it is concentrated in the interval 2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m., while for staff it is an hour later.

Asked about the reasons for using the individual car as a driver without a passenger as a preference, the majority cited the duration of the trip.

At that point, the professor referred to research carried out by her group that revealed that individuals tend to overestimate the duration of travel time by public transport, that is, to believe that it takes longer than it really does, while With the private car the opposite happens: there is the perception that the journey takes less than it actually does.

Another fact that González highlighted was related to the reasons for using public transportation: among students, the majority reason (52%) was for economic reasons. And the next reason (41%) was the lack of a driving license or own car.

That is to say, this is a “captive” population, which does not use this mode of transport with conviction and who will probably switch to private vehicles if their economic situation improves.

However, among the university staff, the main reason for selecting this option was ecological awareness (58%).

Other data from the study reveal that there is a very low attendance of shared private vehicle use and, in the few cases that do occur, it occurs preferably with only the driver and another passenger.

There is also little intermodality, understood as the use of various types of public transport to make the journey in stages, which is a trend that in the opinion of the speaker should be changed because “the ‘door to door’ trip is totally untenable”.

After presenting the results of the survey, Rosa Marina González launched some reflections and ideas that could be put on the table when the institutional mobility plan is developed.

Thus, he pointed out that the abundance of free parking on campus and surrounding areas is an incentive to use a private car.

“Parking must be managed by discriminating by origin and vehicle occupancy level: someone who comes from Los Realejos, where public transport alternatives are not adequate, is not the same as someone from the metropolitan area,” he explained.

One could even consider pricing these parking lots and dedicating that revenue to subsidizing more sustainable modes of transportation, defends the expert.

Given that the concentration of entry and exit times coincides with peak traffic hours, the expert considered that the flexibility of access times could be discussed and online teaching and tutoring encouraged “when and where possible.” to contribute to road decongestion.

To encourage car sharing, in the past applications were used to connect passengers and drivers that did not work at all because, in González’s opinion, this technology alone is not enough, it is also necessary to create incentives for its use. , such as parking spaces reserved for high-occupancy vehicles.

And to increase the intermodality of travel, he suggested the creation of more interchanges in strategic areas and parking for bicycles and scooters, so that users can use these means at the beginning or end of their journey.

He also referred to the increase in spaces and charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles.

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