Alternatives to Develop Soft Traffic Modes at the Danube Quays in Budapest

Alternatives to Develop Soft Traffic Modes at the Danube Quays in Budapest


Csaba OROSZ, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Zoltan SOOS, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Dept. of Civil Engineering


The aim of the project started in 2012 was to analyse possibilities of redistributing public space on the central part of the Danube quays in Budapest. The paper presents the challenges, compromises, advantages and disadvantages of the major options.


Local authorities of Pest and Buda initiated to construct quays at the river Danube at ~1850. At that time freight by ships had significant role in the economy of the two cities. After the “Great Flood” in 1838, professionals regulated the Danube - thus mitigating the problems of ice caused floods. The first permanent bridge was given to traffic in 1849. [Chain Bridge – Ketten Brücke] Shipping companies began to build permanent quays to ensure safe loading and unloading of goods at the riverbanks. The new quays required construction of warehouses and supply roads. In 2014 the major function of the Buda and Pest lower embankments is to serve road traffic needs. Other functions are fulfilled with major compromises. [And partly at the upper Embankments.]
Proposals were made in 2012, to upgrade, to rehabilitate the quays in the central area of Budapest. The major concept was to redistribute public spaces to pedestrians, to public transport passengers and to cyclists, especially at the Pest side. [Partly connected to EU funded public space upgrading projects in District V.] The lower embankments became primary access routes in Budapest in the last decades: therefore a careful traffic analysis of many options was needed and carried out. Seven main alternatives were identified. Three options were selected to analyse in details by leaders of “Transport for Budapest”. The major challenges are the following:

a) Potential extra congestion at the Buda-side lower embankment. Some car traffic would be directed there.
b) Serious congestion side effects at local streets, collector roads in District V.
c) Potential and increasing conflicts of pedestrians and cyclists.
d) Problems for mobility of disabled people. [Local residents included.]
e) Joining parking problems for local residents, employees, visitors, Hungarian and foreign tourists.
f) Realistic definition of justifiable car traffic needs in District V. [Ministries, central offices, banks, museums, residents, tourists, shops. Logistic needs. Emergency and security needs. True effects of potential congestion charging from 2016. Relief effects of car-sharing, of car-pooling. Relief effect of cheaper and environment friendly taxis. The real effect of increasing cycling.]
g) Land – use and demographic side effects. Danger of further reduction and change of population. [Mobility problems for families and for older people.]

The paper would show the main characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of the three major options. It would highlight the preliminary results of the present public consultations and the decision-taking process.
Authors: OROSZ, Csaba (PhD) MSc in Civil Eng, Associate Professor, SOÓS, Zoltán MSc in Civil Eng, both Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Highway and Railway Engineering


Association for European Transport