WIT Press

Urban Walkers In Medium-sized Portuguese Cities: A Study Of Guimarães And Braga


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145 - 156




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WIT Press


K. R. Rahaman, T. Alves & J. M. Lourenço


People are walking in cities for different reasons. Some walkers walk to go to work, some walk for shopping and some walk for leisure during day and night hours. Medium-sized cities, such as Braga and Guimarães in Portugal, depend on cars for even short trips of up to 2 kilometres. However, the walkways are allowing people to walk conveniently and safely, including in the late night environment. The pedestrians feel it is troublesome to walk on the footpaths because of illegal parking and the discontinuation of walkways. This paper focuses on the types of walkers who use the walkways on a regular basis. Usually, people feel comfortable walking when they go to clubs and bars in a group in these small cities, especially after work. This paper tries to focus the variety of problems on walkways and to present policies that can improve the situation. Field surveys have been conducted, both in the form of a questionnaire and observation, during the end of 2009 and the results show different patterns of pedestrian behaviour as well as evidence that people get different experiences with problems while walking on the walkways in both surveyed towns. Considering the issues of sustainable mobility, this paper also tries to suggest policies to motivate more people to walk, especially in the medium-sized cities of Portugal. Keywords: urban, pedestrians, Braga, Guimarães, Portugal. 1 Introduction Walking is the oldest and most basic form of human transportation. It requires no fare, no fuel, no license, and no registration (Portland [6]). With the exception of devices to enhance the mobility of the disabled, walking demands no special


urban, pedestrians, Braga, Guimarães, Portugal