Switzerland: an app allows you to denounce pedestrians’ “black spots”

Switzerland: an app allows you to denounce pedestrians’ “black spots”
Switzerland: an app allows you to denounce pedestrians’ “black spots”

In the jungle of cities, the pedestrian is a fragile king. He is the most vulnerable road user, even though he often has priority. Sometimes, it is largely forgotten in urban development, while official speeches continue to encourage soft mobility. This double paradox is combatted by the new walkable platform. Like what the TCS has been doing for years with its ranking of the worst pedestrian crossings in the country, since Wednesday it has allowed pedestrians to denounce, with supporting photos, the black spots identified by Swiss walkers.

Sidewalk too narrow, forced detour, red light too long or dangerous pedestrian crossing: the list of aberrations can be long. From his throne, or rather with his fingertips, the pedestrian king reports online anything that seems crazy to him. The community validates, or not, with likes. And the local authorities concerned, as long as they play the game, can then analyze the situation and why not correct the situation.

“Citizens are in the best position to report to their municipalities the problems they are facing,” welcomes national councilor and member of Pedestrian Mobility Switzerland Martine Docourt (PS/NE). Walkable will make visible the many measures that need to be taken to make walking attractive and safe.” The app developer, Alexandros Coutsicos, adds: “With good participation from the population, we quickly obtain a realistic representation of needs.”

In French-speaking Switzerland, the town of Écublens (VD) is one of the first to test the system. “It is essential to promote walking in the years to come, in order to achieve our sustainable mobility objectives,” believes municipal planner Jean-Louis Radice. For now, a dozen other cities have already taken the step in Switzerland. Others could follow.

Walkable is the walking cousin of the bikeable app, launched in 2017 and whose principle is exactly the same, but for cycling. At the national level, the latter has some 4,600 users and almost 9,000 reports. In Zurich, for example, 3,000 problem points were reported, recalls “24 Heures”, and 300 of them were taken into consideration by the City.

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