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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Mobility

Formentera takes island's first mobility action plan to local community

foto-pla-mobilitat-2018--2-1This Wednesday the mobility department of the Formentera Council convened the island's league of community representatives, the Consell d'Entitats, for an unveiling of the island's Pla de Mobilitat Sostenible, or “Sustainable Mobility Strategy”. Infrastructure and mobility secretary Rafael González, citizen participation secretary Sònia Cardona, and representatives of IDOM, the firm enlisted in the document's drafting, explained the exact details of the plan to the neighbourhood, land and environment sections of the Consell d'Entitats.

Mobility studies were commissioned by the Council in 2009 and 2017 as part of an effort to generate an analysis of mobility on Formentera. Surveyers had conversations with residents, tourists and other visitors to the island and kept tallies of pedestrians, cyclists, individual vehicles, rental cars and public transport.

Wednesday April 11, when the Consell d'Entitats held an initial participatory session to create a draft plan, attendees got an overview of the data collected and crunched in an effort to define the fundamentals of sustainable mobility on Formentera.

Sustainable Mobility Plan
The result —a targetted action plan— was unveiled last night before members of the Consell d'Entitats. Subsequently the plan will be submitted for preliminary review at the island's July plenary.

Review of the studies gave rise to 12 guiding principles, 34 programmes and 145 proposals requiring further development. Of particular note are the clear steps proposed for public transport upgrades.

After preliminary review, stakeholders will have one month to present comments and objections. Information from yesterday's meeting will be posted to the Council's transparency portal.

The secretary, who described the plan as “crucial, said that while tranquility is at the core of the Formentera experience, but "we're not there yet on mobility". “This strategy gives us a clear path forward in becoming an island that is practical, safe, clean and peaceful”.

Formentera Council revives regulated access at es Cap lighthouse

regulacio-acces-far-es-cap-21The Formentera Council's mobility department announces the Monday June 25 reactivation of a plan to limit car and motorcycle access to es Cap de Barbaria lighthouse.

Tracing current plans to revive the apparatus to the success of last year's effort, secretary Rafael González said the setup was aimed at keeping crowds at the monument to a minimum and preserving a tranquil, natural setting.

Restricted access to the monument, which starts Monday June 25 and continues until September 30, lasts 20 days longer than last year. Last summer the provisions debúted July 1 and were phased out September 15.

Ins and outs of regulated access
Under the system of restricted entry, a roadblock sits at kilometre marker 6.5 of the highway that descends to Formentera's southern-most tip, es Cap (“the Cape”) de  Barbaria. With parking for 60 cars and 100 motor scooters at an adjacent plot, motorists can get out and walk or cycle the remainder of the path to the lighthouse.

When crowds are at their highest—from 11.00am to 1.00pm and again from 6.00pm to 10.00pm—a patrol person will be stationed at the barrier to provide information about the initiative and facilitate vehicle access for individuals with reduced mobility.

Visits to the lighthouse
According to mobility office data, the lighthouse got an average of five hundred visitors per day. At its busiest, the monument typically supports 280, though crowds of up to four hundred visitors have been recorded. The most popular times to visit are sundown after a clear day, followed by cloudy mornings.

González framed the measure as a chance to brand the lighthouse and nearby es Garroveret defence tower as “unmissable excursions in tune with preserving nearby natural surroundings and tranquility”.

Formentera's summer taxi fleet goes all in on hybrids

foto taxi 2018The mobility department of the Formentera Council announces that this summer and next, the island's seasonal taxi fleet is one hundred per cent hybrid.

The measure represents a deepening of the Council's commitment to minimising carbon emissions with sustainable alternatives. Switching conventional vehicles on the island's taxi fleet for sustainable ones is just one strategy adopted by the Council to achieve that goal. Others include gradually upgrading the fleet of municipal vehicles as well, and the so-called fiscalitat verda (Catalan for “green taxation”) practice of offering reduced taxes for drivers of sustainable vehicles.

Seasonal taxis
This year not only has the Council issued more seasonal chauffeur permits, the season has become longer, too. With two new taxis joining the island's summer reinforcements this year and next, the seasonal fleet went from eight in 2016-2017 to ten.

In 2016 and 2017 islanders enjoyed just three months of expanded service (June 15 to September 15). That period has been extended to four months (June 1 to September 30). Of the ten seasonal taxis, five will be on the road from June to August and the remaining five are on duty from July to September. Hence, the adaptive service will be bolstered by the addition of five taxis in June and September and ten in July and August.

Twenty-five vehicles, two of which are accessible for individuals with reduced mobility, form the island's year-round fleet of taxis.

Road closures for Formentera's ten-year-old half marathon

Foto talls mitja marato 2018The island's Mitja Marató, or Half Marathon, will prompt multiple road closures this Saturday, May 12, affecting motorists and cyclists alike.

The 21K footrace begins at 5.30pm at la Mola lighthouse. Its 8K cousin gets going at the same time from kilometre marker 6.2 on the Sant Ferran highway.

The stretch of road connecting the town of el Pilar de la Mola and the nearby lighthouse will be closed to vehicle traffic from 3.00pm. Athletes who drive to the event will find parking at a special lot in el Pilar de la Mola and must cover the final two kilometres to the lighthouse on foot. A shuttle service at the end of the race will take participants from the finish line back to the car park. Access to the lighthouse will be restricted to buses and vehicles belonging to the event organisation. Parking at the lighthouse itself is absolutely prohibited. Any cars parked at the special car park before 3.00pm will be towed and their owners fined.

The main highway will be blocked between es Caló and la Mola from 4.30pm and between Sant Ferran and es Caló from 5.00pm. That is also when closures will take place on the stretch from la Savina to es Pujols and Sant Ferran.

Vehicle traffic can resume as soon as the final runners have passed. Organisers say they expect the last runners will reach the port of la Savina finish line between 7.30pm and 8.00pm.

Special timetable for night buses following tenth 'Mitja Marató'

Foto mojinos escoziosThe Formentera Council's mobility department announces that buses will operate on a special schedule to accommodate a nighttime concert following this Saturday's half marathon.

From 9.00pm to 2.15am, buses linking es Pujols with other towns and central points on the island will be available to islanders wishing to reach Los Mojinos Escozios's 11.30pm concert at plaça Europa.

Night bus service was hit upon as a way to provide transport for everyone, from locals to individuals who are just in town for the race. Two additional journeys at 1.15am and 1.35am will provide revellers overnighting on Eivissa a way to get from es Pujols to la Savina after the concert. Trasmapi has promised a 2.00am ferry passage to Eivissa specially for the event.

Riders on the night bus will be charged €4 for single and €6 for return tickets.

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