Otherwise, head to the city center of EindhovenPublished on November 20, 2023
Are you also a fan of Eindhoven? We get that! The beautiful city constantly invites you and is therefore often pleasantly busy. 'Therefore, come walking, cycling or by public transport,' says our mobility broker Jan Waalen. 'Then we can all continue to enjoy all the beauty that Eindhoven has to offer.' Together with partners from the city, Jan tries to entice visitors to take the car less often.
A special P+R during a major musical in the Parktheater, the fun light bike promotion during GLOW, the PSV Direct bus line: these are not coincidental actions. It has everything to do with the efforts of all kinds of organizations to entice visitors to the city center of Eindhoven to walk, cycle or take the bus or train. Our mobility broker Jan Waalen is a driving force in this.
Visitors must continue to come to the city center
'From Brainport Bereikbaar I focus on the accessibility of Eindhoven Center,' says Jan. 'While our entire program basically works on avoiding, spreading and driving differently, 'avoiding' certainly does not apply to my job. We want visitors to enjoy coming to the city center. That is also why we must work to ensure that the streets do not become too busy. Because if the city center is no longer accessible, visitors will drop out.'
Focus on traveling differently
Another difference with most other activities within Brainport Bereikbaar is that it is not about tempting commuters. 'The city center is especially busy on weekends. By shoppers of course, by football fans or by visitors to theater and events. These are our most important target groups, not the people who go to and from work. We can spread this to a certain extent. For example, by tempting supporters to stay in the stadium longer after the match. But we mainly focus on traveling differently.'
Network for influencing behavior
Jan knows that he cannot achieve this alone. 'I have therefore worked hard on building a network in Eindhoven. Including organizations in the cultural sector, transporters, retailers and the city marketing agency Eindhoven365. Because you can only influence behavior through these types of parties: they have contact with the visitors. And now one in five visitors to the city center still travels by car. 60 percent of visitors to PSV matches come by car, and for theater visitors this is even two-thirds. That can be done differently.'
Investing in awareness
Many other organizations are now also aware of this. "That took a while," Jan says. 'Yet in conversations there always appeared to be a reason to look at mobility choices. For example, PSV received more and more complaints about the accessibility of the stadium and about nuisance in the area. To increase awareness even further, I have mapped out many visitor journeys using available data and surveys. This provided a lot of insight into the travel movements of visitors and even into their CO2 impact. That is also why partners started helping to influence mobility choices.'
Commitment to the City Center Deal
There is now even one Downtown deal. Jan: 'The municipality and organizations have jointly expressed the objective of avoiding a third of current car journeys. Based on the ambition to make the city center more liveable and attractive. We are working on this in various ways. For example, we work with cultural institutions to see whether visitors can immediately purchase a train or bus ticket when purchasing a ticket. The municipality will also improve the bicycle parking facilities in the center in the coming years. If the storage is safe, you can also dare to go into town with a more expensive electric bicycle. Another good example is PSV Direct, which picks up PSV fans from Asten and Eersel at home matches. We are going to see if buses can run from more centres.'
Hospitality is the most important
Many more measures are coming. Jan: “It is a process that takes several years in which we work together towards our goal step by step. We keep a finger on the pulse of progress with the city center monitor and surveys. We continue to look for the right balance. Because one thing remains paramount for the city center: hospitality is the most important thing!'