To:

The European Commissioner for the Environment, His Excellency Janez Potočnik


Open letter to the DG Environment on the European Mobility Week 2013 in Bucharest, Romania

Your Excellency,


ActiveWatch-Media Monitoring Agency, The Organization Promoting the Alternative Transportation in Romania, Rencontres du Patrimoine Europe-Roumanie, Pro_Do_Mo Association, Greener Association, Resource Center for Public Participation, Association for Urban Developmen, The Ecopolis Centre for Sustainable Policies, The Landscape Architects Association of Romania - Bucharest Branch would like to bring to your attention the Bucharest City Hall’s misleading information that are currently posted on the official page of the European Mobility Week.

The non-governmental organizations signing this letter, alongside other NGOs in Bucharest, have been advocating for the development of sustainable urban infrastructure in Bucharest. The capital of Romania is currently the second most polluted European Union Capital. Furthermore, the quality of life in the city is fundamentally affected by the traffic jams in the city and the poor quality of public spaces caused by the insufficient parking spaces (situation that seriously affects the accessibility of public spaces).

The City Hall of Bucharest has been designing and implementing bike lanes on the sidewalk, leaving no space for the pedestrians and making the biking impossible in the city. The bicycle lanes are now all decided upon as being illegal by the Traffic Police and, therefore, there is no infrastructure for the bicycles (the investment for these illegal lanes is approximated at 10 millions Euros). Furthermore, in Bucharest there are only three dedicated lanes for public transportation (with a total length of appreciatively 2 km). This situation makes the public transportation unattractive and inefficient.

On the European Mobility Week official page, the City Hall claims that it had created “park and ride station”. Currently, in Bucharest, there is not any park and ride station. Mr. Ion Dedu, Head of the Transportation Department within the City of Bucharest, also claims that the City Hall has been developing informational and educational materials on the subject of sustainable infrastructure (the only materials developed by the City Hall were within the European Mobility Week, with a very low visibility within the city). In Bucharest, the only institutions that are currently undertaking public campaigns on this matter are the NGOs, with no support from the City Hall.

The City Hall has not organized “surveys or regular forums” on the subject of urban infrastructure. One of the main public concerns is the lack of transparency and the lack of public consultation on the urban development.

We are now informing you, that within the European Mobility Week we have had in Bucharest the biggest protest of the bicycle users. More than 8000 persons have marched on the streets of Bucharest, claiming the Mayors resignation for not developing a proper infrastructure for the alternative means of transportation. Furthermore, the City Hall is now developing infrastructure plans of enlarging the traffic lanes and for constructing new overhead crossings and traffic tunnels, with no

Furthermore, the City Hall announced that we have now in Bucharest a total of 23 of square meters of green space per inhabitant (starting from 3 square meters which represented the reality 2 years ago and close to its goal: 26 sqm). This is due to the fact that the institution has wrongly taken into consideration, when making the green space survey, the private green spaces which are in fact inaccessible for the public.

We therefore consider the City Hall of Bucharest has misled you concerning the situation in Bucharest. We kindly ask you to take notice of the information mentioned above. We are willingly to put at your disposal further and detailed information in order to prove the above mentioned facts represent the accurate and present situation in Bucharest.

In addition, we are kindly asking you to inform us on the status of the negotiation with Romania on the Multiannual Financial Framework, regarding the Environment part of the negotiation. We are lacking this information in Romania and we utterly need it in order for us to thoroughly understand the local authorities public policies in this area.

With highly consideration,


ActiveWatch-Media Monitoring Agency,
The Organization Promoting the Alternative Transportation in Romania,
Rencontres du Patrimoine Europe-Roumanie,
Pro_Do_Mo Association,
Resource Center for Public Participation,
Association for Urban Development
Greener Association
The Ecopolis Centre for Sustainable Policies
The Landscape Architects Association of Romania - Bucharest Branch

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