In an interview with RTL Danas, Dubrovnik’s Mayor, Mato Franković, recently disclosed the city’s new plans to address traffic congestion. The new policies aim to ensure the sustainability of tourism and maintain the city’s reputation as a well-managed urban area.
In the past six years, Dubrovnik’s administration has implemented several measures to curb the overcrowding issues that frequently occurred during the tourist season. These issues have since been mitigated, resulting in a significant improvement in the city’s management.
The next challenge to be addressed pertains to the city’s suppliers. Franković unveiled a new policy restricting vehicle entry from 5:00 to 7:30 am. Beyond that, no vehicles would be allowed on Stradun, the city’s main thoroughfare. This decision comes in response to the observation that the highest concentration of supply vehicles occurs between 6:45 and 7:30 am.
To further streamline this process, the mayor introduced limited slots for suppliers. At most 10 vehicles will be permitted at any given time, a rule expected to bring significant order to the city by the end of the following week.
The issue of traffic congestion around the city walls will be addressed by giving priority to local residents. In light of the liberalization of the taxi market in Croatia, which led to a sharp increase in taxi drivers from 280 in 2019 to over 7,000 currently, special traffic regulation zones will be established. Given the city’s narrow streets, access around the traffic core will be limited, with primary priority accorded to the citizens of Dubrovnik.
Addressing the problem of cruise ships in Dubrovnik, Franković stated that a resolution has been reached. A limit of two cruise ships will be allowed in the city concurrently. While exceptions are possible, they are not deemed crucial. The city now manages the arrival of ships and guests more effectively. Compared to 2017, when cruise ships stayed in Dubrovnik for four to five hours, ships are now required to stay for a minimum of eight hours, often extending to ten or more.
The University of Dubrovnik conducted a study which revealed that while the city hosted more guests last year than in 2019, these visitors were better distributed throughout the day, week, and month. This demonstrates that the issue isn’t necessarily the total number of guests, but how their presence is distributed over time.
These new initiatives by the city of Dubrovnik highlight a proactive approach to managing the challenges of urban tourism, focusing on balancing the needs of tourists, local businesses, and residents, and ensuring a sustainable future for this popular destination.