R. Venkat – June 5, Day 11, Thurs
Though its nearly two weeks since we left our homes we don’t seem to miss much ‘coz the team is like family and Vilnius feels like our new home. Bike or hike, we are navigating the streets and alleys of Vilnius’s old town at ease. Talking of bikes, its one of the best things that has happened to Vilnius. Bright orange bikes are trendy and is an excellent facility for travelers to ride through the city wherever and whenever. There are 33 bike stations in a 5 km radius in the city and its a free ride for the first 30 mins. Luckily, we have one bike station right at the entrance of the hotel we stay. Check out http://en.cyclocity.lt/ to know more. With many bike enthusiasts in the team it has been a pretty interesting ride so far.
Getting back to making Vilnius a smarter transportation city, we’ve been sifting through a lot of information, and more pouring in, that we gathered during the meetings over the last few days. Thanks to Indre & Anton from Vilnius city team who turnaround information with speed and sincerity. With the help of Indre and Anton we also were able to host a survey on the Vilnius citizen portal and are eagerly waiting for the final survey results. It is very encouraging to know that there have been thousands of people who responded to the survey in the first few days, clearly an indicator of the level of interest and aspirations of the city residents. Our last few days have been full of brainstorming sessions, collaborating as a team to bring ideas to the table, debating on what is appropriate for Vilnius and, of course, lots of fun that goes along with it. For the last couple of days we are getting into the peak hour traffic on car and buses to experience for ourselves what it feels like to be a Vilnian on the road. All this has helped us to emotionally connect to Vilnius, understand and appreciate the aspirations of this youthful city. We will fine tune our findings soon and can’t wait to share our recommendations with the city which has been such a wonderful host.