It is very interesting and promising proposition which i can agree with substantially. But suddenly you break off when you just made the point that its more effective to design the roads to slow down vehicles. Do you have section 2 to suggest what types of designs have been used and might work?
In Penang, our council is using speed tables to slow down cars with limited success partly because it’s not well designed as I see the motorists and especially motor cyclist speeding up and crossing the speed tables at over 30 kph ! Even with better designs how do we reduce their speed over stretches without the tables?
Regards/ Mah Hui
Oops. You are so right Ma Hui. I admit I was being a bit lazy in that first blast, but as luck would have it I have given this quite a bit of attention over the years and have had a chance to observe both better (less) and worse (more) treatments in cities around the world. And while I am by no means a traffic engineer, what I can offer this morning is a quick shortlist as it comes off the top of my head and memory, and with more than a little help from US Institute of Transportation Engineers Traffic Calming Library (www.ite.org/traffic/), along with an article just in from Partners for Public Spaces by Jay Walljasper entitled “How to Restore Walking as a Way of Life”.
And now, in to the answer to your query, starting with a first lot of ideas for Slow Street Architecture:
SLOW STREET ARCHITECTURE
- Clarify and make widely known areas of the city in which traffic is being slowed
- Clear Entry Zone indications to slow speed in designated area – not just signs but also innovative street architecture at entry points which clearly get the message through to the entering motorist
- Create a policy of Traffic Cells (restricting car movements between adjacent zones)
- Geometric redesign of roads and streets
- Reduce number of traffic lanes on wide streets
- Narrow traffic lanes
- Eliminate long straight lines/perspectives
- Reprocess smooth uniform surfaces that favor speeding
- Convert one-way streets to two-way (See http://goo.gl/jyElyj)
- Replace mixed traffic lanes with reserved lanes for public transport and eventually cycling
- Create protected cycling lanes
- Speed humps
- Speed tables (longer then humps)
- Painted speed humps (visual messaging)
- Pavement stripping
- Street narrowing (real)
- Visual street narrowing (Trompe-l’œil )
- Overhanging trees and utility posts
- Horizontal curvature of street
- Weaving sections
- Raised intersections
- Make crosswalks more visible
- Raised crosswalks
- Roundabouts/Traffic circles
- Chokers (narrow street by extending sidewalk or widening center strip. Also called deviations, serpentines, reversing curves, twists, and staggerings)
- Reduce length of crosswalks
- Place deliberate bottlenecks that drivers are obliged to move around
- Using parked vehicles – whereon one side changing side at frequent intervals
- Speed humps, tables and other impediments (work with fire departments and emergency service)
Electronic measures to slow traffic:
- Add traffic lights
- Convert traffic lights to four-way stop signs
- Remove traffic lights (Replace with roundabouts of different strategies)
- Optimize traffic light timing (slow waves)
- Traffic cameras
- Give pedestrians head start at traffic lights
- Draconian law enforcement
- Very high penalties for abuse
- Create a Street Code (in case of accident driver must prove innocence, othewise pay all legal costs and penalties if found guilty)
- Make widely known the concept of Shared Space
- Create and Protect Play Streets
- Safety in numbers
- Invite other slow speeders (cycling, pedestrians) into shared street in a visible and abundant manner
- Introduce counterflow cycling (going against main traffic flow)
- Anything that favors eye contact (low speeds but also orientation of both parties.
- “Real signage” (i.e., the “sign” is not something you read but something communicated by the architecture of the road)
- Improve road designs at bus stops
- Traffic wardens
- Children at Play signs
- Publish detailed accident statistics
- “Name and shame” in event of accident
- Slowth – the many advantages of going slow
- Expand participation and leadership role of public health experts
That gives us one for each week of the year. Far from perfect but as an informal brainstorm it should give our readers a start on this important issue. For more information on any of these specific measures, cagey use of Google and Wikipedia will take you a long way.
But once you have your vision, strategy and the leadership in hand, what you really want to do next is turn to the experts – the leading edge of thinkers and practitioners working with these approaches hands-on.
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Unfortunately there is one more dangerous winkle that still needs to be resolved, and that is speeding by motorised two wheelers. But that will be a topic for another day.
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Bio: Trained as a development economist, Eric Britton is a public entrepreneur specializing in the field of sustainability and social justice. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest work focuses on the subject of equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions and in the process, find practical solutions to urgent climate, mobility, life quality and job creation issues. Currently working on an open collaborative project, “BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transportation to Smaller Asian Cities” . More at: http://wp.me/PsKUY-2p7 * This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 licence.