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Mobility & Transport - Road Safety

Land use planning


Land use planning

Pedestrian safety measures that are the most comprehensive and most closely associated with urban planning and policy philosophies are:

  • Area-wide speed reduction or traffic calming schemes, and
  • Provision of an integrated walking network.

These are two complementary measures, which can be implemented together without conflicting. Not only do they apply to different parts of the urban fabric, but they also address different objectives. Area-wide schemes (the most widespread of which is the 30 km/h zone) are aimed at reducing vehicle speeds and thus at allowing for a safer mingling of pedestrians with motor traffic. Integrated walking networks (usually centred around a downtown pedestrian zone) serve to remove and/or reduce conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles and to provide or improve crossing points [60][38].

The same basic planning principles that apply for pedestrians apply for cyclists. Because cycling is suitable for travel over greater distances than walking, it is necessary to distinguish a flow and an access function. As is the case with motorised traffic, a network for the flow function is required. However, this network cannot follow the network for through-motor traffic easily, since the mesh of the routes of the cycling network is smaller. Provisions for cycling should therefore not simply be seen as additional features of the traffic structure for motor traffic. Rather, they require a network of their own [60][39].

When facilities for cyclists are being designed, five criteria are important if their needs are to be met [10]:

  • Safety: for large parts of the population in Europe (the perception of) road safety problems is a key reason for not cycling. Improvement of the safety of cyclists on the road is therefore a precondition for promotion of cycling.
  • Coherence: continuity, consistency of quality, recognizability and completeness. It is obvious that cycling will be restricted if the cycle network is not complete or coherent. These are mainly features at network level.
  • Directness: mean travel time, detours and delays.
  • Comfort: smoothness of road surface, curves, gradients, number of stops between starting point and destination, complexity of rider's task.
  • Attractiveness: visual quality of the road, survivability, variety of environment and social safety.