Pedestrian-friendly Street: A great asset to the community
Pedestrian-friendly streets are a prodigious strength to the community. They can also attract economic benefits. The presence of such streets can increase retail sales and open up trade. Along with that, it offers a public space for shopping in the neighborhood. The pedestrian-friendly street has countless benefits for small businesses as well.
Pedestrians are not only safer but they are also more relaxed than drivers. A pedestrian-friendly street reduces stress levels by providing walkers with a place where they can take a break from their daily routines. This makes them feel better about themselves as well as their city or town.
Pedestrian-friendly streets increase property values because they make the area look nicer. which eventually increases the demand for housing and commercial space in that area. In addition to these benefits, pedestrian-friendly streets also improve public health, because people who walk to work tend to live a healthier lifestyle. Many benefits come along with having an intervened sidewalk in your neighborhood such as:
- More people will be encouraged to walk instead of driving their cars which will reduce pollution and traffic congestion;
- Pedestrians will have easy access to stores, restaurants, and other businesses that are located in the area;
- Visitors will be able to enjoy their time more since they do not need to worry about being hit by cars or getting lost in traffic;
- It will encourage pedestrian movement which will help improve air quality since there is less traffic on the roads
A sidewalk is a place where people can walk and interact with each other. The sidewalks are where we should be able to walk fast and safely. However, not everyone has been able to enjoy them due to the lack of pedestrian-friendly streets, which is an elementary part of our society.
There are certain ways to improve pedestrian movements on the sidewalk, which are explained in three different sections.
Section: A. Transforming streets into places for people.
The idea behind this suggestion is to transform our streets into pedestrian-friendly places. where people feel safe and comfortable walking, cycling, and using public transport. Also, to create a new space where people can meet their daily needs, such as shopping or eating out.
According to a recent report (walk score 2022), making a street into a more walkable place can increase property values by as much as 20 to 30 percent. Streets should also have benches and other seating areas where people can sit while they are waiting for buses or trains, or just enjoying a nice day outside.
In addition to these significant roles of the sidewalk, it serves as a great benefit to the community. By transforming our streets into places for people instead of just drivers, we can create a more walkable neighborhood, that is attractive to residents and businesses alike. These will lead to lower crime rates, higher property values, and increased tax revenue for the city council.
Figure -1, A sidewalk transformation in Bangalore, with fixed bollards to prevent a motor vehicle from encroaching the pedestrian space.
Section: B. Analyse Street activity
Street activity is a sign of the health and vitality of a city. Street activity can be measured by observing the number of people on the street, their ages, occupation, and social status. The number of people on the street can tell us about the economic activity going on in a given area. An increase in the number of pedestrians indicates that there are more opportunities for employment, shopping, and recreation.
The age of pedestrians also indicates the economic condition. A high proportion of elderly people suggests that more pensioners have retired from their jobs, giving them more time to spend on leisure activities such as walking around the neighborhood or shopping at local stores.
Figure -2, An interactive space for pedestrians and local shops.
Section: C. Design for safety and comfort
Pedestrians are usually the most important part of any city’s infrastructure, as they make up the majority of the population. They are also the ones who use sidewalks and walkways, whether they own a car or not. The safety and comfort of pedestrians are a priority for everyone who lives in a city. Pedestrian-friendly streets can be created by taking into consideration the needs of pedestrians, such as:
- Good lighting: there should be enough light at night so that pedestrians can see where they are going and avoid obstacles.
- Clear markings: markings on roads and sidewalks help pedestrians know where they are supposed to walk (for example, if there is a crosswalk).
- Signage: signs should be placed clearly so that pedestrians know what traffic rules apply while crossing roadways.
- Landscaping: plantings on sidewalks create shade in hot weather and provide additional color to streetscapes.
Figure -3, A safety approach for the pedestrian while crossing the street.
The main question here is whether the street is safe for pedestrians or not. The answer to this question is not straightforward. On one hand, it is essential to notice that the street was originally designed for cars, so there are many intersections where pedestrians are forced to cross streets. On the other hand, new buildings have been built near these intersections and they have become more attractive to pedestrians than before.
Therefore, it seems that the main pedestrian safety problem in this area is at intersections. If we could somehow lower their number and make them less dangerous, then we would have solved our problem. However, this approach seems ineffective because it would require a lot of money and time. Therefore, we should focus on improving visibility at intersections.
When it comes to creating a pedestrian-friendly street, a community should take the time to plan and execute. This will make the entire process more effective and efficient. The three ways listed above are just a few examples of the options available to give your street a facelift so that it no longer becomes an eyesore, but rather, an asset to the surrounding community.
Not everyone is aware that there are many benefits to pedestrian-friendly streets. A pedestrian-friendly street is an avenue where pedestrians are given priority. With the best traffic condition, creating a safe and pleasant place to walk, study and work. The more pedestrian-friendly streets we have in our communities, the better their residents and their economic growth will be.
- Creating a pedestrian-friendly utopia through the design of 15 minutes cities, by Kaley Overstreet.
- 6 ways to make city streets safe for pedestrians, by Nikita luke.
- Perfecting the new york city, by Justin Davidson.
- One thing every city can do to be more pedestrian friendly.
- The use of sidewalks: safety, by Jane Jacobs.