A vision to Safer streets.
Cities in the UK are connected by an extensive network of streets, roads, public spaces, interchanges, and junctions. Streets are a crucial part of a city’s infrastructure, and how they are built can have a big impact on how safe and happy the city’s citizens are. By paying close attention to street design, accidents can be decreased and people of all ages can travel and engage in daily activities in a safe and comfortable environment.
There are a variety of design strategies that can be used to create safe and inviting streets. These include:
1. The use of legible materials is an important aspect of street design. Blister paving and tactile tiles are often used to indicate different spaces within a street. Additional materials, such as planters or bollards, can be utilized to clearly delineate the borders between various parts of the street or to separate various types of transit physically.
2. In order to give pedestrians a safe haven in the midst of a street or at an intersection, pedestrian safety islands often referred to as pedestrian refuge islands are created. The purpose of pedestrian-safe islands is to shorten the time that people crossing the street are exposed to traffic.
3. A trapezoidal hump may accompany a pedestrian crossing. The speed hump acts as a visible cue for motorists to slow down and pay attention to pedestrians.
4. Street designers should take care to ensure that important signage are visible and unobstructed. This may involve careful placement of signage, such as locating it in areas where trees are less likely to grow or where they can be easily trimmed back.
5. Trixi mirrors, which help heavy vehicle drivers see bikes at intersections, are now being used on UK roads in traffic lights.
6. It has been found that Dutch-style roundabouts are safer for pedestrians and cyclists than conventional roundabouts. The circling cycle track commonly referred to as a “cycle lane” or “cycling roundabout,” gives bicycles a designated path across the circle while separating them from vehicular traffic.
7. Redesigning lighting columns in median strips between the carriageway can be an effective way to improve safety and accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians.
8. The corners of a street are often designed with smaller radii, also known as sharper corners or tighter turns, to encourage drivers to slow down when making a turn. A smaller corner radius can also help to reduce the turning radius of larger vehicles, such as buses and trucks, which can help to improve the safety of other vehicles and pedestrians.
Figure 4: Effective corner radius
In addition to fewer accidents and injuries, safer streets also foster social contact, active commuting, and an overall improvement in the livability of communities. Cities in the UK can make great progress towards building streets that put safety, accessibility, and the welfare of their citizens first by imagining and putting these design ideas into practice.
Matters, T. for L. | E. J. (2022). Streets toolkit. Transport for London. https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/streets-toolkit
FIGURE 1-. BUSY OXFORD CIRCUS IN LONDON- https://www.wired.co.uk/article/traffic-lights-uk-london
FIGURE 2- Streetscape guidance fourth edition- 2022
FIGURE 3- Dutch style roundabouts- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-53947440
FIGURE 4- Effective corner radii- https://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/intersection-design-elements/corner-radii/