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Daily Archives: September 30, 2022

Towards safer streets – on the best street improvements

We conclude the month of September with an article on road safety and particularly on best or good practices towards improving safety:

Brey, J. (September 16, 2022) “What Are the Best Safe-Streets Improvements,” Governing, https://www.governing.com/community/what-are-the-best-safe-streets-improvements [Last accessed: 9/29/2022]

The article points to improvements concerning pedestrians have the best results in terms of reducing the injury rose and death. To quote from the article:

“The data suggested that interventions which give more street space to pedestrians have the best results for lowering the risk of serious injury and death. Somewhat to the department’s surprise, that includes curb extensions, also known as “neckdowns,” which reduce the distance that pedestrians have to cover to cross a street. Those interventions were associated with a 34.1 percent decrease in deaths and serious injuries, according to the report.”

There is an interesting table in the article listing the top safety treatments in terms of injury change and KSI (killed or seriously injured) change. For the latter, the top treatments in order of highest change are:

  1. Pedestrian island
  2. Curb & sidewalk extensions
  3. Road diets
  4. Leading pedestrian intervals
  5. Protected bike lanes
  6. Turn calming
  7. Conventional bike lanes

With the push for more segregated bike lanes (as opposed to shared lanes), it is interesting to note from the article that:

“Another important takeaway was that conventional bike lanes, which involve little more than paint, did result in significantly fewer deaths and serious injuries. Protected bike lanes, which are separate from traffic by medians, parking space or other infrastructure, were more effective — but painted lanes are also useful…”

This a good reference and taking off point for those who are doing studies on road safety and want to contextualize it from the perspective of the complete streets concept.