Improving Walkability, And Pedestrian Safety And Convenience


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This is a presentation I prepared during my internship at Newark Housing Authority (NHA) for the research team of their project for making Newark neighborhoods more pedestrian-friendly.

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Improving Walkability, And Pedestrian Safety And Convenience

  1. 1. Improving Walkability, and Pedestrian Safety and Convenience <ul><li>Strategies and Plans to Make Urban Environment More Pedestrian-Friendly and Bicyclist-Friendly </li></ul><ul><li>Arefeh A. Nasri </li></ul><ul><li>Newark Housing Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2008 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Walkability <ul><li>The extent to which the built environment is friendly to the presence of people living, shopping, visiting, enjoying or spending time in an area. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Effective Factors on Walkability <ul><li>Land use mix </li></ul><ul><li>Street Connectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Residential density (residential units per area of residential use) </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency which includes amount of glass in windows and doors, as well as orientation and proximity of homes and buildings to watch over the street </li></ul><ul><li>Plenty of places to go to near the majority of homes </li></ul><ul><li>Placemaking, street designs that work for people, not just cars and retail floor area ratio </li></ul>
  4. 4. Benefits of Walking and Cycling <ul><li>Transportation system benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Economic benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of life benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Health benefits </li></ul>
  5. 5. Transportation System Benefits <ul><li>Nearly half of all travel trips taken in the US are 3 miles or less in length; 28% are less than 1 mile. By converting short automobile trips to bicycling and walking, communities can get benefits from healthier air and reduced traffic congestion. </li></ul><ul><li>The American public saves from 5 to 22 cents for every automobile mile displaced by walking and bicycling through reduced pollution, oil import costs, and costs from congestion such as lost wages and time on the job. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Environmental Benefits <ul><li>Approximately 160 million tons of pollution are emitted into the air each year in the US. air pollution contributes to the deaths of 70,000 people each year. </li></ul><ul><li>Short auto trips produce far more pollution per mile than longer trips. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased levels of bicycling and walking can reduce air pollution. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Economic Benefits <ul><li>Increase mobility for people who cannot afford to own and operate a car by improvement of walking and cycling (a motor vehicle is one of the highest expenses after housing) </li></ul><ul><li>reduce health care costs by incorporating physical activity of pedestrian and bicycle transportation into people’s daily lives </li></ul>
  8. 8. Economic Benefits <ul><li>Outdoor activities such as bicycling and walking are the most popular activities for people on vacation from work. </li></ul><ul><li>Trails and greenways can have a positive effect on the value of nearby properties. Recent studies indicate that there is a demand for more livable communities and, specifically, better bicycle and pedestrian facilities in the vicinity. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Quality of Life Benefits <ul><li>Pedestrians add to the ambience and security of streets. </li></ul><ul><li>Providing a livable community is a necessary part of attracting and keeping businesses, and ensuring local communities remain competitive. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Health Benefits <ul><li>There is a correlation between the built environment and the amount of routine physical activity, such as regular walking trips. </li></ul><ul><li>Pedestrian and bicycle transportation offers more opportunities for people to socialize than driving alone in automobiles. </li></ul><ul><li>Studies have shown benefits from routine exercise each day. Bicycling or walking to the store, school, or work also provides a time-efficient way of daily physical exercise. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Health Benefits <ul><li>There are now nearly twice as many overweight children and almost three times as many overweight adolescents as there were in 1980. </li></ul><ul><li>Obesity and overweight are linked to the nation’s number one killer-heart disease-and other chronic conditions. One reason for Americans’ sedentary lifestyle is that walking and cycling have been replaced by automobile travel for all but the shortest distances. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Public Support for Cycling & Walking <ul><li>Of 82 million American ridden a bicycle in a year: </li></ul><ul><li>46% stated they would sometimes commute to work by bicycle if safe bicycle lanes were available. </li></ul><ul><li>53% would do so if they had safe, separate designated paths on which to ride. </li></ul><ul><li>45% would do so if their workplace had showers, lockers, and secure bicycle storage. </li></ul><ul><li>47% would do so if their employer offered financial or other incentives. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Pedestrian Characteristics <ul><li>Age Groups: </li></ul><ul><li>Children (0-12) </li></ul><ul><li>Teenagers (13-18) </li></ul><ul><li>Adults (18-40) </li></ul><ul><li>Middle-Aged Adults (41-65) </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Adults (65+) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Safe Environment for Children and Elderly
  15. 15. Older pedestrians have difficulty negotiating curbs
  16. 16. People with children often walk at slower speeds
  17. 17. Pedestrian Characteristics <ul><li>2) Impaired Pedestrians: </li></ul><ul><li>Visually impaired </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing impaired </li></ul><ul><li>Mobility impaired </li></ul><ul><li>Mentally/emotionally impaired </li></ul><ul><li>Elderly with reduced abilities </li></ul>
  18. 18. Designing for All Pedestrians <ul><li>When age or functional disabilities reduce a person’s mobility, sight, or hearing, a good design becomes very important. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Driveway slopes should not encroach into the sidewalk
  20. 20. Curb Cuts and Wheelchair Ramps <ul><li>The ramps should be flared smooth into the street surface. Ramps should be checked periodically to make sure large gaps do not develop between the gutter and street surface. There is a need to remove accumulations of asphalt at the edge of the curb radius. </li></ul>
  21. 21. How to Encourage Walking and Cycling? <ul><li>Better cycling and walking facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic calming of residential neighborhood </li></ul><ul><li>Restriction on motor vehicle use </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic education </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic regulation and enforcement </li></ul>
  22. 22. Better Cycling and Walking Facilities <ul><li>Bike paths and lanes with exclusive rights of way, providing a connected , integrated, comprehensive bike route network </li></ul><ul><li>Wide, well-lit sidewalks with benches and plants </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly marked, well-lit crosswalks, often raised and with curb extensions and pedestrian-activated traffic signals </li></ul><ul><li>Car-free zones and special bicycling streets </li></ul>
  23. 23. Traffic Calming of Residential Neighborhood <ul><li>Traffic calming is a way to minimize the negative impacts of traffic to improve safety (decrease fatality rate). </li></ul><ul><li>A wide range of measures are used to reduce the severity and number of accidents to improve safety for all road users, esp. pedestrians, and to influence driver behaviour. Traffic calming can be accomplished by installing road humps, speed cushions, raised junction plateaux, chicanes, road narrowing, and mini-roundabouts. </li></ul><ul><li>A variety of traffic calming techniques is intended to reduce vehicle speeds, and to discourage drivers from cutting through residential side roads. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Effects of Vehicle Speed on Safety
  25. 25. Traffic Calming Techniques <ul><li>Physical measures that force cars to slow down: </li></ul><ul><li>Table/entry treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Road narrowing and zigzag routing </li></ul><ul><li>Speed humps and bumps </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic circles </li></ul>
  26. 26. Table/Entry Treatment <ul><li>More acceptable to emergency services and bus operators than standard humps </li></ul><ul><li>Slows down all approaching traffic to all arms </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used in isolation (they don’t have to form part of a series of road humps) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces speed </li></ul>
  27. 27. Road Narrowing <ul><li>Interrupt through traffic movement thereby reducing speed </li></ul><ul><li>Do not delay emergency service vehicles or affect bus operation </li></ul><ul><li>Cycle gaps can be incorporated </li></ul><ul><li>If cycle gap is not provided they can make safer crossing places for pedestrians </li></ul>
  28. 28. Round Top Hump <ul><li>Reasonably inexpensive to install </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal disruption to traffic during construction & no loss of on-street parking </li></ul><ul><li>Effective at reducing vehicle speeds </li></ul>
  29. 29. Speed Cushions (Pillow Hump) <ul><li>Accepted by emergency services and bus operators </li></ul><ul><li>Inexpensive to construct </li></ul><ul><li>No loss of on-street parking </li></ul><ul><li>Cyclists can pass between cushions </li></ul>
  30. 30. Traffic Education <ul><li>Improved motorists training, with emphasize on how to avoid endangering pedestrians and cyclists </li></ul><ul><li>Compulsory traffic safety lessons for all school children by the age of 10, with testing by traffic police on actual traffic test courses, to ensure safe and defensive walking and cycling by an early age </li></ul>
  31. 31. Urban Design Issues <ul><li>The residential units should be within easy walking or cycling distance of cultural facilities, shopping, and service establishments. </li></ul><ul><li>It is desirable to have paved sidewalks on both sides of all streets in urban and suburban areas to provide mobility for pedestrians. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Many developments focus on vehicle access without regard to pedestrian access
  33. 33. Medians and crosswalks should be placed at destination locations
  34. 34. Pedestrian-Friendly Environment <ul><li>Getting people out of cars </li></ul><ul><li>Public transportation improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Car-free zones in residential areas </li></ul>
  35. 37. Pedestrian-Friendly Environment <ul><li>Pedestrian Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Crosswalks can be used in combination with other treatments to improve safety. </li></ul><ul><li>Refuge islands, raised medians, raised crossings, curb extensions, and lighting are examples. </li></ul>
  36. 38. Pedestrian-Friendly Environment <ul><li>There are several </li></ul><ul><li>facilities to improve </li></ul><ul><li>pedestrian safety and </li></ul><ul><li>ability to cross the </li></ul><ul><li>Street under various </li></ul><ul><li>conditions. </li></ul>Pedestrian safety
  37. 39. Intersection Issues for Pedestrians Safety <ul><li>1) Improved pedestrian conspicuity </li></ul><ul><li>Painted crosswalks in the roadway </li></ul><ul><li>Extensions to move pedestrians out from behind parked cars </li></ul><ul><li>Improved horizontal and vertical sight distances through the removal of extraneous curbside clutter </li></ul>
  38. 40. Intersection Issues for Pedestrians Safety <ul><li>2) Speed reduction of motor vehicle drivers </li></ul><ul><li>Raised intersections to alert drivers that the area is not designed for rapid through movement and pedestrians can be expected </li></ul><ul><li>Right-turn slip lanes with exit angles between 50 and 60 degrees </li></ul><ul><li>3) Ease of movement from walkway to street level </li></ul><ul><li>Curb ramps to facilitate the transition from walkways to streets. </li></ul><ul><li>Raised intersections that eliminate the need for curb ramps and make the crosswalk a natural extension of the walkway </li></ul>
  39. 41. Intersection Issues for Pedestrians Safety <ul><li>4) Predictability and control of pedestrian actions and movement </li></ul><ul><li>Crosswalks </li></ul><ul><li>Signalization </li></ul><ul><li>5) Distance and time that pedestrians have to cross a roadway </li></ul><ul><li>Curb extensions </li></ul><ul><li>Medians </li></ul><ul><li>Refuge islands </li></ul>
  40. 42. Making the Intersection Pedestrian-Friendly by Using Colored Crosswalks and Median Refuges
  41. 43. Raised Medians or Crossing Islands
  42. 44. Median and Curb Extensions
  43. 45. Traffic Signals (with Pedestrian Signal)
  44. 46. Reducing Crossing Distance
  45. 47. Curb Extensions to Improve the Pedestrians Safety <ul><li>Before </li></ul>After
  46. 48. Safer Intersections
  47. 49. Narrower Widths and Access Management
  48. 50. Pedestrian Warning Signs <ul><li>Crosswalk sign & reflectors for crosswalk </li></ul>Warning sign for pedestrians
  49. 51. Narrow Streets to Achieve Desired Speeds
  50. 52. Curb Ramps at Marked Crossings
  51. 53. Curb Ramps at Marked Crossings
  52. 54. Conclusion <ul><li>A comprehensive program for increasing bicyclists and pedestrians safety must combine the efforts of many people. </li></ul><ul><li>it is important to first determine current conditions before going through planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing various strategies to reduce incentive for driving and disincentive for walking and cycling would be a good approach. </li></ul>
  53. 55. Reduce Disincentives for Bicycling & Walking and Incentives for Driving <ul><li>Strategy 1: Add non-motorized options to agency motor pools </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy 2: Require companies and agencies to produce balanced transportation plans for their workforce’s commuting needs </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy 3: Include entry-level bicycling and walking activities in local recreational programming </li></ul>
  54. 56. Reduce Disincentives for Bicycling & Walking and Incentives for Driving <ul><li>Strategy 4: Promote utilitarian non-motorized transportation through introductory fun events </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy 5: Offer key target audiences detailed information on utilitarian non-motorized travel </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy 6: Develop and disseminate a limited set of simple, but important, probicycling and prowalking messages </li></ul>