Here’s more data showing that simple changes to speed and design of city roads can make all the difference in reducing pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and serious injury.
Planner Eric Doherty posted this article from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that shows that ‘centreline hardening’ using rubber curbs and bollards at intersections to force drivers to slow down and proceed carefully through intersections reduces left-turn speeds and increases safety for pedestrians in the intersection.
In the United States pedestrian fatalities have risen 53 percent from 2009 to 2018 and are 17% of all traffic deaths. As over half of Vancouver’s fatalities are with turning movements in intersections, tightening the corner for drivers to proceed slowly would also be safer for pedestrians.
Seattle’s Transportation Engineering champion Dongho Chang has reported out on the implementation of leading pedestrian intervals at forty locations in Seattle.
I have written about Leading Pedestrian Intervals that give pedestrians an advanced green crossing time ahead of car traffic, enabling a pedestrian to be well into the intersection before any driver turning movements through the same space. The leading interval time is usually between six to eight seconds. Over 2,200 of these devices have been installed in New York City which has seen a 56 percent reduction in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.
In one year Seattle has seen a 33 percent reduction in pedestrian collisions with the installation of Leading Pedestrian Intervals compared with three years of previous data at the same intersections.
The cost of Leading Pedestrian Intervals or LPIs is minimal, at most a few thousand dollars per intersection. It saves lives.
Lastly Rod King with 20 is Plenty in the United Kingdom has been involved in a survey with the British Department of Transportation that show that 80 percent of drivers in downtown areas of city adhere to strict speed limit of 30 km/h (approx 20 mp/h and accept that speed. In residential areas outside the downtown 70 percent of motorists stay with that speed.
You can take a look at the data here that shows maintaining city speeds of 30 km/h resulted in an immediate reduction of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities by 30 percent.
Slower speeds, tighter driver turning movements and advanced green time for pedestrians saves lives. They are simple approaches with massive benefits, and can be achieved with little cost. So why are we not valuing human lives ahead of the right of vehicular drivers to travel quickly?
Slower speeds mean enhancing healthier communities where people of all ages and abilities can use the street without fear of being crashed into, lessens pollution and enhances mental and physical health. As Mr. King notes, enforcement is easy by simply installing cameras and following up diligently on drivers that choose to drive too fast.
You can take a look the YouTube video below about Leading Pedestrian Intervals, as well as another video with Mr. King describing why 20 miles per hour is Plenty in Britain’s cities and areas.