Cities Beginning to Realize Safe Streets Are Important


By Charles Pekow — Cities worldwide are becoming more aware of the need to make roads safer for all users, not just the traditional motorist. The International Transport Forum has just published a guide based on ideas from across the globe to make it safer at crossings, with protected bike lanes, via speed controls and more.

While the study endorses separated cycle lanes, it notes that too often intersections come as an afterthought. When designing bike lanes in the first place, planners need to figure how to get cyclists across the street safety. Methods can include different signal times for cyclists than motorists and “conspicuous road markings” to guide riders across the street.

A newly opened bike-only crossing in Berkeley, California. Photo by Dave Iltis

Barcelona, Spain created a “superblock” program that gave cyclists and pedestrians priority and reduced auto traffic on some blocks to a single one-way lane. Residents report enjoying the quiet, safety and opportunity to mingle more with neighbors. Barcelona plans add more superblocks.

And rather than rely on reporting of potholes and bumps that interfere with a smooth ride, Dublin, Ireland provided bike lights to 200 volunteer cyclists with sensors that indicted where cyclists had to make a harsh move because of a pavement problem. The city used the data to determine where it needed to improve the street or track.

Find Road Safety in Cities: Street Design and Traffic Management Solutions at


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