Vulnerable road users
With economies beginning to find their feet, it is logical that public transit will not only be unpopular, but also be capacity constrained due to physical distancing regulations. The consequence will be more cars, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians interacting through the transport network at a scale higher than ever before.
This new reality whether short lived or otherwise, presents both risks and opportunities to community
The risks are in the road safety challenges that will emerge due to the heightened probability of conflict between users in the transport network, with the threat of casualty and fatality borne mostly by those using vulnerable modes of transport.
This outlook is validated by Government statistics which indicate an increase in cyclist road deaths of 8% in NSW and VIC in the past 12 months. Without suitable and timely interventions, this statistic, and others like it, can unfortunately be expected to rise.
The opportunities are however evident in the growing adaptation of unconventional planning and execution methods that borrow from the philosophy of tactical urbanism and urban prototyping. These approaches advocate for adaptable and flexible interventions aimed at delivering short-term, low-cost solutions that address safety and capacity concerns for the vulnerable.
As a community and industry, we need to be unapologetic in our preference for interventions that manage the risk of casualty and fatality on the transport network, even when these initiatives have a detrimental impact on network capacity for less vulnerable transport modes.
Afterall, the future aspired to by community, industry and policy is one where there is less pollution and less traffic congestion on the network. To achieve this aspiration, we need alignment in near, medium and long term thinking and actions to purposefully deliver outcomes that prioritise sustainable transport modes over single occupant car travel modes.
For more information, contact:
Impact delivers Traffic and Transport Engineering solutions through a unique 'Inspiring Possibilities' approach. Impact brings you a premium service that is delivered through three specialist offerings: Land Use Planning, Construction Management and Event Management. Impact's offer is extended to built environment professionals and delivers better outcomes and longer term partnerships.