Safe streets = Safety pulse of city

Safe streets = Safety pulse of city

There were 73% pedestrian fatalities in urban areas, 77% at non-intersection locations, 90% in normal weather conditions and 67% at night” in 2007 (NHTSA,2007). The Safe Streets for Baltimore team decided to take on this challenge to reduce the fatalities as possible within the realm of physical design interventions.

Archana Sharma, Caitlin Cunningham, Brad Deise, Ian Glass, Gisele Kennedy, Baltimore, United States

There were 73% pedestrian fatalities in urban areas, 77% at non-intersection locations, 90% in normal weather conditions and 67% at night” in 2007 (NHTSA,2007). The Safe Streets for Baltimore team decided to take on this challenge to reduce the fatalities as possible within the realm of physical design interventions. The team reviewed traffic: conditions, counts, flows, design of roads and street sections at the “spots” of fatal crashes, to propose design retrofits for safe travels. The team creatively modified traffic calming designs, and located them to be systemically and rhythmically paced, for all modalities. Revelation of contextual identity and culture through design was underlying mantra, to celebrate people and place.

Four sites in Baltimore, Maryland, were examined for their high incidents of traffic accidents. Spots of investigation were: (1) Windsor Mill Rd. & Lyndhurst Ave (2) Gwynn Fall Pkwy & Tiogo Pkwy (3) Howard St. & Dolphin St (4) Mount Royal Ave. & Guilford Ave (5) W . Mulberry St. & Gilmor St (6) W. Baltimore St. & Gilmore St (7) W . Patapsco Ave and (8) W . Patapsco Ave. & Potee St.

Design thoughts and directions that emerged through the process are:
• Rethinking on the locational and directional placement of crosswalks as a means of leading users to destinations.
• Modifications to traditional crosswalks design
• Medians and sidewalk extensions to be re-designed to double as traffic calming devices.
• Increased use of Chicanes and Road Diets to emphasize on “pedestrian first” rule and reduce speed of automotive traffic.
• Traditional lighting and road signage to make a statement about to local history and culture.
• Solar powered downlighters in the medians to increase visibility users at night
• Separation of bikers and pedestrian with the automotive traffic using overpasses in highly congested area, but also installation of reinforced guard rails integrated within the design of bus stops are recommended as safety features
• Material decision to reflect the contextual identity, history and culture
• Consideration of accessibility to disabled in transitioning from crosswalk or sidewalk to public transportation

Project Links

Submitter

Archana Sharma, Caitlin Cunningham, Brad Deise, Ian Glass, Gisele Kennedy, Baltimore, United States

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