A pedestrian perspective.
Révolution à la française
The just-elected new Mayor of Paris, Mrs. Anne Hidalgo, has prepared a revolutionary sustainable mobility project whereby virtually all of the streets of the city will be subject to a maximum speed limit of 30 km/hr.
The only exceptions in the plan are a relatively small number of major axes into the city and along the two banks of the Seine, where the speed limit will be 50 km/hr, and the ring road (“Périphérique”) where the top permissible speed has been reduced from 80 to 70 km/hr. On the other end of the equation are a certain number of “meeting zones” spotted around the city in which pedestrians and cyclists have priority but mix with cars which are limited to a top speed of 20 km/hr. A veritable révolution à la française.
The above piece got big reaction:
A great many people apparently, to judge by the reaction to our yesterday’s World Street posting on the decision of the city of Paris to limit virtually all traffic in the city to a top speed of 30 km/hr. That article literally blew the lid off of the normal reader reaction to postings here, which commonly run in the hundreds at most in the several days immediately following publication. In this case we were deluged by more than 4000 readers who checked in from more than 50 countries.
Are countdown signals safe?
A new study suggests not: The impact of pedestrian countdown signals on pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions.
This study examined the frequency of PMVC (ped motor-vehicle collisions) before and after installation of PCS in the City of Toronto over a 10-year period. The main objective was to determine whether PCSs were associated with any change in PMVCs, controlling for seasonal and temporal effects.
The potential for benefit exists if pedestrians use the PCS timer displays to make safer road crossing decisions. Conversely, the potential for harm exists if PCSs cause pedestrians to rush or drivers to accelerate in response to the timer display. Either possibility may enhance the likelihood of a collision.
This analysis demonstrated an increase in PMVC rates of 26% at intersections, post-PCS installation. The increase in PMVC rate was more pronounced in adults, and for severe and fatal collisions. These results controlled for baseline PMVC rate, season, as well as installation year.