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Showing posts from October, 2010

Can "shared space" street design reassure vulnerable users and still be shared space?

Shared-space design for streets and intersections deliberately creates a sense of uncertainty about who should proceed first. Such uncertainty is not a bug, it is a feature, as they say. In a well designed scheme, the results are said to be almost magical. The removal of clear-cut rules and signs and traffic lights prompts caution, low speeds and a negotiated approach to right-of-way instead of a rules-based approach. But there may be a problem.  Some of the most vulnerable users of streets don't seem to like shared space. It makes them feel ... vulnerable . In a comment on my post on Shared Space designs in Japan, David Hembrow (author of   a view from the cycle path blog) points out the Dutch cycling advocacy groups are not too keen on Shared Space: "Don't get too excited about Shared Space. I've yet to meet anyone here in the Netherlands who is enthusiastic about it. In fact, there is much criticism of it due to it having lead to a reduction in safety,