Road design - urban routes

Roads in urban or built-up areas are heavily used by pedestrians, including children and the elderly, who must be protected from inappropriate speeds and heavy traffic. Use this page to access research on measures to reduce casualties in urban areas.

An insight into the performance of road barriers: redistribution of barrier-relevant crashes
Purdue University, Indiana, USA, 13/08/16

: Crash barriers reduce the number of crossover collisions on the road, but also increase the likelihood of car rollovers.

Operational analysis of the contraflow left-turn lane design at signalised intersections in China
Southeast University, China, 16/06/16

: The ‘contraflow left-turn lane design’ outperforms conventional left-turn lane design and improves on the capacity of left-turn movement, according to research by Southeast University.

Evaluation of safe passage alternatives for non-motorised traffic across an existing highway bridge
Western Michigan University, USA, 07/06/2016

A majority of highway bridges on planned or existing non-motorised paths have become bottle-necks, discouraging the use of these facilities; alternative means of access should be considered on a cost-benefit basis, argues Western Michigan University.

Lesson learned from the application of intersection safety devices in Edmonton
University of Alberta, Canada, 07/06/2016

The installation of Intersection Safety Devices in the city of Edmonton led to significant reductions in total crashes, rear-end collisions and angle collisions, according to research from the Unversity of Alberta.

Spatial regression analysis of traffic crashes in Seoul
Accident Analysis & Prevention, March 2016

Crashes increase on sections of roadway where there are more side roads feeding into main roads with speed limits of over 30 km/h, finds an analysis of crashes in Seoul, South Korea.

Estimating the safety benefits of red light cameras at signalized intersections in urban areas case study: the city of Virginia Beach
Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA, 02/01/2016

Installation of red-light cameras at urban intersections may improve safety by around 15%.

Accidents by design: The Holmes Report on 'shared space' in the United Kingdom
The Holmes Report, July 2015

The experience of most road users of 'shared space' schemes in the UK is poor, and a moratorium of their use should be introduced.

Does rush hour see a rush of emotions? Driver mood in conditions likely to exhibit congestion
Clemson University, USA, 30/07/2015

The effect of congestion on driver mood is not large, explaining why drivers may be unwilling to make financial trade-offs to tackle congestion.

Driver behavior and accident frequency in school zones: Assessing the impact of sign saturation
Mississippi State University, 10/06/2015

Sign saturation – the notion that too many signs advising a school zone – does not have an impact on driver compliance.

Health implications of transport: Evidence of effects of transport on social interactions
UCL, 19/06/2015

Traffic can lead to smaller social networks, which negatively affects people’s health.

Investigation of effect of pavement conditions on crash injury severity
Transportation Research Board, 11/01/2015

On high-speed roads, poor pavements are associated with more severe injuries in crashes.

Cycle lanes: their effect on driver passing distances in urban areas
Napier University, 22/09/2014

The presence of cycle lanes is not an important factor in determining the amount of room that drivers give cyclists when overtaking.

Economic cost of pedestrian injuries in Stockholm City
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, 18/09/2014

Pedestrian injuries on zebra crossings in Stockholm in 2008 had a social cost of 10.8 million Swedish Krona ($1.5 million).

Centreline removal trial
Transport for London, 01/08/2014

Removing central white lines reduced traffic speeds by up to 8.6mph (13.8km/h) on three stretches of 30mph (48km/h) roads.

Impacts of signal-related characteristics on crash frequency at urban signalized intersections
Purdue University, Indiana, USA, 30/07/2014

An increase in the number of signal phases increases crash frequency at urban intersections, finds an exploratory study in Indiana.

Application of scores and potential outcomes to estimate effectiveness of traffic safety
The Pennsylvania State University, 19/07/2012

Street lighting can reduce night time crashes by up to 6%.

Lighting the way to road safety - a policy blindspot?
Bridger Beavis & Associates Ltd, 05/10/2012

Inadequate street lighting in New Zealand is contributing to casualty levels higher than in other developed nations.

Higher motorcycle speeds associated with 'looked but didn't see' crashes
IFSTTAR, 30/11/2012

Crashes at urban junctions caused by drivers failing to see oncoming motorcyclists involve significantly higher motorcyclist speeds than other crashes at urban junctions.

Road traffic injury risk in disadvantaged communities
Department for Transport, 22/10/2010

UK government funding for better road engineering as well enforcement and education specifically in disadvantaged urban areas was successful at reducing casualty rates.

Improving road safety in urban areas
Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, UK, 23/10/2009

20mph zones among other measures are recommended in this parliamentary committee report.

Preventing unintentional road injuries among under-15s: road design and modification
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 10/02/2009

Key engineering measures to protect children are 20mph zones, woonerven (Dutch residential zones) and quiet lanes.

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