Redesign, redistribute and make roads safer!

Mon, 2017-06-19 14:30 -- SCC India Staff

Bloomberg

As a part of the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) programme, NACTO-GDCI—in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and MTP—has been working on the redesign of Mith Chowki intersection in Mumbai, a space known as a hot spot for road safety challenges.

NACTO-GDCI conducted a trial to apply global best practice design strategies through a demonstration project on-site. Addressing the critical issues around road fatalities and injuries, the intersection has been redesigned to reclaim approximately 1,650 sq m of under-utilised space on the street for pedestrians and support a space that is more legible for all users.

Through narrowing free turning lanes and tightening corner radii to reduce speeding vehicles, and widening pedestrian sidewalks, approximately 27 per cent of the intersection area was redistributed to support safer movements for all road users. By also providing wider and more direct crosswalks, new refuge areas, and added curb-extensions, these evidence-based strategies are proven to reduce the risk of exposure of pedestrians to moving vehicles by giving them safer spaces to wait and shorter distances to cross.

The demonstration serves as a critical tool to trial and evaluates design strategies that will help address the intersection’s increasing road safety risks due to growing vehicular volumes and pedestrian movements due to the incoming metro.

The proposal is based on principles from the recently released Global Street Design Guide (www.globaldesigningcities.org/publication/global-street-design-guide/), which aims to distribute the road space more equitably amongst different groups of people using the street and to prioritise our most vulnerable road users; the pedestrians, children, elderly, and those with disabilities.

Simple, yet effective strategies around lane alignment, effective pedestrian crosswalks, and reclaiming underutilised road space for new public areas, have been used to channelise the movement of vehicles in an efficient and logical manner and provide the pedestrians with a safe and comfortable environment.

Brief data collection exercises before and after the transformation to evaluate the project is being collected in collaboration with the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture (KRVIA). User surveys on all data collection days are also being conducted to compile the view of the local people and understand their perspective of how safe or vulnerable they feel while using the space, and how they would see it change.

The temporary artwork, which was completed conceptually in collaboration with KRVIA, represents the direction, path and volumes of pedestrians moving on the roadbed before the intervention. The interim intervention was planned to refine longer-term design strategies for the local context and to inform future design and construction of street projects around Mumbai.