Design interventions for safer streets

New design strategies are being tested in Mumbai to improve road safety. Last week, a temporary artwork was installed in the Mithchowki intersection, a risky road area in Mumbai, according to Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI). The redesign was based on principles of the Global Street Design Guide which focuses on distributing the road space in a more equitable way considering all users and prioritising the most vulnerable ones, such as pedestrians, children and elderly.

The intervention resulted in narrower free turning lanes with tighter corner radii, which force drivers to reduce vehicle speed and provides wider sidewalks, resulting in a safer environment for all road users. Other safety strategies such as new refuge areas, more direct crosswalks and curb extensions were included in the project. Watch the video below to check the work that has been done:

The temporary intervention serves as a tool to trial and assess design strategies aimed at increasing safety for future long-term design of other intersections in Mumbai. By collecting data through user surveys, the city will be able to compare road users’ view of how safe or vulnerable they feel before and after the road redesign.

If the Mithchowki intersection redesign is successful, it will be replicated in other areas of the city. To achieve the goal of having safer streets, the intersection redesign cannot be a stand-alone intervention and must occur in combination with other activities, such as public education, effective police enforcement and a powerful communication campaign.

This transformation is one initiative of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) program in Mumbai. BIGRS aims to reduce fatalities and injuries from road traffic accidents globally by providing financial and technical assistance to ten cities and five countries over five years. The program helps countries to develop road safety legislation and cities to implement proven road safety interventions.

Image credit: Hindustan Times | Video credit: Abhimanyu Prakash


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