Austroads’ latest report provides a synthesis of key safety solutions and issues that need to be considered when effectively addressing safety on urban mixed use arterial routes.
Urban arterials and intersections account for a large proportion of high-severity crashes in Australia and New Zealand, particularly involving vulnerable road users. These roads often include a mixture of different road user types including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, and carry a wide variety of vehicle types including cars, buses and delivery vehicles.
Safety gains appear to be slower in this ‘mixed use’ environment than in other areas. Austroads commissioned research to help identify solutions that might be applied on mixed use arterial roads to improve safety through the provision of Safe System infrastructure.
The project assessed six case studies located in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, and Launceston in Australia and in Hamilton, New Zealand. Workshops in each location assessed the types of solutions that might be applied on each route to help achieve effective safety outcomes. Each route was inspected by a team of safety experts and additional information (including crash and traffic volume data) was obtained.
Preliminary concept designs were developed for each of the routes based on the findings from the workshops and subsequent discussions. The likely safety benefits were assessed with estimates of likely crash reductions as well as alignment with the Safe System objective of eliminating death and serious injury. This information was presented at a second series of workshops at each case study location and feedback was provided on the designs.
The report details each case study and the treatments.
Key treatments included those that helped to manage vehicle speeds. Reduced design speed was considered in each case, and this typically involved lower speed limits (either on a full or part-time basis) supported by infrastructure, including raised platforms, gateway treatments, road narrowing, textured surfacing and additional measures. Other treatments to improve vulnerable road user safety are also considered including road narrowing, pedestrian crossing facilities, and cycle lanes and separated pathways. Each of these solutions needs to be considered within a broader area-wide assessment of route function.
Key issues to consider when addressing risk on mixed use urban arterial roads are also discussed, including the assessment of networks to determine functional classification and position within the road hierarchy, the process of risk assessment on these routes, the impact on traffic operations and other related issues.
Although it was not the intention of the study to fund construction at these locations, road agencies will be using the results to plan future safety improvements at these and other sites.
Report link: Safe System Infrastructure on Mixed Use Arterials