Pedestrians at mini-roundabouts
before time, I decided to write this extra page
about the concerns that are continually raised in
It has been generally
assumed that pedestrians are catered for badly at
mini-roundabouts and that therefore town centres need
"better" pedestrian facilities.
I have had many
disagreements over this. Virtually all town and village
centres have main junctions controlled by traffic signals
and these often incorporate pedestrian stages, sometimes
as part of a stage and sometime as a separate stage
within the cycle.
||So what is going wrong?
pedestrians won't wait for their crossing
opportunity when it should be safe.
you are late for your train. Traffic is busy and
the traffic signals at the junction by the
station have just passed the pedestrian stage. It
is raining. Are you going to wait for the signals
to change, or are you going to look for a gap in
the traffic and make a dash for it? During
off-peak periods traffic flows will usually allow
gaps for pedestrians to cross part of the
junction at least. This may be crossing the
side-road where vehicles turn only occasionally,
but of course they cannot give you a "green
man". So you "chance" it - and
don't we all.
speeds are too high - if anything goes wrong or a
pedestrian crosses when he shouldn't a casualty
is likely to be seriously injured.
signals obtain their capacity because cars follow
one another across the stop line about every two
seconds (1800 veh per hour). To do this speeds
have to rise to around 25mph - higher if there
are long vehicles in the queue. Most signals run
at 30-35mph and often faster than that during the
off-peak. A mistake by a pedestrian in these
circumstances will usually result in a serious
||Guard rails restrict
footway width and can be a cause of accident with
pedestrians getting trapped on the wrong side.
||Trl Research has indicated that
the presence or absence of pedestrian guardrails
makes no statistically significant difference to
pedestrian safety. Similarly signal intersections
that had and did not have pedestrian "all
red" stages also showed no statistically
significant difference to pedestrian safety.
The report begs the
question why these supposed key road safety
devices are not performing.
can be given special facilities at roundabouts and there
are many sites where Pelican or other formal crossings
operate without serious difficulty, but it seems to be
the case that the more priority pedestrians are given,
the more they are put into danger.
So for pedestrians
to get the safest deal, I conclude:
They need to
cross just ONE traffic lane at a
Speeds to be
necessarily to have priority.
is the scenario at Shenley Road, Borehamwood where the
main shopping street was converted from being a typical
wide road layout with traffic signals to a twin-track
road mostly with a central reservation and speed tables
at regular intervals. Mini-roundabouts control turning
movements at all the important junctions and the road
continues to carry around 17,000 vehicles per day
travelling at between 15 & 20mph.
Contact me:- firstname.lastname@example.org
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© Penntraff - May 2007