Category Archives: safe road

Many opportunities for Active mobility on existing roads

I wrote about lane width before. My interest in studying lane width are two folds. First of all, we can create space for protected bicycle lanes if we can narrow down some of the wider lanes. Second, reduce lane-width can lead to safer roads for all road users, including drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

In 2014 there were 278,545 cases of speeding violation. That’s equivalent to 762 speeding per day! New evidence shows this is largely due to the fact that many of our lanes are too wide and feel “too slow” if one drive within the speed limit (50km/h). It is a well known and well documented fact that speeding increases the risk of the driver and other road users tremendously. The conventional wisdom of “wider lane is safer” should be questioned.

A detail study by Toronto Transport Planner (Dewan Masud Karim) suggested that the optimally safe lane-width is between 3~3.2 meters. He compared the lane dimension, driving speed and crash records between Toronto, and Tokyo. He discovered humans display a surprisingly narrow “safety comfort zone” while trying to achieve a dynamic equilibrium status within the travel lane width:

Both narrow (less than 2.8m) and wide (over 3.1~3.2m) lanes have proven to increase crash risks with equal magnitude. Safety benefits bottom out around 3.1m (for Tokyo) and 3.2m
(for Toronto). Beyond the “safety valley curve”, wider lanes (wider than 3.3m) adversely affect overall side-impact collisions.

If we follow his recommendation to adjust our lane-width to 3~3.1 meters, we will be able to create protected bicycle lanes in many areas. Below are some locations that we can create space for protected bicycle lanes AND makes the roads safer:

– Toa Payoh Lorong 2:
Current status: 2 lanes each direction, total 7.29 meters.
Possible future: 2 lanes each direction, total 6 meters, creates additional 1.29 meter to existing pavement for protected bicycling/walking.

– Geyland East Ave 2:
Current status: 2 lanes 2 directions, total 11.1 meters.
Possible future: 2 lanes 2 direction, total 6.4 meters, creates additional 4.7 meters to existing pavement for protected bicycling/walking. (2.35 meter each direction)

– East Coast Road (north side)
Current status: 2 lanes, total 8.15 meters
Possible future: 2 lanes, total 6.2 meters and creates additional 1.95 meters to existing pavement for protected bicycling/walking. .

– Circuit Road
Current status: 3 lanes, total 12.25 meters
Possible future: 3 lanes, total 9.3 meters and creates additional 2.95 meters to existing pavement for protected bicycling/walking, enough on both sides of circuit road!

– Simei Street 1
Current status: 1 lane, 5.2 meter each direction
Possible future: 1 lane, 3.2 meter each direction, and creates additional 2 meters to existing pavement for protected bicycling/walking.

The list just go on. To find out more opportunities, just check this google map containing the lane width measurement in various parts of Singapore.

Many years ago, in 2003, there was a debate in the parliament between MP Irene Ng and the then Minster of State for Transport, Dr Balaji Sadasivan. I remember one of the point made by Dr. Sadasivan was that “in land scarce Singapore, there is no space for bicycle”. I believe today, with LTA taking up the leadership role of Active Transport, we will be able to see more opportunities for creating safe space for cycling on existing roads space.

Link to the Lane-width study by Toronto Transport Engineer:
CITE_Paper_Conference_2015_Regina_Final.pdf

Advanced highway code for driver – how to treat cyclists

Thanks to Hannes Hentze who manage to obtain the reproduction right from MightyMinds Publishing Pte Ltd for the section on Cyclists (Pages 142 to 144) of the Advanced Theory Book (4th Edition). You can go ahead to read the code in it’s full glory. I am pleasantly surprised of it’s existent because if all drivers do follows the highways code relates to cycling, there should be a lots less “accident” between cars and cyclists.

New Highway code section about safety for cyclist

New Highway Code about cycling

The full text is here for ease of sharing :

Source: The New Highway Code Book 2, Advanced Theory of Driving, (Published in consultation with Traffic management, Land Transport Authority)

Cyclist ride on all types of roads excepts expressways. Bicycles are used for both transportation and recreation by people of all ages and sizes; you should expect to find them almost anywhere. Because they rode close to traffic, cyclists are vulnerable to injury in a collision. As a driver, it is your special responsibility to pay attention to them and to provide for their safety.

1. When sharing the road with cyclists, expect sudden moves on their part at all times. A patch of oil, a pothole, an opening door of a parked car and other hazards can force a cyclist to swerve suddenly into your path.

2. When approaching or passing a cyclist, give him/her ample space and be extra alert. Be prepared to slow down or stop. When a cyclist glances back, it is an indication that he/she may change direction anytime.

3. Look out for cyclists riding against the flow of traffic especially at residential areas.

4. Give even more room to cyclists when they are carrying a heavy weight or a pillion. This makes them unsteady and wobbly and they may ride into your path or even hit the side of your vehicle.

5. Just before turning:
i: Check your mirrors and blind spots.
ii. Watch out for cyclists between your vehicle and the kerb.
iii. Don’t make a sudden sharp turn, you may knock down a cyclist.

6. When overtaking, keep a safe gap between your vehicle and the cyclist. Don’t cut in sharply after overtaking the cyclist. This could result in your vehicle “side brushing” or hitting the cyclist.

7. After parking, look out for cyclists coming up from behind before opening your vehicle door.

Errant cyclist on the rise ?

CNA-news

The number of traffic offences committed by bicycle users went up by 17.5% from 2012 to 2013. Some said that it is due to the increase number of cyclists. Some said it is due to the attitude of bicycle users. Yet some said it is due to the lack of proper infrastructure for bicycle users. The truth probably is a mixture of all the above factors. On further enquiry, the types of violation committed by errant cyclists are typically the following:

1) Riding on pavement
2) Running red light
3) Endangering pedestrians

There were 1455 traffic violation committed by cyclists in 2013. No one was killed due to these offences.

In comparison, motorist committed 252 times more traffic violation in 2013, including the followings:

1) Speeding 260,512 (in 2013)
2) Running red light
3) Careless driving

All together there were 367,496 traffic violation committed by motorists in 2013. 159 persons were killed which included 43 pedestrians.

These information is available from the Traffic Police site:   [Publications] > [Annual Traffic Statistics]

As quote from the TP site, for these violations committed by motorists:

“every traffic violation can potentially result in a fatal or injury accident and the loss of lives.”

When I’m looking through this striking comparison, it occurs to me that there are 250 times more offences committed by motoring and each of these offences has at least 10x higher potential to kill or to cause serious injuries. Shouldn’t we put 2500 times more attention and effort to reduce the bigger, more dangerous offences?

url:
Traffic Police statistics: http://driving-in-singapore.spf.gov.sg
Channel News Asia report: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/errant-cyclists-on-the/1565814.html

Will you let your kids to cycle to school? A case for safer intersection design in Singapore

Will you let your 10 years old kid to cycle one 1 km to school? …. Why not?

Most parents will tell you that although the bicycle path is safe, they worry their children may be killed when crossing the roads.

Bicycle network at Tampines

1. Bicycle network is not safe, if the crossings at the roads are not safe

What if there is a bicycle path, off the road, connecting home and school?

“That will be much better.” a friend once told me. “Free from the danger of cars, I will seriously consider to let my son to cycle to school. After all cycling is a healthy way to move around, providing much needed physical exercise in today’s computer age. I think it will also helps him to become more independent and I won’t be so stressed during the morning rush hours.”

However, it is not realistic to assume the bicycle network can always be kept “off the road”. As the network grows into towns, it is inevitable that the bicycle network will have to intersect with the road system at some intersections. If the road crossings are not safe, the cycling path is broken at each road crossing. The entire network becomes a bunch of isolated off-road paths.

Therefore the objective of road crossing design along a bicycle path is to make it easy and safe to cross the road, to connect and reassure parents that it is safe for their kids to cycle across the road independently.

Cycling as a lifestyle choice will be a major step for Singapore to move towards a more green, clean and livable city. URA, together with key government agents such as LTA and NPark, are extending current 230 km of bicycle network (mostly Park Connectors) to more than 700 km by 2030. We can be duplicating existing (safety) problems if the new (off-road) cycling path is built with existing intersection design. Therefore now is a good time to consider how to improve the safety for all road users at intersections and road crossing.

Why existing traffic intersection is not safe enough?

Let’s take a fresh look at traffic intersection today. The diagram (2) below illustrate a typical intersection design, based on a traffic junction at Tampines Street 44-45 and Avenue 9. As a cyclist, or pedestrian, if you need to cross Street 44 from bottom to top, you will encounter 2 high risk “conflicting points” where fast moving cars may be coming from your behind.

example of existing design of traffic intersection

2. example of existing design of traffic intersection- Cyclists need to keep their eye wide open and keep checking left and right, and behind(!), when crossing such intersection. -Click on the image to enlarge

The first “conflicting point” is right at the beginning of your journey, left turning car from Avenue 9 may run over you from behind (right). To be aware of the danger and prepare to take evasion action you have to check behind while moving forward onto the road. This is not natural, and very difficult to do while on a bicycle. If the turning vehicle is a large lorry, you likely to be at their blind spot. You can be rear wheeled without the driver even notice.

The second “conflicting point” is the entire stretch before the centre road divider, the driver at the diagonal side of the intersection is watching carefully at the on coming cars (not at you!), waiting for a window of opportunity to make a right turn. The pedestrian crossing is the first location that is not on the path of coming cars. That driver are likely to dash into your path for their own safety, they need to escape the flow of on coming traffic. Under such stressful condition, some drivers forget to check cyclists and pedestrians before they make the quick turn. If you are crossing Street 44 from top to bottom, the situation is even worst, because this car is now turning into you from behind, making it impossible for you to check and be prepare.

The entire crossing is 18 meters. There are two high-risk conflicting points. It can take between upto 60 seconds, depends on age and mobility.

Alternative intersection design (Dutch)

Luckily we don’t have to re-invent the wheel from scratch, problem we face today is not new, we can learn from the Dutch who are more advanced in integrating bicycle as a key transport modes. Over the last 40 years, the Dutch has developed, and systematically refined their traffic intersection design such that it is not only safe for cyclists and pedestrian to use, it is also safer and more efficient for motorists too. With the help of my friend Maurits (who gave a presentation of Dutch bike infrastructure to LoveCyclingSG members and at URA in Februray, 2014) I managed to obtain the design template of a typical Dutch solution to traffic intersection – a special roundabout design that eliminate the dangerous “conflicting points”. I will start with the “ideal solution” in this post, and later follow up with some “in-between” solutions possible.

The ideal solution: Dutch roundabout

The diagram (3) below make use of the same space as in diagram (2) and following the dimension based in the Dutch design specification. No additional space is needed.

Dutch style roundabout - a safer intersection design

Dutch style roundabout – a safe intersection design. —-Click on the image to enlarge

Let take a look at how this roundabout work in real world (Video):

First thing you’ll notice is the entire crossing distance is shorten to 1/3 of the original, 6.5 meters instead of 18 meters. That means cyclists and pedestrians will be able to clear the crossing in 1/3 of the time. This assure motorist and make them more likely to wait because they don’t need to wait for long. More importantly, previous first two dangerous “conflicting points” are eliminated. It is now easy for both motorist and non-motorist to watch out for each other because they are facing each other. Thirdly, right turning drivers (at the diagonal opposite site of the intersection) now have a safe space to pause and wait, they are not stressed to dash onto the pedestrian crossing for their own safety.

There is no need for cyclist to “dismount and push” as such crossing. Clear line of sight between motorists and other road users give both parties enough time to react to sudden, unexpected events.

Compares to current intersections in Singapore, this design is a lot safer and more intuitive, there is no need to use traffic signal lights to regulate the flow. This special roundabout is a “continuous traffic flow processor” that produce the optimal balance of car and human flow. Some people may think that the (car) traffic capacity is reduced because more cars are able to clear the current intersection during the the GREEN light phase. But they forget that they have to wait for the RED light phase and sometime it is waiting for nothing. Some others may doubt if Singapore drivers are able to handle such special design. Fortunately Singapore drivers are already responding positively to similar roundabout. If you drive to NTU, there is a small roundabout (missing the facilities for cycling) near the ADM Building. I was told that there use to be a lot of accident at that intersection because it is on a slope. After changing to this roundabout design the accidents rate has been reduced significantly.

Facts sheet: Dutch roundabout
In the Netherlands: over the last 30 years, traffic intersection has been systematically replaced by roundabout. By 2010, there were 3900 roundabout in the Netherlands.
Capacity: 25,000 cars/day. Waiting time is usually shorten for motorists.
Casualties: reduced by 70% (light and serious injuries)
CO2: reduced by 21%
Noise: reduced

This special Dutch roundabout design may not be applicable to all road intersection, yet the design thinking behind can always apply to any crossing:
1) Prepare motorist before they reach the pedestrian/bicycle crossing. (optimal approaching speed = 30km/hr)
2) Give time and safe space for drivers to response to cyclists and pedestrians
2) Make it easy and obvious for cyclist and pedestrian to notice where the car is approaching (“fail safe” approach)

Although the example is in Tampines, but this idea can be prototyped and tested easily in any existing location with similar space.

I will be sharing this Dutch style roundabout design with LTA and relevant agents. feel free to post your comments here so that I can take your view into consideration when talking to the government agents.

2014-04-09 Chu Wa, Francis

Update: 2014-04-29 more information about roundabouts
(USA) Myth Buster comparing 4-legs intersection VS roundabout. Roundabout is 20% more efficient than a 4 legs intersection.

(USA) Roundabout causes more accidents? (This is an example of poorly designed roundabout, with too many signs distracting the drivers)

(USA) Roundabout is safer and more efficient (this is not yet the best design, car entering the roundabout tangentially make it unnatural to reduce speed)

Related readings:
Unsafe driving due to bad intersection design
Dutch examples of roundabout with bicycle and walking facilities

Safe cycling in Tokyo, culture or infrastructure?

I visited Tokyo recently, took the opportunity to cycle there. Riding through Tokyo city centre feels quite different compared to Singapore. It feels safe! The same exercise could be deadly, especially for a traveller who is not familiar with the driving culture in Singapore. I’m not suggesting Singapore drivers are maniac, in fact, given the chance, many are very polite and courteous. However sometime they have to endanger others in order to be safe. The design of the road greatly affected their choice of action.

Bicycle users in Tokyo includes all walks of life. Male & female, young & elderly, mothers and kids, workers and office ladies.

Bicycle users in Tokyo includes all walks of life. Male & female, young & elderly, mothers and kids, workers and office ladies.

Despite there are many cars and I have to share the roads, I feel drivers in Tokyo are more careful when they need to overtake cyclists. They give cyclists plenty of room or they will slow down and overtake carefully. The number of people on bicycle is much more than I expected. All walks of life, including office workers, students, old people and even mothers with their kids (one front, one back) on bicycles. There is something in Japan that makes cycling easy and safe. I was reflecting my experience in the Netherlands many years back, it was quite different from the Dutch cycling experience, although both are safe. One of my good friend LCH suggested:

– Dutch cycling is a culture of the mind i.e. a result of rational thinking (typical Dutch) that lead to investments in cycle-infrastructure
– Japan cycling is a probably more of the heart, respect for each other as part of total society inherent in the deep rooted Japanese value system.

There is no doubt that, respecting each others is a core value system in Japan. I can understand how it contributed to road safety. However, is this “culture of respect” the only factor for the safety I experienced when riding in Tokyo?

40 km speed limit is very common in Tokyo. Smaller road are often limit to 30 or 20 km per hour.

40 km speed limit is very common in Tokyo. Smaller road are often limit to 30 or 20 km per hour.

Apart from riding a bicycle, I had the opportunity to sit in a car, next to the driver, my friend Tsuneki San, who drove me to his office during a morning peak hour. He said that most of the roads in Tokyo are limited to driving speed of 40 km. Only a few main roads are 50 km. Expressways are 80 km. When I cycled through the heart of Tokyo, I passed through many smaller streets with 30 km and 20 km clearly marked on the road. It suddenly daunt on me that, Tokyo, despite being one of the biggest city in the world, is fairly free from loud traffic noise. The overall slower speed must be the key reason for the relatively quiet and calm atmosphere.

Safe junction design in Tokyo prepares drivers to slow down, and provides safe space to "PAUSE and WAIT".

Safe junction design in Tokyo prepares drivers to slow down, and provides safe space to “PAUSE and WAIT”.

I also noticed that Tsuneki San slowed down whenever he drove passed a junction. This greatly enhanced his ability to stop in case of any emergency. Likewise, pedestrians and cyclists who approach the junction can see our car clearly. I noticed a number of visual element may contribute to the “calming effect” around the traffic junctions.
(1) Dotted lines define the lanes changed to solid lines, about 30 meters before a junction. This helps to prepare the driver to slow down.
(2) Sometimes the lanes narrow down a bit in order to add a right turning lane. Driving within narrower lanes require more care and has to be slower.
(3) The zebra crossing is visually bold and striking. The “STOP” line is about a car’s length away from the actual zebra crossing.

Lane marking changed to solid lines, preparing the drivers to slow down.

Lane marking changed to solid lines, preparing the drivers to slow down before they reach the junction.

The overall visual effect is that you intuitively feel the need to slow down and drive more carefully before approaching a junction and pedestrian crossing.

Like many bicycle users, I cycle on the roads as well as pavements. When I need to cycle or walk across the roads, It is easy to judge if it is safe or not. In Singapore, I’ll have to constantly check my back while crossing the road because turning cars may intrude into the pedestrian crossing from behind. This is due to the fact that, in Singapore, the crossing is drawn at the turning radius. There is no buffer space for the driver to “pause” before entering into the “conflicting zone”- the Ped-crossing. Tokyo drivers always stops if there is someone riding or walking on the ped-crossing. Right turning cars does not intrude into the pedestrian crossing, they have a “buffer space” to pause and wait. Driver in Singapore don’t have such space, they have to enter into the pedestrian crossing in order to avoid being crashed by on coming traffic.

It seems what makes cycling safe in Tokyo is not only the culture, design of the road and infrastructure must also play a part to support and sustain safe road user behaviour. At this point I wonder how would a Tokyo driver behave in Singapore? or vise versa?

Related: Unsafe driving behaviour due to poor junction design.

Learning from London’s mistakes

Recently 5 cyclists died in London within a short period of 9 days. At the same time New York CitiBike just just completed 5 millions rides over the first 5 month without a single person killed. Consider the CitiBike is used by all sorts of people from young to elderly, including tourists, this contrastic experience between London’s deadly “Cycling Superhighway” and New York’s bicycle friendly design contains a lot to be learnt.

A short video released by The Guardian provides a close look of London’s “Cycling Superhighway”. An experienced cyclist will be able to point out a few design issues relates to cycling safety. Some say more death is expected because new bicycle facilities attracts more people to use bicycle and therefore more accidents is inevitable. I think this is purely nonsense. If that’s true, New York should report similar number of cyclist death during that 5 millions rides.

Apart from feeling sad for those families and friends of the victims, I believe there are important lessons to be learnt for professional road designers:

“Your job is directly affecting people’s life and everyday wellbeing, please consider the vulnerable road users when designing.” If New York can do it, so does other cities, just don’t repeat the mistakes made by London’s road planners.

Looking at the video, I cannot imagine the one who design this so call Cycling Superhighway will cycle on it themselves. Let’s first check out the video:

I captured screenshots of area that is showing some safety issues. I will add more comment tomorrow. Feel free to add your comments in Facebook here:

LondonCSHW-1

Fig. 1

Fig. 1 Wide and straight, does this looks like a road you can drive fast? 
Painting half a car lane and call it a bicycle superhighway, this design suggests bicycle is to mix with high speed traffic ..

 

LondonCSHW-2

Fig. 2

Fig. 2 Driver abuse the bike lane by parking there, exactly as some people mentioned the reason not to have bike lane… but it doesn’t have to be like this. In New York, the parked cars are used to provide a safety barrier between cyclist and fast moving traffic. 

LondonCSHW-3

Fig. 3

Fig. 3  The “Bike super highway stop abruptly, not transitition space to prepare the dirvers and cyclists to slow down when they have to directly mix on the road. Extremely dangerous, by design. 

 

LondonCSHW-4

Fig. 4

Fig. 4 Here an example of a fast van just over took the cyclist (who took this video) very closely because the driver is forced to share half a lane with the bicycle.

 

LondonCSHW-5

Fig. 5

Fig. 5 Finally a segregated section of the BSHW, it only allows one bicycle at a time and the separation from big lorry is way too little. Pathetic, but at least it is relatively safe compare to other parts.

 

LondonCSHW-6

Fig. 6

Fig. 6 The separation suddenly stop!!?? What are you supposed to do here, the cyclist is right at the blind spot position of turning long vehicles.

 

LondonCSHW-7

Fig. 7

Fig. 7 The yellow lorry on the right can easily eat into the “invisible” BSHW and kill a moving cyclists there, and the driver will say, honestly, “I didn’t see him!” another example of “likely accident caused by road design”

 

LondonCSHW-8

Fig. 8

Fig. 8 The BSHW reappear again

 

LondonCSHW-9

Fig. 9

Fig. 9 The BSHW suddenly end right before a junction. What are the cyclists supposed to do here?

 

LondonCSHW-10

Fig. 10

Fig. 10 Let’s mix with the traffic again..

 

LondonCSHW-11

Fig. 11

Fig. 11 Dangerous crossing , by road design (or the lack of it!)

 

LondonCSHW-12

Fig. 12

Fig. 12 Now this is a proper bike lane, wide enough and with good separation when there is fast moving traffic.

 

LondonCSHW-13

Fig. 13

Fig. 13 The end of the better part of the BSHW

Below is how my friend Calvin Boo describe his experience of riding in London last year:

Having heard about and seen the painted cycle lanes and advanced stop boxes of London, I thought London was cycle-friendly until I tried riding on the city roads one evening … and nearly got knocked off the bike twice on a short 25mins ride (once by a car, once by a bus).

Personally, the poor cyclist safety in London is not just a question of infrastructure, although it stems from infrastructure. The road culture in London is, to sum up in one word, aggresive; aggresive drivers, aggresive cyclists. Aggressive attitudes from both sides does not serve anyone well. 

On London roads, I see cyclists riding at speed along the roads, not alone, not in twos, not in threes … but in hordes. And this at peak hours of the day. I haven’t been to Amsterdam, but from the many videos I have seen, my feel is that the road culture is different. 

People use bicycle in Singapore

These are some of the people I randomly came across who are using a bicycle on Singapore roads. Some bring their children to school on bicycle, some bike to work or school directly, ride to the market, to visit a friend or just to have a coffee at nearby food center. There is a wide spectrum of bicycle users in Singapore. However they are typical the “silence majority”. They are not vocal in media, you don’t read them on Stomp or other online forum. They hardly write to the newspaper. But many of them have the right to vote. Introduce safety space on roads for them and they will feel it and definitely appreciate it.



Every parent who bring their kids to school on bicycle is helping to remove one car from the morning traffic congestion. But the above lady need to exposed her child and herself to the risk of car traffic by cycling in a narrow gap between the cars and the curb. Struggling to balance the bicycle within such narrow margin, her handle bar or pedal may scratch the car. Such situation invariably creates tension between cyclists and drivers. Opportunity is hidden in plain sight! The pavement is empty on her left, she could have make use of the pavement if it is better designed. This is one example of many opportunities to make cycling safer in Singapore.






Photo set at flickr:

Read more at Link to my Flickr set

Don’t blame the user if the design is bad

bad road design makes users at risk

Don’t blame the user if the design is bad

Yesterday an article published in the Straits Times is very relevant to the safety issues highlighted in the picture above. Quoted partly here:

One fatal accident, many questions

(Straitstimes, 5 May, 2013)
By Han Fook Kwang Managing Editor

(Quote partly)
What was it about this (Clementi) junction that made it deadly? (three people has died at the junction in 2002, 2003 and this year)

At first glance, it looked like any busy intersection. But from where I stood, you could see that because of the way the road is angled, a bus has to make a wider turn than cars, and unless the driver turned his head all the way to the left, it is possible to miss someone beginning to step onto the junction to cross it.

Could the driver involved have missed seeing Madam Zhang and, in that split second, a life was lost? We don’t know yet what happened, so it’s best not to speculate about how it happened or who was responsible.

I am no road safety expert and I don’t normally do traffic accidents in this space, but there are two issues that have wider implications beyond that tragedy.

The first has to do with the depth of investigation and level of professionalism undertaken whenever a fatal or serious accident occurs.

It is pertinent to ask how thorough the investigations after the two previous fatalities were and if any recommendations were made to improve safety at this junction. And what did SBS do to alert its drivers about the possible blind spots there?

Some of those interviewed in news reports wondered whether, at such a busy junction, when the lights turn in the pedestrians’ favour (blinking green man), vehicles should be allowed to make the left turn.

When it involves right-turning traffic and pedestrians crossing, it’s even more tricky. The motorist has to look out for not only incoming traffic, but pedestrians as well. At some junctions, it’s an accident waiting to happen.

These issues raise the question of whether we have experts with deep knowledge and experience to spot a safety weakness not immediately obvious to the layman.

It calls for a high level of professionalism of the staff involved in the various government agencies – in this case, the Traffic Police and Land Transport Authority (LTA).

But more important is the corporate culture in which every staff member, from top management to police on motorcycles, takes ownership of road safety and feels responsible for improving it.

It requires lower-level staff to be empowered to constantly and pro-actively look out for weaknesses in the system and not just do their narrowly defined jobs. When front-line staff are not empowered, they stop giving feedback on matters beyond their own tasks, whether it’s about overcrowded trains, clogged drains or unsafe roads.
(End of quote)

Feedback from Facebook:

Adi Roman
This is exact scenario at east coast road with still road. i driving as driver A always from my house to PIE. is dangerous indeed.
Is absolutely dangerous. Driver A will see green light and a small window between two cars coming from opp direction, will try to rush in ignoring the pedestrians which are on green as well. If he slows to avoid pedestrians he may get hit from oncoming traffic. I have seen it before at Jurong East library. The solution is to have green for going straight and the pedestrians. Then red the pedestrians and allow turn right only. yes, that will create bigger jams so probably that’s why is not used.

Seedoubleyou Choonwei
Right yes, there are a few left turns that cuts across pedestrian paths that allow traffic to make it in very fast and its very very dangerous. along lavender st. Such turnings should be redesigned to slow down traffic that are turning in!
same design along Lavender st turning into Kings George! and that area has alot of elderly! alamakkkkkk

Wei Shuan
This is the most dangerous road scenario i keep reminding my kids to watch out for vehicles in front and behind them. I think that two pedestrians crossing from the opposite side are at higher risk. It is hard for the Taxi driver to notice them, especially if they dash across on their bicycle. This is why it is encouraged to slowly push the bike over when crossing at such junction.
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David Ng
Nothing is wrong with the design. I am of the opinion that we, as pedestrian, must at all time use the road responsibly – walk fast, watch out, don’t daydream, stop using earphone, and so forth. As a driver, we must exercise “Patience” – don’t race, leave home earlier to avoid rushing, stop using the phone, and so forth.

Dennis LH Cheong
The design may be fine, for many years, but many things have changed in the recent decade+. Cost and pressure of living has increased, more cars and traffic, new and mixed cultures among road users (both pedestrians and all kinds of drivers). Maybe can check the statistics over the years if it support my conjecture. Thus, maybe it is time for the UN to recommend a standard road design and/or principle, at least for all major cities.

Sharon Tang
There’s quite a lot of roads with these kind of junctions, in many cases (driver A) is not supposed to turn right from where he is until the green man turns red and the signal for him to turn right lights up as green,but in several cases i have seen drivers turning quickly to overpass drivers going straight from Driver B’s direction.

Read more

Unsafe driving behaviour due to bad junction design
Safe driving and walking behaviour guided by good design

London LTA, TFL testing Dutch road design to make cycling safer in London

LTA of London, TFL, is testing out Dutch style road to reduce cyclist related accidents.
“Even at first go, it’s safer then current round about.”
This year TWO cyclists died in London. Stubborn TFL is now actively learning the best practices from the Netherlands to make cycling work in London.

Quoting the BBC news below for record sake:
30 April 2013 Last updated at 04:08 GMT
‘Dutch roundabouts’ could be seen in London next year

Trials of a Dutch-style roundabout have taken place at a research centre

Roundabouts like the ones used in the Netherlands separating cars from cyclists could be used in London as early as next year, the city’s cycling commissioner has said.

Trials of the layout are taking place at a research laboratory in Berkshire.

The roundabouts do not conform with Department for Transport regulations as they stand.

But Andrew Gilligan said if the trials continued to go well they could be seen in 2014.

‘Fantastic for cyclists’
The layout gives cyclists priority and means they are in the line of sight of drivers when vehicles exit the roundabout.

Transport for London is testing traffic signals for cyclists
Campaigners have called for a number of London junctions to be changed to make them safer following cyclists’ deaths.

In 2011 two cyclists died in the space of three weeks at the Bow roundabout in east London.

The roundabout trial, which has been going for six weeks and will end in July, forms part of the mayor of London’s Vision for Cycling.

More than 600 people have been involved so far and the effects on safety and capacity will be studied.

The impact on pedestrians and lorry, van and car drivers will also be monitored.

Members of the public can participate in the trials.

Other ideas being tested include traffic lights with separate signals for cyclists.

Mr Gilligan said: “We’ve got a cycling budget of £913m over 10 years and it includes £100m to refit junctions.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing this [roundabout] on the road. I think it’s going to be fantastic for cyclists.”

Subject to the outcome of the trials, Transport for London (TfL) will work with the Department for Transport to try the roundabouts on the public highway.

TfL said improvements at Bow roundabout and a 20mph speed limit at Waterloo roundabout were due to be delivered this summer as part of ongoing improvements.

Watch the video here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22347184