In 30 km/h zones zebra crossings are only allowed in exceptions, i.e. when special requirements of right of way exist, such as schools and nursing homes. When introducing 30 km/h zones, this prescription often causes controversy because the removal of zebra crossings is neither understood nor accepted by the population and can lead even to situations in which 30 km/h zones can not be put into practice. The call for alternative options to zebra crossings is therefore getting louder.
30 km/h zones are to be planned in such a way that the road can be crossed basically anywhere safely and directly. The designation and marking of one particular point for crossing is therefore not the right approach. There are, however, situations especially when special user groups such as school children or elderly need to cross, or if due to parking along the road the choice of crossing point is restricted, in which it makes sense to mark a suitable crossing place.
Main objectives of the project are:
- Analysis of the problem and of the existing measures from Switzerland and abroad
- Compilation of alternative solutions within the ranges of traffic right, signalling/marking, structural measures, design and public relations
- Preparation of a program for a subsidiary inquiry of maximally three alternative solutions
Through literature research, a survey with the permit authorities, a student research project at a university of applied sciences and a workshop with representatives from police stations, public works services and transport associations, the existing experiences were gathered and new approaches for alternatives to zebra crossings were sought.
The project consists of the following activities:
- Literature review
- Poll Brainstorming Workshop
- Analysis and synthesis of collected information
It was established that suitable constructional measures such as lateral road narrowing and all forms of ramps are in existence, and have been successfully in use for a prolonged period of time. The wish for additional alternatives to zebra crossings is also shared by the polled permit authorities. The main thrust of these wishes is that there should be measures which are informative in character and that do not change the rule of right of way when crossing the road. Attention is to be paid to the ancillary conditions of the new standard SN 640 214 regulating colour design of road surfaces which limit the scope of measures allowable.
At the end of the phase of evaluation the following measures with suggestions for further action have proved to be to:
- Tactile-visual markings can be used as alternatives to zebra crossings in 30 km/hzones when orientations and safety during the crossing of the road are not given for people with visual disability. Further investigation into the efficacy of these markings are not necessary
- The measure “foot prints on the footpath” has already proved itself in practice. Itshould be made part of the standard SN 640 851 regarding special markings without any further investigation. Size, shape and colour as well as areas of use should be regulated by this standard.
- The “both or one side lateral road narrowing through border lines and bollards orposts” is an interesting and cost effective alternative to zebra crossings in 30 km/h zones which needs further investigation with respect to design, efficacy for users, constructional and operational limitations, and safety.
- Extensive coloured road surfaces influence the behaviour of road users. One knowslittle about the effects and the appropriate applications of pigmented pavements. Further proceeding studies are recommended.
Programs have been developed for continuing research projects regarding the topics of “both or one side lateral road narrowing through border lines and bollards or posts” and “extensive coloured design of road surfaces”.