Policy on safety and efficiency in individual transport has for a long time been strongly focused on car traffic, to the detriment of pedestrians and cyclists. While transport policy in principle has encouraged environment-friendly modes, the resulting safety measures have reduced travel options, increased journey times and failed to protect vulnerable road users.
PROMISING aimed to show the potential for reduction in casualties of vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists, motorised two-wheelers and young drivers, by technical non-restrictive measures.
The main objectives of PROMISING have been:
- to compare the relative merits of different measures;
- to assess the restrictions resulting from different measures, by developing criteria that consider the viewpoint of road users; and
- to present an implementation framework for the measures, aimed at (local) policy makers.
- compared mobility patterns and factors influencing mobility for several modes of transport in various European countries, and assessed the safety levels achieved;
- presented an overview of current legislation regarding walking, cycling and the use of powered two-wheelers with respect to traffic regulations, infrastructure design standards and legal limitations to vehicle use for young drivers and riders;
- highlighted best practice examples of innovative traffic concepts from Sweden and the Netherlands that aim to increase the safety of vulnerable road users;
- summarised design criteria for roads and traffic management schemes based on a knowledge of the specific mobility needs of pedestrians and cyclists;
- reviewed technical and non-technical measures for reducing the risk of accidents, particularly those targeting young, inexperienced drivers;
- performed cost-benefit analyses for a set of twenty infrastructure (design) and organisational measures, ranging from roundabout design, upgrading of pedestrian crossings and design of dedicated bicycle lanes, to e.g. the daytime use of lights on vehicles;
- outlined an implementation strategy that aims at a better balance between the interests of different road users, improved co-operation between local and national traffic authorities, and direct involvement of road users in planning and design processes.
A future, more mode specific transport policy, addressing the particular requirements of pedestrians and cyclists, will have to come up with a set of practical criteria for traffic flow management, right of way regulations and other safety improvements for vulnerable road users. Several national showcases have already provided planning and design guidelines that need to be adopted and customised for broader usage. Cost-benefit analyses, evaluating improvements from the perspective of walkers and cyclists, are needed to avoid further bias towards the dominating motorised traffic.