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30 KM/H ZONES

According to the United Nations (2007) a "Safe City" is a "Fair City". This is only possible if people constitute the central element of urban design, establishing this order of priorities in the quality of the public space.

30 KM/H Zones should be implemented in residential zones, in areas with high commercial activity, and nearby school facilities, with the following core objectives:

 

• Reduce traffic circulation speeds;

• Reduce the incidence and gravity of road accidents;

• Decrease unwanted cross-traffic;

• Reduce noise and environmental pollution;

• Ensure road safety.

In order to create a 30 KM/H Zone it’s convenient to define a homogeneous urban area, preferably a residential zone, wherein it is necessary to signpost the "entrances" and the "exits" either via construction of road devices that force drivers to slow down or via vertical signposting. 

Within a 30 KM/H Zone, vertical signposting should be reduced to the minimum, and calmer traffic should be secured through physical alterations in the urban space, that lead to their urban renewal, such as:

•   Reduction of the road width and increase of the pedestrian area;

•   Introduction of elements that enable drivers to realise that the road width has been reduced (shrubs / trees, urban furniture, among others);

•   Reduction of the radii of curvature;

•   Discontinuity in the alignment of the road axis;

•   Raising of the road surface and consequent levelling of the pedestrian crossings;

 

•   Traffic sharing circulation spaces.