In 2008, forty-nine pedestrians were killed and 1,124 injured on Ireland’s roads. That's 18% of all fatalities and 12% of all casualties from road collisions in the country.
In Cork City, Ireland, several million Euros have been spent on upgrading and refurbishing its main street network. In order to derive the maximum benefit from the huge investment, in terms of the improvement of the overall environment and comfort/safety for pedestrians, a thirty kilometer per hour speed limit zone has been introduced.
Below you can see the streets involved in the new thirty kilometer per hour speed zone including St. Patrick’s Street, Grand Parade, Oliver Plunkett Street, North Main Street, and Corn Market Street.
The reduced speed limit zone has been working well and pedestrians are using the streets in these areas with more ease and comfort than they were doing so before, as these streets are the main areas for restaurants, shops and cafes.
Cork City is traditionally a busy area for pedestrians who often cross roads at areas other than recognized crossing points. While it is impossible to predict where accidents might occur, the thirty kilometer per hour zone has prioritized pedestrian safety.
These pedestrian zones, and the proposed Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, have been in place since 2011. It was hoped that it would send a positive message "that the City is an inviting, attractive and safe place to visit." Part of this plan is also to improve the link between the bus station and the rest of the city center.
The main road routes around the city center will change slightly, with the aim of keeping as many cars as possible away from the shopping streets, while reducing traffic jams.
Generally, this system is working well in Cork City Center, as there are green routes in place that promote corridors of transport and make routes more pedestrian friendly. However, while there are great intentions for increased foot traffic in Cork, there is still a certain amount of conflict that exists between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Pedestrians are still hesitant to cross streets in certain areas and often don't use the footpaths and crossways because motorists, and even some cyclists, feel entitled to the roads.
What can be done to try to combat these conflicts between users on the road? What has your city done to make pedestrians more safe?
Credit: Images by Olivia Dolan. Data linked to sources.