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Effective Application of Complete Streets Design Principles for Enhancing Pedestrian Safety


The Complete Street is rapidly being accepted and implemented in municipalities throughout the world to create a more inclusive and safe environment for all road users. The inability of many existing corridors to safely transport vulnerable road users to and from significant generators, while ensuring a road is also seen as a destination in and of itself, is an ongoing challenge municipalities face. Promoting the economic vibrancy of a corridor and the adjacent land uses through implementation of a safe, pedestrian-friendly, and aesthetically inviting corridor is quickly becoming a priority for many municipalities as antiquated design practices are superseded with new guidelines.
This paper explores a real-world example of applied design principles employed to enhance road safety within an urban setting through exploration of a case study. The case study project area will be reviewed to identify why the specific corridor and surrounding area was identified for conversion to a Complete Street/Grand Boulevard. Complete Street design recommendations and best practices will be reviewed prior to exploring which key components were applied to the specific case study. An emphasis will be placed on the case study’s connectivity of a major transit hub to a significant shopping centre facility as well as the specific corridor enhancements applied to prioritize safe and efficient movement of vulnerable road users. A review of the custom roadway geometrics utilized to strike a balance between road safety, traffic operations, pedestrian accessibility, active modes, and transit will be explored.
Applicable design standards and guidelines referenced during the design of the case study project will be reviewed and Complete Street design principles that were modified or compromised during design and construction will be discussed. The paper will examine the challenges of implementing Complete Streets design principles which often employ customized geometrics and do not necessarily correlate with historically approved best practices and design guidelines. From concept development to construction, the review and approval process will be explored to highlight some of the design compromises that were made to reach a balanced end product.
The strategy for effective design and implementation of an urban corridor retrofit project will be presented with a breakdown of fundamental and applicable Complete Street best practices to create a safe and inviting experience for all road users.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Improving Road Safety in Urban Areas
Kirkham, P.
Road safety