1. Shared-space-intersection De Kaden
Drachten, Drift/De Kaden, shared-space intersection. The intersection Drift and De Kaden is an example of shared-space in the purest sense. Despite a quite high traffic volume hardly any measures have been taken to regulate traffic.
The intersection De Kaden is east of the Drachten central shopping area. The intersection is part of a kind of central ring road surrounding the shopping area. Laweiplein, another well-known example of shared-space, is also located on this ring road.
3. Traffic volume
Daily approximately 17,000 motor vehicles and 2,000 cyclists use this intersection. The exact traffic flows are not available, but the overall picture is somewhat like this: for motor vehicles this is actually a T-intersection, most cars travelling north-south. The fourth leg (to the town centre) is mainly used by cyclists and pedestrians.
4. Old situation
Before reconstruction the intersection sported traffic lights and the appropriate lay-out. Asphalt lanes, bicycle lanes and some filter lanes. Engineering features were dominant on the scene. Like many other towns,. Drachten wants to reduce the number of intersections with traffic lights to a minimum. The reconstruction is part of this policy.
In 1998 the intersection has been re-designed according to the shared-space philosophy. By regulating as little as possible traffic participants would be encouraged to assume more responsibility for their own behaviour. The lay-out of the intersection should contribute to the quality of the public space (and consequently the local economy). Without negatively affecting the traffic function, though.
6. Shared space pur sang
De Kaden may be the most extreme example of shared-space, particularly at this relatively high traffic volume. It is actually a single large, paved square that for the most part may be used by all traffic participants. There is no pavement, height difference or bike path. Cars are only physically barred from one corner, by bollards. Several trees, street lamps and trenches do have a leading function, however.
7. Pedestrian crossings only
Officially the rules of an equivalent intersection apply: priority to the right as well as straight ahead on the same road. The pedestrians were the only group to receive additional rights, by way of two pedestrian crossings. The entire intersections sports no traffic signs apart from some ‘pedestrian crossing’ signs. These crossings were provided at the insistence of concerned parties. Actually pedestrians crossings are inconsistent with the shared-space principle of regulating as little as possible. In actual practice many cyclists prove to use the crossings as well.
8. Low speed
The speeds of motor vehicles appear to be quite low. Drivers approaching the square clearly enter a different environment, where other traffic participants may appear from all directions. In addition speeds often are low as drivers queue in the intersection because of having or wanting to yield.
9. Crossing strategies
When traffic is comparatively light, most cyclists have no trouble crossing the square. They are regularly given right of way, even when they are coming from the left (see picture). When it is busy, assertive cyclists manage all right. They zigzag between waiting cars, but are sometimes clearly annoyed by the chaotic situations. A majority of the cyclists prefers an alternative strategy to cross the square.
10. Dismount, wait …
Part of the cyclists does not dare demand the right of way. They dismount and wait for the right of way to be clearly given. Then….
11. .… and walk or ride to the other side.
...they walk or ride to the other side. A problem may be that halfway across cyclists are met by cars from the other direction having to be kind enough to yield informally. Due to low speeds and the defensive behaviour of these cyclists this crossing strategy need not be unsafe by itself, but it most certainly is not convenient.
12. Using the pedestrian crossing
A majority of the cyclists turns to the pedestrians crossings for comfort. They retreat to the outside of the square and ride across the pedestrian crossing to the other side. Cyclists probably prefer this to the chaos in the middle of the square (with cars queuing from three different directions). In addition they are given (or demand) the right of way on the pedestrian crossing, although formally they are not entitled to this. The question remains whether pedestrians enjoy meeting cyclists on their crossing.
Although the intersection De Kaden is one of the first examples of shared space, no consistent evaluations are known. Accident data do not allow the conclusion that the intersection has become safer. Rather somewhat more unsafe for cyclists, although firm conclusions may not be drawn due to the small numbers both before and after the reconstruction. Moreover, only slight injuries have been reported. The quality of the public space, however, has certainly improved (although this is of course a matter of taste, which there may be disputing about).
Drachten, Laweiplein, shared-space roundabout. Laweiplein is one of the best-known examples of shared space at a busy intersection. By regulating as little as possible, traffic participants would be encouraged to assume more responsibility for their own behaviour. Laweiplein has drawn national and international attention from traffic engineers and others.
Shared Space defines a set of integrated ideas about people, movement and public space. In this evaluation some of the pilot projects are reviewed.
Karin Broer , Fietsverkeer nr. 19
Regulate as little as possible, in order to get traffic participants to think for themselves and communicate. That is, in a nutshell, the essence of Shared Space. The Monderman design philosophy creates a lot of waves in the world of traffic. Isn’t this achieved at the expense of weaker traffic participants?
Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Gerlach, Drs. Rob Methorst, Dipl.-Ing. Dirk Boenke, cand.-Ing. Jens Leven
A contribution to make a popular design philosophy more objective
Municipality of Emmen (NL), Province of Fryslân (NL), Municipality of Haren (NL), Municipality of Bohmte (G), Suffolk County Council (UK), Municipality of Middelfart (DK), City of Ostend (B) , Interreg IIIB project Shared Space
Shared Space is a simple phrase. It was coined at the outset of the Interreg-project, providing both a title and a broader vocabulary with which to address a complex set of issues arising across the European Union. Largely as a result of the project, the phrase is now widely used and recognized around the world. In common with all language, the meaning of the term ‘Shared Space’ is evolving as experience is gained and knowledge expands.
Evaluation of the reconstruction in to a square with roundabout
- Alle hoofdstukken
- 1. Shared-space-intersection De Kaden
- 2. Location
- 3. Traffic volume
- 4. Old situation
- 5. Design
- 6. Shared space pur sang
- 7. Pedestrian crossings only
- 8. Low speed
- 9. Crossing strategies
- 10. Dismount, wait …
- 11. .… and walk or ride to the other side.
- 12. Using the pedestrian crossing
- 13. Evaluation