Headway for Shared Space
Both in the Netherlands and abroad increasing numbers of roads are being designed in accordance with the Shared Space philosophy. Recent publications demonstrate that some dozen towns in the Netherlands are using or considering Shared Space. In the rest of Europe the design philosophy is gaining adherents as well.
Shared Space is a philosophy where public space is designed in such a way that the various groups of traffic participants - motorists, cyclists and pedestrians - may jointly use it without a strict separation of traffic modes.
The province of Friesland recently published the leaflet 'Shared Space - Final evaluation and results' (download available in the tab related information), on the results of seven European projects, among them the well-known Dutch examples in Haren and Emmen, but also examples from England, Germany and Denmark. This English-language leaflet demonstrates various approaches of Shared Space, for instance in case of high speeds, cultural-historical considerations and quality of the countryside. The leaflet concludes that there are no simple, always applicable solutions, but that these seven projects have greatly contributed to knowledge development in this field.
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.
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.
Haren, Rijksstraatweg, mixed profile. In the nineteen eighties Rijksstraatweg was used as an experimental project for traffic safety. National authorities provided the funds to construct separate bike paths. Currently Rijksstraatweg is renowned as an exemplary shared-space project. The bike paths have been demolished.
Shared Space defines a set of integrated ideas about people, movement and public space. In this evaluation some of the pilot projects are reviewed.
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.