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COVID-19 and the need for 'pop-up' walking and cycling facilities

1 May 2020

In a recent post Anusha Rajasooriya from TRL explores the opportunity provided by Covid-19 restrictions to re-think the way we can use our urban spaces to extend transport choices and improve the environment.

She says: 'Some cities and municipalities have, or are in the process of, temporarily widening footways and bike lanes to cater for the increase in pedestrians and cyclists (while also observing a substantial reduction in motorised traffic) resulting from the imposed lockdowns to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Cities such as Berlin and Bogota have borrowed road space, previously demarked primarily for motorised traffic and reallocated it for active travel modes. Examples of these 'pop-up' facilities include relatively inexpensive removable road marking tape to create new or widen existing bike lanes and use of flexible posts to create safer, segregated facilities.'

‘Pop-up’ walking and cycling facilities allow local authorities to achieve ‘quick wins’ and may also support long-term strategies to combat traffic congestion, improve public health and meet climate change objectives. Until lockdowns are lifted or relaxed, ‘pop-up’ facilities allow local authorities to balance road user needs and provide for all modes without compromising road safety or traffic flow. Safely practising social distancing is a challenge on many streets when footways are often narrower than 2m. Even when some lockdown measures are lifted, it is unlikely that the requirement to socially distance will be removed in the near future, at least until a vaccine becomes available. ‘Pop-up’ facilities thereby help to manage this and enable the public to adhere to the social distancing advice safely without the need to unnecessarily encroach onto road space dominated by motorised modes. 

The full article is available here..................

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