How many Lanes will be necessary on Future Streets?

The results of the Master Course Smart City Design at the Berlin Macromedia School reveal many changes on the public street space. How to integrate new mobility into the system, how to think of the spectrum of new users and how will that affect the people? How to do justice to all the different perspectives and limitations? WILL EVERY NEW FORM OF MOBILITY CLAIM ITS OWN LANE?

Observation (Personas), Traffic Data Analysis (DataFromSky) and Research lead to Before / After Visions demonstrating that Mobility is in a State of Digital Disruption. With a range of new mobility options rolling out just now, the order and disorder of the shared space is more relevant every day. Principles of fairness and equality are transformed by the rationale of policy makers, developers and entrepreneurs. More then ever the User is in the center with the advent of digital tools surrounding him. His choices are a form of participation, it takes place with the urban remote control, the smart phone.

The one foot on the ground approach allowed the course to form new ideas for an improved use and a vision of the street space to come. How will it be negotiated between all kinds of participants? Will traffic velocity remain the defining parameter? Can every (reasonably large) group have a separated lane, and what about the rest? An answer to these questions was not really expected, rather a change in perspective by weighing the options.

The process was to first search for prototypical people on the street and use them as Personas (analog the UX process process, defining stereotypical users..). The software DataFromSky was used to analyse the videos with AI, leading to a count of the vehicles typical in a traffic analysis. The final step was to develop a new design of the street to come up with a rearrangement of the lanes necessary.

The initial observation has quickly led to the conclusion that most of street life is hard to categorise and put into personas.

Anja Lüttmann

Main road users (today)*

1. Small-/medium-sized cars (34)**

2. Pedestrians (20)

3. eBikes, Bikes (7)

4. Bus (short & accordion) (1)

5. Others***

  • ordered by share (1. = biggest share)
  • **vehicle count based on traffic video analysed by DataFromSky
  • ***Such as Transporters, Trucks

Key Finding

As the traffic monitoring has shown, the focus on cars today is not justified by the numbers. Wide streets with high velocity driving prevents equal road users such as bicycle riders and venue shoppers from exploring the area safely. Today, the crossing has the character of a transit road.

But what if the crossing would be people-oriented instead of car- oriented? What if local businesses could benefit from a growing number of people staying instead of passing by? What should the crossing look like? How should lanes be arranged?

Concept

My concept gives the street back to bicycle riders by the installed 2- Way bike lane in the middle of the street, while de-prioritising cars on a separate lane by speed limits, narrowed streets, street tables and traffic lights.

Pedestrians are now equal users of the road and can easily cross from one venue to another by a giant cross walk. Traffic lights are giving priority by initially showing green light for pedestrians, as long as no car or bike is approaching.

Parking space has been enormously reduced due to a regular operating park&ride shuttle service to give shoppers access to venues in a eco-friendly way.

01.

  • Central two-sided bike lane (for 2- wheeled vehicles)
  • Due to the 20 miles/h speed reduction, scooters and bicycle can share one lane

02.

  • Street lanes for opposite car & bus traffic
  • P&R-Shuttles/Ride-sharing is offered to shoppers

03

• Speed reduction to max. 20 miles/h (narrowed lane width, signs & speed tables)

04.

• Giant crosswalk (red) gives space & safety to pedestrians

• Traffic lights (green) are giving priority by initially showing green light for pedestrians, as long as no car or bike is approaching

  • Traffic lights help manage main street/ side street flows

05

Street corner with a sharper angle to make turning harder for cars and increases safety for bike riders and pedestrians

Before / After

The changes that are proposed are visualised with Before / After images.

Alicia Baeck: Change the Street

The right way of using the Street.

Assumption: Car-free inner city (Berlin) in 2027

Place: Bergmanstrasse in Bergmannkiez

Now

Bergmannstrasse April 10th 2019, 17.40

Counting with DataFromSky (and manually)

Number of cars: 20

Number of Bicycle riders: 13

Number of Motocycles: 1

Lane Cross-Sectional Drawing

Lane Arrangement Standard

Before / After

MaXihong

Vrusti Kiri

  • The project is about designing a street with current problems and future mobility incorporation. How the future street will look like ?

• It will take more than technology, more efficient cars, or even autonomous vehicles to improve how we move through our communities. In fact, cars are not going to be the ideal answer to transportation woes, or better cities.

• To understand who is part of the street and who uses the most the street ? — “personas”

  • Analyzing a problems of street according to personas

Solution: Street Design

Before / After

Moustafa Elmeky: Re-Designing the Road

The street is located in a historical multi- cultural rich area and is heavily occupied by pedestrians between Kottbusser tor and the Kreuzberg Kanal.

  • One of the few places in the city where a diverse group of people congregate regularly, for free. However, there is very little communication between pedestrians.

• The street shall be built for pedestrians, not cars.

  • All of my concepts involved heavily modifying the infrastructure and it seemed too ambitious and unrealistic.

The the street will be converted into one way both directions without island and I would add one more lane at the end for smooth car movement as per the numbers of autos shown by data from sky video(16 cars both ways /min).

Bensu Ece Tugyan — Tugan Can Tureli

Future Street Design Proposal for Kurfürstendamm:

We designed this proposal for a car free, bicycle friendly & human oriented city. We want to define a more liveable, green public space for people and animals

For the future we foresee that bicycles will be the main transportation medium, that’s why we not only define a road for them but also add parking and charging space for bicycles and e-bikes

Since we assumed that the city centre would have no cars, we narrowed down the roads just for shared vehicles & mini busses. We proposed a ring area for these vehicles to reach Kurfürstendamm.

Before / After

Material and Lectures are on this Blog >>.

DataFromSky has published a brief version on their website: http://datafromsky.com/news/new-concept-of-future-berlin-streets-with-datafromsky-light/

Thank you!

© Daniel Jenett, 2019

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