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 8 Designing for multi users
    › 8.1 Mixed use streets
    › 8.2 Traffic sign regulations
    › 8.3 Home zones
    › 8.4 Crossings
    › 8.5 20 mph zones



8.1 Mixed use streets

A mixed use street is a term used for a street that has more than one purpose. An obvious example is a high street in a small town or suburb, which fulfils a function to assist the efficient movement of through traffic yet is, at the same time, a place where local people go to shop, sit, and meet their friends.

Thus a relatively confine space needs to accommodate cars, both moving and parked, delivery vehicles, places for buses to stop as well as room on the pavements for people to wait in comfort for buses, cycle storage, wheel chair users, people with disabilities.

It is at the places where people cross the road that more care is needed. Both formal and informal crossing places are usually needed.

In the wider context, what makes the street stand out form others is the quality and setting of its buildings and any incidental spaces within or immediately adjacent to the street. This requires considerable attention to the quality of the details of the foreground and the reduction of clutter

Often the mixed use streets need to be organised so that at different times in the day or week, various activities have greater priority.

Shrewsbury's informal corssings in the High Street



8.2 Traffic sign regulations
Drivers, by law, have to keep to the left and obey the rules of the road. If drivers have to vary from the normal, for example drive only one way along a road, then a legal Traffic Order has to be made by the highway authority. Drivers need to know about these Orders and so traffic signs need to be easily understood, accurate and precise. The traffic signs regulations and general directions (TSRGD) sets out the design of the signs and in some cases exactly where in a road they should be placed. But many decisions about traffic signs are made by the highway authorities. The traffic signs manuals are intended to help the authorities, but the manuals do not apply to all cases and are not mandatory.


8.3 Home zones, 20mph zones
A home zone is a street where pedestrians have priority over traffic. Often there is a shared surface, with no kerb. To comply with the Homezone regulations, speeds need to be low enough to satisfy the local authority that any permitted activity, which should not include obstructing the road for other users. Speed reducing and speed control measures, such as traffic calming, are put in place to ensure low speeds. Key to the designation of a home zone is a thorough consultation programme and involvement of the local community. A home zone can be part of a new development or retrofitted into an existing residential community.


8.4 Crossings

Controlled crossings, where traffic is controlled, consist of zebra crossings (with stripes on the road), pelican crossings (with traffic and pedestrian signals), puffin crossings (with traffic signals and near-side signals for pedestrians) and toucan crossings for cycles as well as pedestrians. In addition there are many variations of informal crossings or simply pedestrian refuges to help people wait safely for a gap in the traffic. The growing awareness of mixed use streets and the concept that many urban streets have an important function as a place, gives rise to the design of more convenient and comfortable crossings. Crossings up to 10 metres wide are permitted by the crossings regulations.


8.5 20 mph zones
The purpose of 20 mph zones is to reduce speeds and increase safety. The severity of accidents, especially to pedestrians, increases is considerably reduced if vehicles travel at 20 mph or less. The speed limit is required to be self enforcing. Speed reducing devices such as speed humps, places where the road is made narrow, horizontal deviations (sharp corners) and even parked cars may be used. Some authorities reduce the design speed of a road by the use of these measures, but keep the legal speed to 30 mph. This reduces sign clutter. Others designate large areas as 20 mph zones and produce the same effect.


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