Sunday, 23 September 2012

Rasen am Ring 2012: Ring Rad Weg Options Survey.

As part of the Rasen am Ring 2012 event (where part of the Ring is turned into a car free zone and 1000 sqm of grass turf is laid down on the central main road), I did a Ring Rad Weg Options survey in cooperation with and help from Argus and IGF.

I was not really prepared for how difficult this would actually be. Getting people to take part in surveys is a hard job and I was annoyed by the amount of people who answered in English "Sorry I do not Speak German" and walked off.  Bloody foreigners.

However I employed some child labour and Max and Tony did a fantastic job explaining traffic concepts to passers by and collecting their votes.

We tried to get a fair cross section of the population but I have to confess cyclists where much more interested in the Ring Rad Weg and the cyclist / pedestrian conflict problems. However we had tourists / residents / pedestrians and some interesting responses and discussions...  Due to the nature of this survey you did have to have a conversation with people for between 5 mins and 40 mins to get a response.  However I was totally surprised about how positive each respondent was and how interested they were in the solutions.

The question was:

"Zur Zeit gibt es große Konflikte zwischen den Verkehrsteilnehmern am Ring. Wie sollte man den öffentlichen Raum “Ring” gestalten?"
(There is a lot of conflict between road users on the Ring. How should the Ring public space be used?)

Here are the results:

Option 1:
1 Vote.
Die Ist-situation soll bleiben.
(Current design.)

Option 2:
10 Votes.
Der jetzige Radweg soll mit roter Farbe klar markiert werden.
(Clearly marked cycle path.)

Option 3:
42 Votes. 
Es soll einen durchgehenden Radweg auf der Nebenfahrbahn geben.
(Cycle path on the side streets.)

Option 4:
6 Votes.
Es soll einen durchgehenden Radweg auf einer Fahrbahn des Ringes geben.
(A bidirectional cycle path on the main road.)

Option 5:
4 Votes.
Der Ring soll in beide Richtungen befahrbar sein.
(One direction cycle paths on main road.)

Option 6:
11 Votes.
Die verkehrsberuhigte Nebenfahrbahn soll auch für Radfahere benützbar sein.
(Integration of bicycle traffic with traffic reduced and calmed side roads.)

Option 7:
84 Votes.
Der Ring soll autofrei sein - wie die Prater Hauptallee.
(Car free zone like the Prater Hauptallee).

At the end of a long conversation the one person who voted for the current situation admitted he was not too happy with it but did not know which was the best solution.  The rest 157 voted for change.  A lot of people would have liked 2 votes.  One for what the want (often option 7) and one vote for what they thought was realistic. 

I am very happy because the result of this survey is that 158 people realized that pedestrian / cyclist conflict is not just a problem of behavior it is also a design problem to some extent.  Even new and improved designs are unsatisfactory. 

I think you will never remove 100% of conflict but it is maybe time for the City of Vienna to concentrate of the quality of the road infrastructure for all users.

A big thanks goes to everyone that took the time to answer this survey and the help I got setting it up.

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