Thursday 20 September 2012

Ring Rad Weg: Heldentor: Again...

A quick stop at the now infamous junction on the way home and some really good discussion on the web  leads me to this Heldentor design revision. In my original there was no way to cross the Ring to the outer side. So how would the Dutch design such a crossing?

Here is a plan view of the current situation followed by my attempt at guessing how this would be handled in Holland:

There are many option for solving this and a lot depends on the chosen concept of the Ring Rad Weg but I will go for a solution that is as close to what is there now as possible without the shared high density pedestrian and bicycle footpath.

A quick observation of the traffic here  reveals that the overriding dominant road user here is the pedestrian.  There is little crossing cycle traffic and not much turning motor traffic.  Going with an Option 3 solution would mean integrating the Cycle path with the junction is very difficult.  However due to the very low amount of cycle traffic trying to cross the central road here the cycle crossing can be a small bidirectional cycle path.  There is huge amounts of room here so this could be totally away from the dominant pedestrian crossing traffic.  The fast moving 3 lane motor traffic just needs to be moved back a few meters and bikes can cross on their red light phase in front of them.

Speed bump type traffic calming and road norrowing could be used to slow and calm the traffic on the inner side and outer side streets to a level where the light regulated crossings could be removed.  Then you would only need traffic light control to allow the taxis, horse drawn carridges and tourist coaches to join the 3 lane central motorway.  Giving them stacking space to do this without constant conflict from bikes and pedestrians would make this task easier and lead to less mistakes and the resulting injuries.  On this motorway red phase, pedestrains and cyclists could cross without having to conflict with each other.

I hope the above concept could reduce the conflict for all road users and be for more convenient to use, but frankly anything would be better than the new and improved design.

UPDATE 1.10.2012

I am very happy to announce that the city of Vienna will review this junction so I have tidied up my sketch above to hopefully make it a bit clearer. The above is what I think the Dutch would do but it is far from a finished design.  I hope it is enough to indicate how this junction could be designed if pedestrians and cyclists are treated as road users. I hope they do not listen to me but someone qualified from Holland that has some experience creating good solutions, because until they do I have a feeling I will be writing a lot more about this junction.

It has also been pointed out that there is no such thing as Heldentor the correct name is Burgtor.  Sorry for confusion.

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