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Road User Safety Investigation for Pedestrian Priority Zones (Shared Zones) on the Gold Coast

Peters, J, Bilton, P

Road Safety Programs

ARSC conference 2015

In 2015, Point8 was engaged by the City of Gold Coast to develop a methodology to assess the relative safety of Pedestrian Priority Zones (PPZ). A PPZ is defined as a low speed, shared zone environment that prioritises pedestrian movements over vehicle movements and encourages pedestrian activity. The successful design of PPZs requires careful consideration of engineering elements, urban planning and landscape architecture. As a result the design of PPZ environments is complex, unique to each location and non-standardised. _x000D_

Recognising the difficulty in quantifying the road safety risk of such complex environments, an assessment tool has been developed based on the Safe Systems approach. A range of safety performance outcomes related to pedestrian and cyclist safety were identified that consider both tangible engineering design aspects and less tangible environmental design considerations. The resulting tool is a PPZ safety scorecard that can be applied to existing or potential PPZ at both the concept and detailed design stages. Output scores from the tool can be used to evaluate design options for a specific site or compare the proposed design against benchmark PPZ examples to determine fitness for purpose._x000D_

The principles and general approach may have a wide range of uses to develop a similar "safety scorecard" for lower risk situations that have: limited research; unavailability of crash data to allow quantitative assessment of risk; or limited information on treatment options or design guidelines. Such a tool may be appropriate where a prescriptive design situation is not desirable.