Safe pedestrian crossing project for Saint Petersburg
Project year
2017
Team
Myself + citizens
Project role
Urban designer
Client
Atlas of ideas / Moskovsky city district administration
Challenge
Existing pedestrian crossings in Saint Petersburg don't meet the needed safety standarts and are one of the main reasons for too many crashes involving pedestrians. This is common throughout Russia, except for few cases, mostly in Moscow recently.

The main issue is that police and transportation committies always try to find the root of the problem in people and basic road properties (wet road, hole in the road), but absolutely ignore the fact that this is mostly about street geometry and different street features - pedestrian crossings (how they are lit, what is the geometry, is parking blocking the view on the crossing, etc), design of intersections and such. My project is not a breakthrough idea, but an open-your-eyes adaptation of succesfull European, American and Australian experience in street safety. This project was made in the framework of Arlas of ideas for Moskovsky district (Saint Petersburg, Russia).
Workflow
I took the idea of safe pedestrian crossing as my main focus because it enhaces both pedestrian and car safety. Moreover, pedestrian crosing project is scalable — if this one is approved by transportation committee, it can be implemented throughout the city, on some streets with less or no changes, on others — with a bit more. This way basically one project could be a simple start for fast-paced growth of street safety and decline in crashes and deaths on streets.

I've started my research with distant and field analysis. Quite quickly I found out that only 2 lanes out of 4 are used for moving cars. Curb lanes are used for parking on most parts of the street, so even the parts without parking move on 2 inner lanes. There are two sides to this story: first, at peak hours this street would be better off without parking (at first glance), but also there's lack of parking spaces for people living in the neighbourhood, so if parking was legal throughout the street, some courtyards could be more pedestrian-friendly. With street network so uncoordinated in the area, 4 lanes on this street will not do much, so making parking lanes dedicated and pedestrian crossings articulated (narowing the street to 2 lanes on all pedesrtian crossings) will make Basseynaya street safer for all users, be it pedestrians, car drivers, or bikers.

I also proposed direct illumination of the crossing. With articulated design this way pedestrian sort of becomes an actor on the stage, seeing moving cars, and being clearly visible to all car drivers.
Move the slider to compare pedestrian crossing now and proposed changes
Outcome
My proposal was presented with other ideas to Moscovsky district administration, but there wa no further actions on the project.

Because of this, I took this proposal to participatory budgeting project, it was approved by the district administration, but transportation committee disapproved it. They claimed that Basseynaya street needs all 4 lanes for moving cars and denied that 2 of 4 lanes are always used for parking, and if we narrow the street to 2 lanes where pedestrian crossing is, «the street will always be in traffic jams», which is surely not true, according to worldwide experience.

Transportation committee also insisted that current pedestrian crossings are fine and safe, but my research of car crash data points out otherwise.
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Contacts

+7 950 027 74 46
daniel.gorohov@gmail.com
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