Safer Roads for Vision Zero

Guiding cities in initiating systematic road design changes, building infrastructure that is safe for all users and formulating laws and other measures to ensure safe mobility.

Over 150,000 deaths in traffic crashes occur every year in India imposing huge social and financial costs, particularly in low- and middle-income households. Nearly half of these fatalities, occurring in cities or suburban areas, affect the working-age populace the most. Also, children, elderly and the poor are very vulnerable.

Research from WRI Ross Center and the Global Road Safety Facility, World Bank finds that the most effective way to prevent traffic deaths is a systemic approach that shifts responsibility away from the drivers and pedestrians using the roads, and instead puts the onus on city planners and officials designing them. Analysis in 53 countries found that cities that have taken a ‘Safe System’ based approach have achieved both the lowest rates of fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants and the greatest reduction in fatality levels over the past 20 years.

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street

Transforming Streetscape

 In most Indian cities, 36% of people walk or use cycles, followed by two-wheelers and buses. WRI India has been working with local governments across cities to make streets safer and accessible for all road users.

  • Mumbai: Providing technical assistance for a 300 km streetscape project by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to transform streets across the city.
  • Delhi: Partnered with the state government in its ambitious project of transforming 540 km of the city’s streets making them accessible for all.
  • Bengaluru: Working with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bengaluru Smart Cities Limited on junction improvement projects and mitigating blackspots 
  • Kochi: Collaborating with the Kochi Municipal Corporation and the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development, as part of the Transformative Urban Mobility (TUMI) Initiative, to enhance accessibility through intutive wayfinding signage and improved traffic flow.

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school

Making Access to Schools Safer

India, which is home to the largest population of children in the world, loses 31 children every day to road traffic crashes.

  • The first ‘Safe School Zone’ in Mumbai was designed after undertaking multiple consultations with stakeholders, including children in the age-group of 6-16 years – on how they wish to commute to school.
  • The pilot in Mumbai was undertaken using tactical urbanism tools i.e., low-cost interventions to test the efficacy of the design solutions before it is made permanent.
  • WRI India also launched the ‘Safe Access to Schools’ web tool, which brings together various datasets to understand road safety scenarios around schools in Bengaluru.

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redesign

Redesigning Risky Intersections

In cities like Mumbai, 30% of the crashes occur at intersections. WRI India has been working on junction improvement projects across cities in India.

  • Mumbai: WRI India transformed the Bandra’s HP junction followed by several intersections including Wadala, Nagpada, Lalbaug and Bharatmata to name a few.
  • Delhi: WRI India partnered with the Delhi Traffic Police to transform the Delhi Gate junction, one of the riskiest intersections in the city.
  • WRI India tests these design solutions on-ground by using low-cost material like paints, cones and barricades. The permanent installation is undertaken after receiving feedback from the stakeholders.
  • The designs largely look at streamlining traffic movement and providing safer and accessible pedestrian infrastructure without reducing traffic lanes.

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mobility

Safer Mobility for Youth

Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29. Rohtak in Haryana was one of the 12 cities chosen across the globe for the Botnar Child Road Safety Challenge (BCRSC).

  • In July 2020, WRI India initiated the ‘Safer Mobility for Youth’ project in Rohtak in partnership with the District Administration of Rohtak, Rohtak Police and Raahgiri Foundation with the objective of improving mobility for youth and developing accessible public spaces.
  • The Safe rohTECH Challenge encouraged young innovators to develop technological solutions for improving the safety and travel experience of youth in Rohtak.
  • The Mahra Rohtak Play(ce)making Competition invites young designers, architects and urban planners to reimagine public spaces for improving the quality of lives of citizens with a focus on youth.

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cyclist

Prioritizing Safer Access for Cyclists

In 2020, WRI India worked with local agencies, and various cycling ambassadors in the city to create India's first ever pop up cycle lanes along the Outer Ring Road, an arterial road that loops around Bengaluru.

  • The lanes were designed as a response to the resurgence of cycling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pop-up cycle lanes involve rearranging urban streets to create quick, tactical need-based and cost-effective cycling infrastructure.
  • Creating cycle paths on traffic heavy roads helps reduce conflicts with motorists, makes cycling safer and encourages more people to take up cycling for their commute.
  • WRI India has also worked with the city to redesign and build 5 km of cycle tracks and pedestrian infrastructure in the center of the city.

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street-lab

City Street Labs

WRI India initiated the Mumbai Street Lab (MSL), a first-of-its-kind street design initiative led by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to redesign the streets of Mumbai. The success was subsequently replicated with the Delhi Street Lab (DSL) launched by the Delhi Transport Department.

  • MSL looked at bringing in urban designers to redesign and retrofit five streets in Mumbai.
  • Both the initiatives also looked at training engineers and relevant stakeholders on building better and safer streets for all road users.
  • Engineers receive training from various local and international experts in the fields of urban design and planning, traffic engineering and road safety.
  • WRI India has also undertaken crash data analysis at the city-level data to look at possible design solutions and to inform policy-level decisions.

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ONGOING WORK

ONGOING WORK