Safety Theatre | WalkSydney

I posted a piece on WalkSydney: Safety Theatre.

What do the following things have in common:

Bicycling in Amsterdam is safer than Sydney, yet there are no helmets in sight. Instead there are separated bikelanes and a better culture, as well as safety-in-neighbors.

 

  • Bike Helmets
  • Sharrows
  • Marked Crosswalks
  • Fining Pedestrians

They are designed to make people feel safer than they are. The natural reaction is a misjudgment of actual risk due to risk compensation. The result is that people don’t behave safely enough, which makes it more dangerous.

In contrast, when people feel less safe, they behave in a safer way, which improves safety compared to normal behaviour in the same circumstances.

For instance in the controversial case of bike helmets, I am not saying if you are dropped on your head, wearing a helmet doesn’t reduce the chance of your head splitting open. I am saying it increases the likelihood of being dropped on your head. The total risk of your head being split open is the product of these two factors:

P(HeadSplitOpen)=P(DroppedOnHead)*P(HeadSplitOpen|DroppedOnHead).

Helmets are associated both with P(HeadSplitOpen|DroppedOnHead) decreasing and P(DroppedOnHead) increasing. How this nets out is an empirical question, whose answer varies depending on context.

TransportLab at TRB Schedule

The University of Sydney’s TransportLab will be at a number of sessions at the January 2019 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington. In addition to myself, we will be represented by Mengying Cui and Hao Wu. If you want to meet up, email me, or track me down at a poster session.

Name and Paper ID

Session ID Session Name Date Time Place

Street Rights and Livability: Ethical Frameworks to Guide Planning, Design, and Engineering

19-03097

1130 Incorporating Equity in Pedestrian Planning and Policy Mon 1/14/2019 8:00 AM- 9:45 AM Salon C, Convention Center
Transport Accessibility Manual Working Group Transport Accessibility Manual Working Group Mon 1/14/2019 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM Mint (M4), Marriott Marquis

Safety in Numbers for Bicyclists and Motorists at Urban Intersections: A Two-part Model of Crashes

19-04592

1478 Cycling Safety and Comfort Tue 1/15/2019 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM 102B, Convention Center

I only get some satisfaction: Introducing satisfaction into measures of accessibility

19-03141

1518 Accessibility for Policy and Practice Tue 1/15/2019 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM 140B, Convention Center

Disparity of Access: Variations in Transit Service by Race, Ethnicity, Income, and Auto Availability

19-04967

1518 Accessibility for Policy and Practice Tue 1/15/2019 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM 140B, Convention Center

Optimum Stop Spacing for Accessibility

19-01191

1636 Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Tue 1/15/2019 3:45 PM- 5:30 PM Hall A, Convention Center

Stationless in Sydney: The Rise and Decline of Bikesharing in Australia.

19-00574

1499 Bicycle Transportation Research Wed 1/16/2019 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM Hall A, Convention Center

Network Measures of Polycentricity

19-01399

1776 Transportation Issues and Solutions in Major Cities Wed 1/16/2019 2:30 PM- 4:00 PM Hall A, Convention Center

Link-based Full Cost Analysis of Travel

19-01978

1775 Novel Uses of Economic Analysis in Decision Making Wed 1/16/2019 2:30 PM- 4:00 PM Hall A, Convention Center

Evolution of the Sydney Trains Network

Some work we have done at TransportLab at the University of Sydney.

Access to Destinations Data

Many years ago, we completed a project called Access to Destinations. The data from the project has been sitting on my hard drive for many years. I am happy that some of it is now preserved for posterity and open science by the University of Minnesota Data Conservancy. See:

 

Unfortunately, due to small methodological changes, these data are not directly comparable with more recent outputs, and the 1995 – 2005 data are really not directly comparable with the 2010 data either. It nevertheless might be interesting for selected applications.

Evolution of the Sydney Trams Network

Some work we have done at the University of Sydney’s TransportLab on Network Growth in Sydney:

Spontaneous Access: Reflexions on Designing Cities and Transport. (Free)

I am pleased to announce that you can now download a PDF version of Spontaneous Access: Reflexions on Designing Cities and Transport from the University of Sydney eScholarship Repository. (Free)

Title: Spontaneous Access: Reflexions on Designing Cities and Transport
Authors: Levinson, David M.
Keywords: spontaneous order

planning

traffic

transportation engineering

urban design

Issue Date: Sep-2017
Publisher: Network Design Lab
Citation: Levinson, David (2018) Spontaneous Access: Reflexions on Designing Cities and Transport. Network Design Lab.
Abstract: The idea of the ‘spontaneous city,’ one that serves needs and wants in real-time, is a theme running through both the title and the text. How can we design cities and their networks that enable people to do what they want, when they want? What do we do everyday that hinders our freedom?
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/18973
ISBN: 9781389588099

SPONTANEOUS ACCESS: REFLEXIONS ON DESIGNING CITIES AND TRANSPORT by David Levinson

SPONTANEOUS ACCESS: REFLEXIONS ON DESIGNING CITIES AND TRANSPORT by David Levinson

If you want other versions, including paper, please go here.

Green Square deserves a Green Square |WalkSydney

I wrote a piece for WalkSydney: Green Square deserves a (pedestrian-accessible) Green Square.

We have a high-frequency service train station. Across the street we have a Library. But we are not supposed to cross the street, as there is no intersection, no HAWK signal, no Zebra crossing, none of the animal menagerie designed to protect pedestrians from the onslaught of the more important motorised vehicles whose speed shall not be diminished. Casual empiricism suggests before the most recent installation of barricades walling off the library from its patrons, many people did, in fact, cross the street midblock in an organic but unorganised fashion, exhibiting the desire lines that ought to govern how the street system is arranged.

A Green Square. Drawn by Author. Not to Scale. Indicative Only. Zebra Crossing indicate location of pedestrian crossings. Refuge islands to be deleted, along with section of O'Riordan Street.

Umbrella Pas De Deux | Walk Sydney

I wrote a thing for WalkSydney: Umbrella Pas de Deux

When it’s raining, and everyone has their umbrella out, and you are passing someone going the opposite direction, and you are holding umbrellas at about the same height, and the footpath is narrow, your umbrellas will collide unless one party raises their umbrella, the other lowers their, or some combination of the two. What is the protocol for Umbrella Pas de Deux?

Map Monday: Isochrones and the Thirty-Minute City | WalkSydney

I wrote a thing for WalkSydney: Map Monday: Isochrones and the Thirty-Minute City

Travel Time Platform is a website that lets users draw Isochrones, areas which can be reached in a given amount of time (Iso from the Greek for same, chronos for time). I have used it to draw a time radius. Here we show a 30 minute walking time from the Seymour Centre (near the WalkSydney world headquarters, but you can choose anywhere.)

The 30 minute city is a concept about accessibility, can the important places travelers want to go be reached in a given time. The idea that 70% of the people can reach daily activities within 30 minutes of walk, bike, or transit is embedded in the most recent Metropolis of Three Cities plan of the Greater Sydney Commission.

Isochrone by car. A car will get you farther than walking, biking, or transit in 30 minutes.
Isochrone by car. A car will get you farther than walking, biking, or transit in 30 minutes.