The Role of Walking in the Movement and Place Policy Framework

Join the Transport Australia society for a panel discussion on what makes places great and how they can be built to encourage a healthier and more vibrant society. (August 11, 2020 – 12:30 pm to 02:00 pm (AEST))

The Role of Walking in the Movement and Place Policy Framework
Join the Transport Australia society for a panel discussion on “the Role of Walking in the Movement and Place Policy Framework”.

The Movement and Place Framework is increasingly used to guide transport planning in delivering a more integrated transport system to improve customer outcomes and support a range of user groups. This is particularly important for the liveability of places and vibrant streets, where greater numbers of pedestrians gather.

Austroads, the NSW Government Architect and others have recently published a series of guidelines to help understand and implement this framework.

The event will consist of three presentations by our esteemed partners from Walk Sydney, Victoria Walks and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, followed by a Q&A session.

Hear from our panellists on their views on what makes great places and how these places can encourage more walking for a healthier, wealthier and more vibrant society.


Ben Rossiter

Ben Rossiter
Victoria Walks & International Federation of Pedestrians

Ben Rossiter is the founding Executive Officer of Victoria Walks and has led a small but enterprising team to see it become the primary Australian organisation leading the move for walkable communities. Victoria Walks is an evidence-based organisation working to get more people walking more every day. The theme of his doctoral dissertation was walking in cities and he takes great pleasure in the simple joy of walking, getting lost in urban areas and exploring new places on foot.

Robyn Davies

Robyn Davies
Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads

Robyn Davies is Program Manager (Cycling and Walking) in the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Queensland. She is an urbanist and transport planner with 20 years’ experience working in state and local governments in Australia and the UK, including 15 years in TMR.

She is an advocate for sustainable transport and making cities great places for people.

David Levinson

David Levinson
Walk Sydney & University of Sydney

Prof David Levinson joined the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney in 2017. He also serves as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering at the University of Minnesota, where from 1999 to 2016, he served on the faculty. He was Managing Director of the Accessibility Observatory and directed the Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems (NEXUS) research group. He held the Richard P Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation (2006-2016). He also served on the graduate faculty of the Applied Economics and Urban and Regional Planning programs at the University of Minnesota. In the academic year 2006-2007 he was a visiting academic at Imperial College in London. He serves as an advisor to Coord.

Dick Van den Dool

Dick van den Dool, Director
Barros van den Dool Active Transport

After more than 30 years in the industry, Dick started his own business in late 2017. The focus is on Active Transport (AT) and Road Safety, the underlying philosophy being to create a healthy planet, people and places. Dick is well known for his extensive research into active transport and traffic calming, bringing fresh ideas from The Netherlands to the attention of the Australian traffic and road safety profession. Most recently he led the research, design and consultation for Bicycle Boulevards in WA, SA and QLD and the related initiative on Safe Street Neighbourhoods. Dick is a committee member of Transport Australia Society (NSW), Cycling Without Age Australia, WalkSydney, BIKEast, Standards Australia (car parking) and the Innovation Panel for Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand.

About Transport Australia

Transport Australia is a national organisation with state-based branches and membership is open to all people with an interest in transport issues. Our members deal with the movement of people and goods to, from and within Australia by land, sea and air. The focus of our activity is to improve public debate on strategic transport issues, ensuring transport professionals are at the table when Governments make decisions regarding transport policy, reform and infrastructure investment. Transport Australia is the home for transport professionals in Australia.

Membership is $55 per annum.  To join, go to



Date: 11 / 08 / 2020 – 12:30 pm to 02:00 pm (AEST)
Venue: Webinar Only

  • EA Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Student Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Non-Member Rate: $30.00 ($27.27 excl. GST)
Key Speaker(s)
Ben Rossiter, Robyn Davies, David Levinson, Dick van den Dool
Engineers Australia, Transport Australia Society
Event Contact
  • Contact: Engineers Australia Member Services
  • Phone: 1300 653 113
  • Email:
Maximum CPD Hours

Walking and Talking: The Effect of Smartphone Use and Group Conversation on Pedestrian Speed

Recently published:

Walking speed, walking in group, and phone use
Walking speed, walking in group, and phone use

Distracted walking due to smartphone use is on the rise resulting in growing concern over pedestrian safety and well-being. Our study measured the walking speeds of pedestrian groups differentiated by their smartphone use in two different environments – a wide pedestrian bridge at a university, and a narrow footpath on a busy commercial street. The results show that groups of people, phone users, and often followers of phone users, walk significantly slower than solo walkers uninfluenced by phone. Especially on the narrow street, people in groups and phone users are seen to not only slow themselves down but also slow the people walking behind them.

The Alexandria – Moore Park Disconnector | WalkSydney

I wrote The Alexandria – Moore Park Disconnector for WalkSydney about a road widening project in my neighbourhood.

The help it needs is not making it wider so cars can speed through from not here to not there, but making it narrower, so people  on foot can cross from shops on one side to shops on the other. In other words, it should be moved down rather than up the hierarchy of roads.  People should be able to cross these streets freely and without fear. McEvoy should be a destination, not a detour

Read the whole thing, and if you are a New South Welshman, feel free to get in touch to help make Sydney a better place.

The Street: Design for People

I will be appearing at The Street: Design for People August 9 at 12:30 at the Powerhouse. Tickets via Eventbrite (not free, sadly). This is organized by Foreground, who published my piece on The Future of the Footpath.

A panel of experts examine how the burgeoning urban pressures of the 21st century are affecting how we design and occupy our streets, at a public forum on 9 August at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.

Streets are essential for transporting both people and goods, but they are much more than just thoroughfares. They have their own intrinsic value, serving myriad civic functions, from social interactions to commercial exchange, and from cultural expression to political debate. They are also constantly changing.

For the past month, Foreground has been running a special series examining the street, from green streets that work as a hedge against the effects of climate change, to the effects of changing traffic and mobility patterns on street parking, safety and shared usage, and how encroaching privatisation is challenging its legacy as a civic commons.

As the culmination of this special series, Foreground is convening a public forum of experts with a professional interest in the street to examine how this critical piece of infrastructure might address the burgeoning urban pressures of the 21st century.


Professor David Levinson teaches at the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney, where he leads the Network Design Lab and the Transport Engineering group He is the author of the influential blog The Transportist, and is also an advisor to Sidewalk Labs spinoff Coord, which recently launched a data integration platform for urban mobility.

Dr Nicole Kalms is a founding director of the XYX Lab at Monash University, which leads national research in space, gender and communication. Her recent book Hypersexual City (Routledge 2017) examines sexualized representation in neoliberal cities.

Libby Gallagher is a registered landscape architect with over 20 years of professional experience on a range of public, mixed use and private projects in Australia and overseas. Recent award-winning projects include the Quality of Landscape Study for the City of Sydney and the Cool Streets Pilot Project for Blacktown Council.

Andrew Mackenzie (moderator) is a co-founder and co-editor of Foreground. Andrew has been a writer, curator, editor and publisher on art, design and architecture for over 20 years. He writes for various journals and newspapers and is a co-director at Uro Publications, and independent Australian publisher of books on architecture and design.

Antecedents to a Pedestrian Bill of Rights

Below are some sources that make points similar to what might be in a Pedestrian Bill of Rights. Feel free to share more, I will add to the post. These are not in a particular order.

A shared space street in Bern, allowing only bikes, pedestrians and transit.
A shared space street in Bern, allowing only bikes, pedestrians and transit.


The illustrated Charter of Pedestrian Rights  (PDF) in English by Mexican pedestrian advocates   says:

As pedestrians we have the right to:

  • Cross the street calmly and safely
  • A city that fits my needs
  • Adequate public transportation services
  • Organized urban centers
  • Socialize in public spaces
  • Play in the streets
  • Suitable street furniture
  • Spacious sidewalks
  • A healthy environment and enjoyment of the space
  • Walk calmly on the street.

National Street Service: Jaywalker’s bill of rights

  1.  The right to cross without intimidation from motorists, whether in the crosswalk or not
  2.  The right to medical care without cost for injuries inflicted by motorists
  3.  The right to fewer moving traffic lanes
  4.  The right to lower motorists’ speed
  5.  The right to pass by
  6.  The right to stop, sit, recline, and rest without harassment or intimidation
  7.  The right to avoid activities one finds dangerous or unsavory
  8.  The right to express needs and desires for the neighborhood
  9.  The right to determine one’s own safest, most suitable route

LA’s new Mobility Principles for transportation happiness:

  • Freedom to Get Around
  • Freedom from Disruptions
  • Freedom from Harm
  • Freedom to Connect
  • Freedom from Exclusion

Austroads – Level of Service Metrics (for Network Operations Planning)

Pedestrian LOS

  • Mobility
    • Footpath congestion
    • Grade of path
    • Crossing delay or detour
  • Safety
    • Exposure to vehicles at mid- blocks
    • Exposure to vehicles at crossings
    • Trip hazards
  • Access
    • Crossing opportunities
    • Level of disability access
  • Information Amenity
    • Traveller information available including signposting
  • Amenity
    • Footpath pavement conditions
    • Comfort and convenience features
    • Security
    • Aesthetics
  • The Right-Of-Way When Using Crosswalks: Motorists failing to yield the right-of-way at crosswalks is the No. 1 dangerous behavior contributing to fatal traffic crashes in San Francisco. Motorists “shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” Motorists must always stop for pedestrians crossing at streets corners, with or without traffic signal lights and whether or not the crosswalk is marked by painted lines. Further, even if the marked crosswalk is the middle of the block, motorists must stop for pedestrians.
  • The Right To Unimpeded Use Of A Crosswalk: A crosswalk is the part of the roadway set aside for pedestrian traffic. Motorists and bicyclists must stop behind the line at traffic signals and stop signs.
  • The Right Not To Be Struck By A Speeding Vehicle: Motorists traveling at an unsafe speed is the second most dangerous behavior contributing to fatal traffic crashes in San Francisco. Speeding increases stopping distance and collision force. When a person is hit by a vehicle traveling at 20 miles per hour, there is a 90 percent chance of survival. The survival rate drops to 20 percent if a person is hit by a vehicle traveling at 40 miles per hour. Motorists approaching a pedestrian “within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
  • The Right Not To Be Struck In The Roadway: While pedestrians should not jaywalk and always use crosswalks to cross a roadway, even if the pedestrian is within a portion of the roadway other than a crosswalk motorists must slow down. Motorists are under the duty “exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian” no matter where the pedestrian is on the roadway. This rule also applies to bicyclists because, as a rule, bicyclists have the same duties and responsibilities as motorists.
  • The Right To Unimpeded Use Of Sidewalks: Adult bicyclists, and even teenage bicyclists, are prohibited from riding on sidewalks in most California cities. In San Francisco, it is illegal to bike on a sidewalk if the bicyclist is 13 years of age or older. Of course, bicyclists can dismount and walk their bike on sidewalk. At that point, they are pedestrians under the law.

Los Angeles Walks reports on Los Angeles City Council file Number 87-2261 —  Pedestrian Bill of Rights

which says “The People of Los Angeles have the right to:”

  • 1. Safe roads and safe places to cross the street
  • 2. Pedestrian-oriented building facades, trees, flower stands, trash cans, awnings, etc.
  • 3. Safe and comfortable bus stops and public transit stations
  • 4. Appealing use of landscaping and available open space
  • 5. Full notification of all street widening that impinge on public open space and sidewalks
  • 6. Access to streets and buildings for disabled people
  • 7. Clean surroundings, requiring removal of graffiti and advertisements from public property
  • 8. Have needs of pedestrians considered as heavily as the needs of drivers
  • 9. Public works of Art

Arrol Gellner offered a Pedestrian Bill of Rights:

  • 1. When traffic laws say pedestrians have the right of way, that shouldn’t just mean that if you’re hit by a car, it’s not your fault. People on foot shouldn’t have to fear, evade, negotiate or maneuver around cars, whether moving or parked, just because planners routinely put the convenience of people inside vehicles far above that of people using their own two feet.
  • 2. No pedestrian should ever find that the only way to reach that store or office on foot is to cross a huge desert of asphalt, with moving cars threatening on all sides. Any parking area with more than two rows of stalls should be required to have a pedestrian walkway running down the strip where cars usually face off nose-to-nose. If these walkways reduce the space available for parking cars, well, boo hoo. Cars already take up 20 times as much space as a person does. Enough is enough.
  • 3. No pedestrian should ever be expected to cross more than four lanes of traffic, whether or not there are crossing signals present. The vast six- and even eight-lane boulevards that are being imposed on more and more of our suburbs tear neighborhoods apart and form virtual Grand Canyons to people on foot.
  • Once and for all, planners should shake the wrongheaded belief that the way to fix traffic congestion is to make roads wider. This is like telling a 400-pound man with a heart condition that what he really needs is some bigger pants. The wider we make our roads, the more traffic will arrive to fill them up, and the more impassable our cities will become to people on foot.
  • 4. In dense urban areas, pedestrians should be free to shop, stroll or sightsee without constant threat of assault by cars, buses or taxis. Hence, planners should provide centralized public parking at the fringe of city cores, offer a shuttle service and make downtown blocks pedestrian-only zones. Sedentary car jockeys would benefit from having to walk a few steps to get where they’re going, and the rest of us would be blessed with a quieter, greener and less-polluted city.
  • 5. Lastly, American planners should recognize that, in relative terms, cars are a mere fleeting speck of technology, like the chariot, the man-of-war and the steam locomotive. We bipeds, on the other hand, are hopefully here for the long run. It’s just plain dumb to continue building an entire nation around a machine that’ll likely be obsolete in 50 years — especially considering that, no matter what takes its place, we’ll always want to get around on our own two feet.

Breines and Dean (1974) write about a  Pedestrian Bill of Rights in The Pedestrian Revolution: Streets without Cars:

  • The city shall not harm the pedestrian.
  • The streets belong to all the people, and shall not be usurped for the passage and storage of motor vehicles.
  • People shall have the right to cycle in safety; that means ample provision of bikeways separate from trucks, buses and automobiles.
  • To reduce dependence on the automobile, city and suburban residents shall have the right to convenient, clean and safe mass transportation.
  • People shall be freed from the heavy burdens of daily travel by having the opportunity to live near their places of work.
  • Urban residents shall have plentiful and generous open public places – outside of parks – for gatherings and ceremonies.
  • Pedestrians shall have the right to breathe clean air on streets, free of the harmful fumes of vehicles.
  • Standing room only on city streets shall end by providing benches for sitting and relaxation.
  • The sounds of human voices shall replace vehicular noise on city streets.
  • Concern for the welfare of pedestrians shall extend to the surface under foot — with paving congenial for walking — and shall include human-scale street furniture and signs.
  • Urban man shall have the right to experience trees, plants, and flowers along city streets.
  • Cities shall exist for the care and culture of human beings, pedestrians all!


Donald Appleyard (1981) included a “Statement of Street Dwellers Rights” in Livable Streets.

  • The Street as a Safe Sanctuary
  • The Street as a Livable, Healthy Environment
  • The Street as a Community
  • The Street as Neighborly Territory
  • The Street as a Place for Play and Learning
  • The Street as a Green and Pleasant Land
  • The Street as a Unique Historic Place
This is being updated as part of: Donald & Bruce Appleyard, Livable Streets 2.0, Elsevier. Forthcoming 2019.

What will the footpath of the future look like?

I have a new piece up at Foreground on the Future of the Footpath. An excerpt below:

Technological developments will bring changes large and small to urban transport infrastructure over the coming decades, but the most widely felt impacts will be on the humble, low tech footpath.


Starship’s robot delivery service makes use of the footpath, rather than the road. Image: Starship

This article is part of Foreground’s The Street special series

Walking is the most widespread mode of travel, and much of it occurs on footpaths, among the least technologically sophisticated elements of the transport world. Nevertheless, footpaths are far from immune to the technological disruption already besetting transport infrastructure in cities around the world. In the future, footpaths may remain physically similar, made of asphalt, concrete, or brick, but how they are used, and what we know about how they are used, will change – if change isn’t already afoot.

Start with the kerb, the edge of the footpath and the street itself. Kerb space is an extremely valuable asset. …


A Pedestrian Bill of Rights

A Pedestrian Bill of Rights (v.0.1)

  1. Pedestrians have the right to safely and conveniently walk along and cross any public right-of-way without regards to who they are, with whom they are associating, when or why they are traveling, or where they are coming from or going to. #NoPoliceStops
  2. In the event of a conflict with vehicles, pedestrians automatically have the right-of-way. Where no dedicated footpaths are available, any pedestrians have the right-of-way over any other traffic and speeds shall be limited to that traveled by those pedestrians. Pedestrians shall never be required to give way to self-driving vehicles. #Right-of-Way #Footpaths #SharedSpace #StopForNoBot
  3. Any pedestrian may cross roads at any point at any time where they will endanger neither themselves nor others by doing so. #JaywalkingIsNotACrime.
  4. In the event of a collision with a pedestrian, the controller of the vehicle is always liable. #TheCarIsAlwaysWrong
  5. The space on a right-of-way allocated per pedestrian shall be no less than space allocated per traveler by vehicle. #SpatialEquity
  6. Any place accessible by vehicle must remain accessible to pedestrians on a route no less direct.  In the event of blockage due to weather or other causes, pedestrian paths shall be cleared before vehicle paths. #SnowPriority #AccessEquity #Connectivity #MinimizeCircuity
  7. Speed limits on streets shall be established both to minimize total pedestrian collisions and to minimize total injury and loss of life in the event of a collision. #SlowTraffic
  8. Every intersection of two, or more, rights-of-way contains crosswalks. There is a crosswalk on every side of every intersection. Such crosswalks must remain unimpeded when pedestrians have right-of-way.  #EveryIntersectionIsACrosswalk
  9. All at-grade road crossings shall be at the elevation of the pedestrian way. #BowToNoCar
  10. Every traffic signal shall have automatic pedestrian phases that allot at least as much green (“walk”) time for pedestrians as is allotted to vehicles, and is long enough to ensure pedestrians safe passage. At least one such phase per cycle shall ensure pedestrians may cross diagonally unimpeded by vehicles. #EndSignalInequity
  11. All pedestrian routes shall be designed such that wheelchairs may pass at all times. No temporary or permanent signs or utility posts or parked vehicles or other temporary or permanent street furniture shall obstruct this minimum passage width. #FreePassage #Inclusion
  12. Previous or current rate of use must not be used to determine future use, or proposed infrastructure. #HistoryIsNotDeterminative
  13. Should traffic levels, the built environment, and topography topology warrant, paths for pedestrians may be grade separated when that is safer and more convenient for pedestrians. #KeepThemSeparated
  14.  The air quality for pedestrians along roads shall be no more dangerous to health than the level experienced in the absence of vehicles, and the noise level experienced by pedestrians along roads shall be no louder than the level that would be experienced in the absence of vehicles. #NoNoise #NoEmissions #EVs.
  15. Pedestrian paths shall be buffered from high-speed vehicles. Footpaths and the adjacent environment shall be designed to bring joy rather than dread to the act of walking. #WalkingIsAGood #Verges


Definition: A pedestrian is a person traveling by foot and is inclusive of those using assistive devices.

Definition: A vehicle includes any road-worthy vehicle including car, truck, bus, and bicycle capable of traveling at speeds faster than a pedestrian could sustain, and includes electric or motorized vehicles, excluding assistive devices traveling at pedestrian speeds.


This was compiled with input from the Twitter community in response to a request, and most of these ideas were identified by others.  It is aimed to advance pedestrian rights and design environments that encourage walking and improve safety and public health.

PBoR (dragged)

Cage the Automobile

Is the purpose of bollards to keep people in or keep cars out? A reader writes:


Bollards done wrong, Egypt.
Bollards done wrong. It’s a long pedestrian street, would you bollard the entire street,  because they are proposing low risers. You will end caging the people like in Egypt.

After the attack in Toronto last week with a guy driving a van and killing 10 people and injuring 15, Montreal announced a new plan for Saint Catherine street making it pedestrian friendly, with a nice wide sidewalk showing young people walking, yet  when the mayor was asked if they planned for pedestrian safety from such attack she said ‘no, we did not.’

So the moral question: should we change our planning for pedestrians to ensure safety from a crazy person in a van, terrorists, drunk drivers,  just incapacitated drivers. This is not the first, and will not be the last, time a driver plows down pedestrians. By doing so we show weakness to terrorists? Are we converting the outdoors to a Zoo placing pedestrians in cages. Should the woonerf, for example, be like an open zoo.

It’s a moral and ethical question how much separation should we have in an era when crazy people uses cars as weapons to kill random humans. How many incidents and deaths will it take to change the approach for pedestrian environments to make it as safe as air travel.  If we  add more small obstacles, how much will they spoil the pedestrian environment and sense of freedom.


The crazy person in a van problem is only going to get worse with automation and especially connectivity, a remote control car bomb is even easier than a suicide.

This Delft Bollard is a casualty of the Car Wars.

In my view, cars should be in the cages, the people should be free. And then the cages need to be made smaller and smaller.

All urban streets in heavily pedestrian trafficked areas should have bollards or equivalent to keep the cars away from the people. Woonerfs are fine for residential streets, and if people want to encroach on shared space that is also fine, but cars should not encroach on people space. Just as we don’t let cars in most buildings, there should be outdoor public spaces where they are also prohibited.

We don’t need fences or chains like in the photo of Egypt, just lots of posts (trees, bike racks, benches, bus stops, street furniture, planters etc.) that make it impossible for a car to run down the sidewalk or into buildings. This furniture of course should not interfere with the free flowing movement of people, and might require taking lanes from the storage, or even movement, of cars. As with all good urban design, examples of this are in Delft, with some lowerable Bollards to allow service, emergency, and freight vehicles in when needed.


Delft defining Pedestrian domain.
Delft, lowerable Bollards on a bridge