By Jonas Hagen
Update: Read Transporte Ativo’s blog post on Michael King’s visit here.
Every pedestrian killed by motor vehicles on city streets is a result of policy decisions that favor vehicle speed over pedestrian safety. This was the message that Michael King brought to Rio de Janeiro, who led field visits and during the week of 22 February 2010, conducted a workshop together with the municipal government, in an effort to increase comfort and safety for pedestrians.
“If you are satisfied with the number of pedestrian deaths in your city, then you have nothing to worry about. If you seek to make safer streets, with less deaths, then you need to reduce vehicle speeds,” Michael told a room full of municipal decision makers, traffic engineers and urban planners. Previously, he and municipal staff had visited the area around Brazil Central Station, the train station that was immortalized in eponymous 1998 film directed by Walter Salles, and Lapa, an area with rich historical architecture, where nightclub-going crowds clog the streets during the night.
After laying out the basic principles of safe streets, Michael helped municipal staff redesign the streets around Central Station and in Lapa. These designs will be finalized in the coming weeks and implemented in phases beginning with inexpensive pilot projects.
See the following post on the workshop from Simone Costa’s blog (in Portuguese): https://urbetransp.blogspot.com/2010/02/espaco-publico-e-seguranca-viaria-para.html