Traffic calming measure that leads to an increase of safety in accessing schools while improving the traffic flow in the surrounding area.
During peak hours, schools are frequently affected by heavy traffic that hampers traffic fluidity in the surrounding area while leading to a reduction of road safety, especially for parents that leaves their children using their own vehicles. The situation is agravated by the fact that most schools in the city core in Funchal don´t have a dedicated parking area for parents, forcing these to stop their vehicles in the road, causing constraints in the traffic system. In order to improve mobility and accessibility conditions in schools, the Municipality of Funchal created the Kiss & Ride in several schools. The measure is comprised of a marked road lane that connects the road to the gate in which parents are only required to enter the area and leave their children. The practice is complemented by several traffic calming measures such as road bumps, elevated crosswalks, among others. The measure contributes to achieve the following:
1. Improvement of accessibility for soft modes (pedestrian and public transport) to schools;
2. Reduction of traffic constraints and increase of traffic flow in the surrounding areas;
3. Increase of awareness among youngsters and parents;
4. Potential reversion of modal split modes towards public transport.
In order to successfully implement the measure, it was necessary the allocation of human resources that could deploy the Traffic signs and paint the road with a specific marking. Two people were needed in the case of Funchal, but it depends of the extent of the kiss and ride corridor.
Evidence of success
According to video capture prior and after the implementation of the measure, the practice has contributed to reduce the traffic constraints in the surrounding area while improving the accessibility conditions, making it safer for students to access the building. In addition, and according to a post-implementation workshop geared at parents, they perceived the measure as playing a good role in improving road safety while increasing awareness among youngsters.
The main issues found were:
• Technical difficulties in implementing the measure (ex: narrow road, lack of space);
• Social resistance to change, especially among parents;
• Lack of cooperation from local authorities.
Potential for learning or transfer
The practice has a high transferability potential, given the fact that it has very low requirements and is extremely easy to analyse its impacts. Schools can replicate this measure if they have a dedicated parking area. If not, schools can request local authorities responsible for traffic management to assess the feasibility to implement the Kiss & Ride.
It should be important to state that initially, the measure was not well regarded by parents and schools. Currently, other schools are already requesting to replicate this measure, which suggests that eventually the practice had grown among citizens and is now very well accepted. To sum it up, this practice can be replicated to every school, regardless of the scale, that shares the same issues or even to other attractiveness nodes that generates a lot of heavy traffic (ex: hospitals, airports, ports, and others).
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