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Shared Space

Application areas and application limitations of road restructuring according to the "shared space" concept

Neuer Stadtplatz in Brühl, Rheinland.
Neuer Stadtplatz in Brühl, Rheinland. © Jörg Thiemann-Linden

Based on a German countrywide city-survey, as well as on literature investigation, a total of 17 "Shared Space" case-studies (of which three from Switzerland) were selected for detailed investigation. Further analyzes comprise traffic counts, speed measurements, and video recordings over a period of 12 hours.

According to the analysis, "Shared Space" restructuring includes road spaces and areas with heavy traffic volumes in longitudinal car traffic, and especially pedestrian-cyclist-cross traffic. The design of all investigated areas and road spaces differs significantly from the adjacent road network. The various options of legal traffic identification and the investigated allowed maximum speed, restricted to walking speed 20 km/h or 30 km/h, result in an acceptable speed level. In terms of interaction between drivers and pedestrians/cyclists wishing to cross, in most cases and regardless the applicable priority rules, the motorist grants the crossing of the road to the pedestrian/cyclist. This requires a special crossing demand, which is a high number of crossings of more than 200 crossing pedestrians/cyclists during the decisive hour. Considering the overall low number of accidents, the accident-analysis did not yield meaningful results with respect to design and legal traffic identification.

Based on the findings of this research project, a draft update of the "Notes on street spaces with special crossing needs – application possibilities of the" Shared Space "concept" (H SBÜ 2011) has been worked out, which will be published shortly.

Source (in German with English abstract):

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23. November 2015

Berichte der Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen, Heft V 251, 2015 / Forschung kompakt 18/15 (

Handlungsfelder NRVP