When connectivity makes safer routes to school: Conclusions from aggregate data on child transportation in Shanghai

Following a rapid urban development and mass motorisation, Chinese city planning has started to refocus its attention towards active transportation. It is therefore an opportune time to address the under-investigated issue of young children’s transportation. Indeed, in the Shanghai city centre, more than a third of the pre-school students are walking to school while almost half of them are transported on two-wheeled vehicles, highlighting the necessity for appropriate urban design solutions. In a previous study Chevalier and al. initiated this work and examined the barriers to cycling on the way to kindergartens. Based on their conclusions, minor adjustments to existing infrastructure could help to meet the population’s expectations in terms of safety and comfort. Using a survey questionnaire on safety perception and drawings of the detailed route to school, together with its corresponding points of danger, over 400 responses were collected at kindergartens in inner Shanghai. Data analysis underscores the increase in perceived danger at crossroads, hinting us to the need for a refined study of the trajectories at major intersections. As a proof of concept the authors isolate a crossroad, thoroughly evaluate its surroundings, and suggest simple design solutions, which could result in drastic improvements for soft mobility. In particular the authors show that improving connectivity could foster solutions significantly lessening the perceived danger. The authors believe this approach represents a valuable asset to the development of active transportation, as it can be applied at little cost, allowing city planners to improve the existing infrastructure and vulnerable road users to feel safer.


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  • Accession Number: 01764712
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 19 2020 3:07PM