June 03, 2015

Improving Intersections To Save Kids Lives

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With the support of the neighborhood, ITDP Mexico and Mexico Previene (“Prevention Mexico”) recently took to the streets to intervene at a dangerous intersection in central Mexico City. Using tactical urbanism, a tool for reconsidering the distribution of public space, the intervention transformed the intersection into a safe, multimodal crossing. The project aimed to demonstrate the possibilities for improving street infrastructure for pedestrians, and to create spaces where those on foot can enjoy the safety and comfort that is everyone’s right.

A busy intersection in the Doctores neighborhood of Mexico City, the junction presented many challenges to creating a safe pedestrian crossing: traffic light phases are short, cars are always moving and often make prohibited turns, wide distances between sidewalks leave pedestrians exposed for long periods, signalization is confusing or nonexistent, and cars are parked directly where pedestrians would want to walk, further impeding the visibility of pedestrians about to cross. As part of the United Nations #SaveKidsLives campaign, ITDP Mexico and local traffic safety organizations set out to show what intersections look like when they are designed to make pedestrian safety a priority.

See a video of the intervention (with English subtitles)

Using large traffic cones to block off space, the team created a design that featured shorter crossings, pedestrian islands, and extended sidewalks. The new layout created a more even distribution of space, and removed the standard assumptions about the supremacy of cars in Mexico streets. Though the intervention itself is temporary, the design will be submitted to the authorities to consider implementing permanent changes to the intersection.

The intervention serves as a call to the authorities to redo their criteria for the design and implementation of street infrastructure with these new lessons in mind. Using redesigned intersections like this one as a reference, the city can create minimum design standards for streets and intersections.

The intervention is the latest in a series of tactical urbanism projects by ITDP Mexico as part of the #CAMINA (#Walk, in English) campaign. The initiative promotes the improvement of pedestrian conditions so that those on foot can walk safely, efficiently, and comfortably.

Click here to see a version of this article in Spanish, or see more photos of the intervention on Flickr.

Doctores Children Cones

Doctores Crossing


Doctores Three Students


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