Shared space in Bendigo
Bendigo city centre has been redeveloped with a focus on public realm improvements to improve pedestrian spaces. This includes the innovative Walk Bendigo shared space which aims to increase the levels of alertness and responsiveness of all street users to their surroundings – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
By redesigning traditional street spaces with pedestrian style paving, furniture and fittings, and in so doing increasing the level of ambiguity at intersections and streets, it has been shown that the psychology of street users can be modified to provide a safer and more amenable city. The removal of things such as traffic lights and road markings all serve to increase the uncertainty of space. By encouraging unpredictability and creating uncertainty in the minds of all road users, vigilance and care are improved, resulting in safer streets and the potential for a higher quality pedestrian and cyclist environment.
The new intersections using the shared space model allow level and direct pedestrian crossing routes. The whole intersection is an intermingled traffic space with pedestrians able to traverse between, behind and in front of slow moving vehicle and cycle traffic. The installation of textured rumble strips and approach ramps will provide drivers with the physical cues to slow down. The reduced speeds will in turn create safer pedestrian spaces and encourage more pedestrian activity.
Analysis of speed in Hargreaves Street show that the changes have reduced average speeds dramatically, from 40km/h to 26-29km/h.
The shared space in Hargreaves Street complements Hargreaves Mall, which is primarily a pedestrian space, but still has restricted vehicle access.