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Safe Vehicle Design
Freight vehicles, especially large trucks, traveling on urban streets should integrate safety features such as side guards and crossover mirrors. These features mitigate the risk of collision between large freight vehicles turning and pedestrians or cyclists. Pedestrian and cyclist fatality rates in the UK were reduced by 20% and 61%, respectively, after the introduction of policies requiring trucks to be equipped with side guards. Only cab-over or low-cab forward trucks should be allowed in dense urban areas, because of their proven increased safety and improved sightlines.
To better coordinate loading and unloading activities in a bustling commercial district in Yokohama, business owners collaborated with the city and the local Shopping Street Association to develop a joint delivery system, addressing concerns on congestion, streetscape quality, and carbon emissions. Without any subsidy from the municipality, businesses came together to develop a pilot program that collects, sorts, and delivers 85% of freight from 500 shops and 850 private homes in the district. The system enabled the reduction of delivery vehicles by 50% in the district and the replacement of diesel vehicles by CNG vehicles to reduce emissions.
In New Delhi, India, cycle rickshaws are widely used for passenger movement, but are often under-utilized for the movement of goods. However, non-motorized freight movement is becoming legitimized for its economic and space benefits. Motorized vehicles pose a much higher risk to the safety of other road users and create far more emissions. Planners and researchers have taken special interest in accommodating non-motorized freight vehicles in separated street facilities to increase safety, reduce environmental impact, and increase the mobility of cargo.
New Delhi, India
In an effort to address concerns about freight movement and especially the safety of vulnerable road users, Transport for London (TfL) convened a large stakeholder group in 2011 at a Freight Forum to develop and discuss strategies to improve deliveries and large-vehicle safety. TfL released the Four Rs to encourage new strategies: Reduce (making fewer, larger shipments), Re-Time (shifting to nighttime or off-peak deliveries), Re-Route (modifying truck routes, order of deliveries, or depots used to reduce mileage), and Revise Mode (walking or cycling the last mile of deliveries). As a result, during the 2012 Olympics, the city saw a 20% drop in aytime deliveries and a 10% reduction in freight activity by coordinated stockpiling and consolidation of goods.
London, United Kingdom
The city of Utrecht serves an increasingly vital freight function within the Netherlands. In response to freight activity causing center city congestion and damage to the medieval street infrastructure, the city initiated a broad effort to reduce congestion and emissions, and increase efficiency in freight movement. Working with private sector stakeholders, the city opened distribution centers outside the city center, where private companies can deliver to or contract for last-mile deliveries into the urban core. The city helped enable innovative freight delivery vehicles using electric boats and cargo hoppers, small electric vehicles that can tow multiple trailers and maneuver easily through narrow city streets.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.