Our inaugural Vulnerable Road Users Workshop
iMOVE already has 14 projects up and running, with more in the works, and more to be announced soon. But this week we ran an event to inspire more projects, from more organisations, tackling a specific issue – vulnerable road users.
The iMOVE Vulnerable Road Users Workshop saw over 40 people attend, from over 30 organisations, assembled at the offices of Sydney Rail.
Before getting into the to and fro of moving from problems to project ideas, a group from Arup gave a presentation on statistics and safety risks as regards vulnerable road users. Using publicly available data, so not *the* complete picture, the numbers presented were sobering. On average, this is what is happening:
- Pedestrians: involved in a crash every 2 hours
- Cyclists: involved in a crash every 1.75 hours
- Motorcyclists: involved in a crash every hour
Those numbers are drawn from partial data, and did not include stats from Western Australia. It’s also important to note that not all incidents are reported. Even based on the numbers above, it’s hard to draw any other conclusion other than this is an area that demands attention and solutions.
Clearly that’s a lot of people, and a lot of families, being affected. It’s a cost to people, and a cost to the community. One speaker made the observation that one brain injury can lead to a claim of up to $8 million dollars.
The rest of the workshop agenda saw broad topics canvassed, which then were distilled into smaller topics, and then further refined into possible project ideas.
Themes that were discussed, over and above how to generally improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, included: children and the elderly, disabled road users, young drivers, light rail interaction, intersection safety, the balance between safety and efficiency, inclusive introduction of new technologies, school zones, active transport, and more.
The beauty of events like this are that in addition to what’s discussed on the day, ideas are also planted and communicated in the following days and weeks.
“Today was about framing the biggest problems, ones that we can distil into real projects in the near future. The next steps, in future workshops on this topic, are to investigate how to create solutions for these problems,” said Jeff Kasparian, iMOVE Programs Director.
This was iMOVE’s first workshop to address this issue, and we’ll have more to say on the topic as projects born of this workshop are planned, joined, and commenced. We’ll also be running workshops on other issues, with our next workshop to tackle the rather big, rather important area of transport data.