London — The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Transport for London (TfL) announced that TfL has endorsed the newly released Global Street Design Guide, which establishes innovative principles for prioritizing walking, public transport, and cycling in street design.
The guide (http://globaldesigningcities.org/publication/global-street-design-guide), created by NACTO’s Global Designing Cities Initiative with input from 42 countries and 72 cities, including London, provides hundreds of tested design options available for cities to prioritize public and active transportation, such as walking and cycling, which are key goals for London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “We’re working hard to make physical activity a bigger part of Londoners’ everyday lives. We know improving our streets to encourage active travel can have a truly transformational impact on our city, and that is why we are working with communities across London and using examples from right across the world to make it easier and safer for all.”
Leon Daniels, Managing Director, Surface Transport at Transport for London, said, “After the success of our first walking conference, we are delighted to support the Global Street Design Guide. Improving London’s streets and public spaces for walking is one of our top priorities. Having access to a global guide means we can utilize the best designs from around the world to ensure our city is a healthy place to live and work for everyone.”
Janette Sadik-Khan, chair of NACTO and former New York City transportation commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said, “London’s endorsement sends a strong message to cities everywhere that great streets aren’t a question of engineering, they are a question of imagination.”
Sadik-Khan is now a principal with Bloomberg Associates, a philanthropic enterprise that works with mayors around the world to improve the quality of life of their residents. Bloomberg Philanthropies underwrote the creation of the guide, which is being released in May free of charge to cities around the world.
London is poised to make London’s streets easier and safer to walk, cycle and take transit on through Mayor Khan’s vision, as set out in the Healthy Streets for London document, and in his forthcoming transport strategy.
TfL controls only 4 percent of London’s streets, but those streets account for 30 percent of London’s traffic, making their design a vital lever for combatting traffic congestion and air pollution, and giving Londoners more attractive opportunities to walk, take transit or cycle.
The City of London for years has been an international leader on sustainable transportation. Through participation in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group network, of which Mayor Khan is a vice chair, London has led the charge to expand the city’s electric bus fleets and low-emission vehicles. Today, London has the largest electric bus fleet in Europe.
Most urban streets are governed only generally by guidelines set out by national or regional governments. Though there are many street designs permissible under these guidelines, many transport agencies do not make use of them because they are not explicitly documented in formal design guidance. The guide provides examples of tested, real-world projects that have had documented success and can be adapted to streets of hundreds of different varieties and levels of development and traffic.