Development of a Policy Assessment Framework for Urban Traffic Calming Through the Case Study of Budapest



Development of a Policy Assessment Framework for Urban Traffic Calming Through the Case Study of Budapest

Authors

Mattias Juhasz, Szechenyi Istvan University, Laszlo Sandor Kerenyi, BKK Centre for Budapest Transport, Tamas Matrai, Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Description

The aim of this paper is to develop a policy assessment framework for urban traffic calming measures. Previous theoretical research is extended through the case study of Budapest.

Abstract

During the second half of the 20th century urban transport planning was dominated by the “predict and provide” approach. Therefore, it was thought that current and expected transport problems can be solved or prevented by supply generative measures, which concentrated on providing “enough” space and possibility for motorized traffic (especially for private cars). It has not taken a long time to realize that these kinds of strategies certainly facilitated car driving but degraded the conditions of other modes of transport as well as the quality of public spaces. Later on, it was also clarified that the increased supply had an indirect effect on transport demand, which therefore regenerated the problems in most of the cases. These recognitions and residential objection to increased road traffic led to the appearance of road traffic calming measures with the aim of decreasing the speed and the volume of traffic on urban roads.
These measures have gradually spread as from the 1960s in cities as “predict and provide” approach has been continuously replaced by “aim and manage” approach. During the last decade or so the importance and the application of traffic calming have increased as revision and redistribution of transport surfaces have come into the spotlight. In the aforementioned context numerous traffic calming methods and techniques have evolved from point-based to area-wide interventions. Their positive effects on traffic safety and environment are indisputable. However, there are stern requirements concerning the application of these instruments that are indispensable to be taken into account in order to prevent or minimalize undesirable side-effects. Despite technical aspects and conditions are well-known from the international literature, strategic aspects (economic effects or system-level prerequisites of traffic calming) are relatively ambiguous.
Previous studies of this research topic provided a historical review of the development of traffic calming, gave an overview of different measures, demonstrated the effect-mechanism and sketched a consistent and transparent policy assessment framework, which can take strategic requirements of application into consideration. After all, further research needs to be done to better understand the interrelations of the model components and to determine those functions which can describe these relations.
The objective of this paper is to further develop a policy assessment framework for urban traffic calming measures. Therefore previous theoretical research is extended through the case study of Budapest based on the requirements of appraisal induced by major traffic calming schemes (Rehabilitation of Rákóczi Avenue, Reorganization of the embankments along River Danube, Introduction of congestion charging). In addition, this study collects the lessons learnt from the current strategic planning process of the city and explores the connections between its new SUMP-inspired planning practice and the proposed assessment framework.

Publisher

Association for European Transport