SAFE AND SOUND? EVENTS ON DISJOINTED ROUTES
(1) South terminus of Bike Route Av. Ricardo Lyon, border between Providencia and Ñuñoa (2015) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
(2) End of bike route Diagonal Oriente (North-west direction) © Francisca Salas P. LOFscapes
(3) Terminus of Bike Route Av. Pedro de Valdivia, border between Providencia and Ñuñoa (2015) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
(4) Terminus of Bike Route Simón Bolivar (East direction), border between the communities of Ñuñoa and La Reina (2015) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
(5) Terminus of Bike Route Montenegro (direction NE), border between Ñuñoa and La Reina (2015) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
Safety is a key factor for an urban cyclist when choosing a route. Safety is also important when designing and planning a system that is integrated into the existing urban transport network. Among the parameters to consider when planning is the risk of accidents associated with the flow of cyclists and the selective demand for certain streets and avenues.
Since the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, a series of initiatives have been published with proposals to increase the infrastructure for cyclists in Chile. These initiatives mainly seek to connect existing bike lanes that are currently unconnected. What’s more these initiatives respond to the exponential increase in urban cyclists and the incompatibility of sharing space with pedestrians and automobiles.
According to a report by the Metropolitan Regional Government of Santiago, Review and Update of the Master Plan for Bike Lanes and Public Works Plan (“Revisión y Actualización del Plan Maestro de Ciclovías y Plan de Obras”), published in 2012, connecting these bike lanes requires planning that considers, on the one hand, management and coordination among neighborhoods, communities, services and regulations and, on the other hand, reconfiguring public space. This latter requires leaving aside the isolated and/or municipal planning to transform the bike lanes into a continuous, inclusive, quality system.
The report also mentions that those places in which the bike lanes do not connect are not only critical points for network connectivity but also currently register the greatest route conflicts with a high incidence of accidents involving cyclists. An assessment of these critical points shows they are located in border areas, where one community meets another, or at the intersection of highways, express lanes, railway lines or other infrastructure elements, in zones of high urban density such as the historic center of Santiago or in zones where basic housing (housing estates) is found, and in the presence of natural obstacles such as rivers and canals where cyclists must share bridges with motorized vehicles and pedestrians (1).
(1) Regional Metropolitan Government of Santiago, Informe Final de la Asesoría “Revisión y Actualización del Plan Maestro de Ciclovías y Plan de Obras” (Final Report “Review and Update of the Master Plan for Bike Lanes and Public Works”) May 2012 <http://2010-2014.gob.cl/media/2013/07/Informe-Final-CVS-GORE-2012-2022.pdf>.
In this context, this week’s cycle route column is a “mapping” at the city scale of the current scenario of Santiago’s bike lane network to visualize the continuities and discontinuities associated with events such as accidents linked to cyclists. It is an experimental exercise to reinforce the need to transform the current bike lane layout into a collective networked system that is capable of accommodating the daily flow of cyclists applying design and quality standards (2).