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Transport engineering, Urban studies (Planning and development), Transport planning and social aspects of transport
Dublin faces many of the modern day transport problems associated with automobile transport. The bicycle is increasingly being viewed by Urban Planners as an interesting form of individual transportation which can form part of an integrated transportation solution to this problem. For cycling to be a sustainable mode of transport it must be all inclusive. However, there are some identifiable barriers which prevent certain groups in society from cycling. Barriers to children cycling are directly linked to safety concerns and strategies to encourage cycling to school in Ireland currently focus on promotion and cycle training with road safety engineering measures playing a minor role. This research developed a new, ethically sound methodology to locate areas of danger or perceived danger to children in an existing road network. The aim of the study was to improve the decision making process of planners and engineers when designing cycling infrastructure and road safety measures for children. This was achieved using spatial data within a Geographical Information System (GIS) and incorporated experiential data from children in three target schools in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) and quantitative road data from the road Safety Authority (RSA). Findings from the study indicate that the two existing road safety tools currently used in Ireland, the RSA Accident Black Spot Map and the NRA Road Safety Audit, are inadequate when locating areas of perceived road danger to children. It was found that children cycling and walking to school could pinpoint locations in the road network where they experienced dangerous situations or where they did not feel safe. In both instances road types 5 (Regional Roads) and 6 (Local Roads) were identified by children as the most problematic roads. It is exactly these roads that provide the main part of the local cycle infrastructure. An important aspect of the proposed method is that the map gives children the opportunity to participate and provides valuable information which could enable Planners and Traffic Engineers to implement measures from The National Cycle Manual to help to realise the full potential of Dublin for cycling to school.
Bondzio, F. (2014). Spatial Planning & Transport Engineering Using Children's Maps to Locate Areas of Perceived Danger on Children's Routes to School. Masters dissertation. Dublin Institute of Technology. doi:10.21427/D7DW5S