Does permitting left turns when green arrows are not present make pedestrians’ lives more dangerous? Apparently it does. Researchers have learned that when left hand turns are permitted there is “an ‘alarming’ level of risk to pedestrians crossing the street – about 4-9 percent of the time, drivers don’t even bother to look and see if there are pedestrians in their way. As opposed to a ‘protected’
New research on crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) dovetails with previous findings. (For related information, see https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/how-can-design-help-prevent-crime.) Mennis and Wolfe found that in cities “vegetation, when well-maintained, can lower the rates of certain types of crime, such as aggravated assault, robbery and burglary. . . . the presence of grass, trees and shrubs is associated with lower crime rates in Philadelphia . . .
As spring plantings and trimmings begin, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) becomes especially topical.
Sacks reports research indicating that visual monotony can be dangerous. He states that “The brain needs not only perceptual input but perceptual change, and the absence of change may cause not only lapses of arousal and attention but perceptual aberrations as well . . . .
Dumbaugh and Zhang took the unique approach of investigating how urban areas can be designed to be safe for people over age 75, whether they’re drivers or pedestrians. They found that “Intersections, strip commercial establishments, big box stores, and arterial thoroughfares were associated with increases in crashes involving older motorists, while big box stores and arterials increased crashes for older pedestrians.
Lighting and overall design influence how safe people feel.
Dischinger and Filho make the discussion of designing for different sensory capabilities concrete. In the context of a case study in a Brazilian city, they review important considerations regarding the use of on-ground tactile tiles, which are important navigation aids for blind pedestrians. Tiling systems “must also assist people with different levels of visual impairment and also the general public . . . it is important to guarantee the color contrasts that are required for their differentiation and perception . . .
The Center for Health Design has related a new report on factors that contribute to patient falls in hospitals (“Contribution of the Designed Environment to Fall Risk in Hospitals”). The report, written by Margaret Calkins, Stacey Biddle, and Orion Biesan is available without charge at the web address noted below. Conclusions are derived from “Crosssectional analysis of 27 units in 12 hospitals using archival fall data” and “identified a number of design characteristics that were associated with greater or fewer falls, including visibility to staff work spaces,
Research recently completed by the Interactive Autism Network and lead by Dr. Paul Law, indicates that nearly half, of children with autism wander – or run- out of their homes, schools, etc., “and more than half of these children go missing.”
The Center for Health Design has release a new study, available without charge at the web address noted below, which reports that “it is essential to focus on patient safety during the facility pre-design phase, as decisions made during this time affect all key decisions made later in the project.”