Rubén M.Cenzano

Chartered Civil Engineer specialised in Transportation

Ingeniero de Caminos especialista en Transporte

Berlin plans a new network of bike superhighways

Posted On Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The plan approved in February is about to develop 13 new bike superhighways -narrowed down from an original list of 30.

They will be completely segregated, unbroken longer-distance routes that will allow Berliners to get in and out of the city center much faster and more safely—without ever having to mix with cars. These new links will have to be at least 5km long and 4m wide and offer no more than 30 seconds of stopping time at intersections and traffic lights per kilometer.

This infrastructure will be built on some disused railway tracks, underneath the city’s elevated subway and resizing some of the main avenues in the city.

Beijing to replace all taxis with new energy vehicles

Posted On Thursday, 23 March 2017

Beijing is aiming to gradually replace its petrol-powered taxis with greener new energy vehicles to help reduce air pollution starting from this year.

The city currently has about 71,000 taxis in total, out of which 67,000 are conventionally powered. It has mandated that all petrol-and diesel-powered taxis being taken out of service must be replaced by electric or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) powered cars. Any new taxis should be electric or other types of new energy cars.

The project is expected to cost taxi operators €1.2/US$1.3 billion before it is complete.

circular runways under analysis

Posted On Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The aviation sector currently doubles in size every 15 years. In order to facilitate that growth while at the same time improving safety and security and reducing environmental impact, the EU is financing a project called ‘The Endless Runway’. 

This new airport concept is based on the construction of a circular runway with a diameter of approx. 3.5 km around an airport terminal. Such an airport would take up only a third of the space of a conventional airport. Another advantage is that aircraft would always be able to take off and land independently of the wind direction, since there is always a point without crosswind on the circular runway. Landing aircraft can also be routed away from residential areas because they are not dependent on a standard approach path. Finally, the ‘Endless Runway’ concept will enable multiple aircraft to take off and land simultaneously, resulting in increased airport capacity.

The Endless Runway project has been executed by NLR, DLR (Germany), ONERA (France), INTA (Spain) and ILOT (Poland), and has received funding through the EU FP7.

awards of 2017 global road safety film festival

Posted On Friday, 17 March 2017

UNECE and Life recently announced the winners of the 2017 Global Road Safety Film Festival. Among the top three winners were a film about drink driving, and two films about distracted driving.

The winner of the Gran Prix Prize, "Reflections from Inside Dawn" produced by NGO "We save lives" from the United States, addresses drink driving. The film shows an actual prison inmate who was convicted of drunk driving after killing a police officer, literally reaching out to club-goers via a video link and encouraging them to take responsibility for their behavior before getting behind the wheel.  

The two runners up films Distracted driving kills, Don't use your phone, produced by the Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency (3rd prize) and Distracted Driving, produced by the Road Traffic Safety Research Center of Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China (2nd prize), powerfully displayed the consequences of paying more attention to a smart phone then the road. The increased use of smartphones has led  to far more distracted driving incidents.

Winner: Reflections from Inside Dawn (USA)

Second Prize: Distracted Driving (China) [contains strong images]

Third Prize: Don't use your phone (Slovenia) [contains strong images]

report recommends pause on Manchester’s 20mph (30km/h) scheme

Posted On Monday, 13 March 2017

An evaluation of 20mph (30km/h) zones in Manchester has recommended that the City Council should for the time being focus on alternative road safety schemes because the zones have had little positive effect on speed, collisions and casualties.

The evaluation found that the 20mph zones have only led to an average speed reduction of 0.7mph, and the ‘amount of accidents experienced in 20mph zones has not fallen as quickly as initially hoped’.

The report also reveals that the number of cyclists and pedestrians casualties in three 20mph zones (Gorton, Miles Platting and Newton Heath, and Moss Side and Fallowfield) have fallen by less than the city’s average.

If this evidence is supported with any other study, it could be the case of leaving the current 30mph (50km/h) limit and trust in driverless cars.

Update (13/03/17): Rod King MBE pointed me towards another point of view that should be considered with regards of this topic:

Paris to say au revoir to traffic lights to improve safety and traffic flow

Posted On Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The City Hall in Paris has given the green light to plans for fewer traffic lights, in a bid to improve traffic flow and motorists' safety.

The mairie is to test a scheme where streets would make more use of give-way junctions, 30km/h zones, roundabouts and... the priorité à droite. The aim is to make drivers more aware of the road and other users rather than concentrating on the traffic light.

France has about 30,000 traffic light junctions but 10,000 accidents happen at them each year – 14% of accidents – with 150 people killed and 1,200 injured each year. Excess speed is the main cause of accidents and one third are where drivers ignore a red light.

This situation is not new. Last year (2016), the British Institute of Economic Affairs presented a document were they state that British economy would increase safety and benefit up to 1% of GDP by removing the 80% of traffic lights in the country.

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