Reducing the width of lanes will reduce accidents and give road cyclists

Do not drive! From 1 September to drive on the highways will be more difficult. Author photo: Alexander Yaremchuk, “Today”

Ukrainian road since September starts to mark according to the European standard: each band will be the feet and freed the width of the route will give cyclists or public transport. This was announced by Deputy Minister of regionstroy Leo Partskhaladze. According to officials, narrower lanes encourage drivers to drive at a slower speed, and thus reduce the likelihood of accidents. Specialists in road safety fear that all will be the opposite: there will be more accidents and deaths among cyclists.


The innovation will concern first of all the city streets: on the highways of city value with a continuous flow of movement (for example, the Metropolitan highway in Kiev) the width of each strip will become a 3.75 and 3.5 m to less congested streets — 3 meters (now 3.5 m), on the smaller streets — 2.75 m (now 3M). As explained Partskhaladze, today on the roads of I and II categories (two or more lanes in each direction is a highway of international, national and interregional significance, for example, Kiev — Lvov, passing through settlements) for existing Stroydormash each strip can be 3.75 m for the road category III (1 stripe is a road of regional significance) is not already 3.5 m for roads of category IV (1 stripe is a road of regional significance) — 3 m finally, for category V roads (between villages) — 4.5 m, without separation of the lanes.

“In the new Gastronorm the streets and roads we have adapted these norms to the European, consequently narrowing the width of lanes in the design and construction of roads. The European experience shows that roads with smaller width lanes — 3-3,25 m — subconsciously encourage drivers to go slower,” — said the Deputy Minister.

Since the GOS is already published and will come into force from 1 September, all new and repaired routes will be built narrower, and the existing will pererabotat, highlighting dvuhstoronka track for cyclists, the minimum aggregate width of which shall be 2.5 m. However, a full-fledged bike lane, separated from the highway by a curb, you can only get on the roads (streets) categories I and II, on other roads “win” will be only 1-2 m, and for Bicycle paths is not enough.


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For and against: blindness and accidents

Expert opinions were divided. Specialist traffic safety Vladimir Karavayev argues that the new rules threat. According to him, the bands narrow impairs the rights of citizens to safe traffic conditions. Truck width of 2.5 m and narrowing each lane to 3 m deprives comfort zone for drivers of cars, as the spacing between cars is reduced to 0,5—0,7 m (now 1-1,2 m). Innovations will lead to growth of road accidents with cyclists due to the fact that drivers of large trucks to the right a very large “blind spot”. And they will run directly next to bike paths.

Avtoyurist Vadim Volodarsky sure that the narrow bands in combination with the pits on the roads will increase the number of small accidents as drivers either will not be able to avoid a pothole and damage the wheel or the suspension of his car, or going round a hole, will touch close going transport. Deputy Chairman of the “society of participants of the movement” (Kharkov) Victor Kozoriz, on the contrary, believes the idea is correct, as it will create psychological conditions to reduce drivers speed.


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“Fear one thing: it diskreditiert massive failure and didn’t change anything on the carriageway of streets and roads,” says Kozoriz.

Avtoekspert Vladimir Shlyakhova claimed that the new rules should only be applied in the construction of new streets and roads, and the old not to touch.

“The partitioning of most of the streets and roads will not give anything, since they have one lane of traffic in each direction, and one and a half metres to the bike path done — analyzes Shlyakhova. But when laying new roads or repair existing narrower lanes greatly reduce the cost of every meter of its construction”.

The survey

roads, drivers, tracks, width, lanes

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Alexander Panchenko



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