“As the Coordinator of the Pedestrian Accessibility Plan Team, I work at the traffic department of Lisbon in Portugal. Solving mobility issues in a city with over two million citizens to make our capital safer and more accessible every day, that’s my goal. Because smart cities are inclusive cities.”
Putting pedestrians first
Based on the insights gained from the 3D animations in PTV Vissim, pedestrians can now safely cross the road at an on-demand traffic light that has an extended green interval to give citizens enough crossing time. At the same time, the traffic flow of cars and other motorised vehicles is only brought to a stop, when pedestrians indicate their need to cross the road. The pedestrian lights are also equipped with a sound device and special tactile paving to allow visually impaired people a safe crossing.
But for pedestrians to cross the road safely, they need enough space on the walkway to wait for the signal change. Taking this into consideration, the intersection was also broadened. With only limited space for pedestrians in the past, now there is room for several people, especially for families with strollers and elderly people with mobility aids. To make the intersection even more accessible, we flattened out the sidewalks eliminating obstacles like curbs that would make it difficult for mobility-impaired people who use, for example, a wheelchair.
From simulation to solution
The vision of a more pedestrian-friendly city is work in progress and so far Lisbon has not only redesign the pedestrian crossing in front of the traffic management centre. Around 30 different interventions for the benefits of pedestrians have been completed with many more projects to come.