As our cities enter a transitional phase after lockdown, walking and cycling present a low-cost opportunity to address this capacity shortfall while physical distancing requirements mean that normal business practices and public transport operations must be modified. Achieving a shift to walking and cycling amongst public transport users will help keep cities moving, whilst ensuring public transport capacity is available for those who need it most.
To do this, walking and cycling must be a safe and convenient alternative for those living close to busy public transport corridors. Many cities including Barcelona and Berlin have implemented temporary cycle routes on key corridors, whilst Brussels and Budapest are amongst those to have introduced widespread vehicle speed limit reductions.
During this time, investment in enhanced pedestrian facilities supports traders and small business through providing safe queuing at retail and community destinations, and safe access for local trips. Footways have been temporarily extended outside locations of high footfall in many cities including London and Auckland, whilst Manchester has increased pedestrian green time within signal phases.
Australia can learn from experiences in Auckland where sections of temporary route have been subsequently removed due to hazards for pedestrians and cyclists interacting with heavy vehicles, whilst in some parts of London the temporary creation of widened footway sections has been deemed ineffective where the increased width is only available in isolated parts.