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Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual

Organization: Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Counci

Country: UAE

Forum: Road traffic injury

The Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual (USDM) was commissioned in 2009 by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) to address the needs of the growing population, and to improve pedestrian facilities in order to create more walkable and livable communities. The USDM’s main objective is to re-balance the priorities of street design to suit all road users, in particular the most vulnerable. In other words, the USDM aims to shift the system of street design to an integrated process that serves the needs of pedestrians, transit riders and cyclists, as well as motorists.

On the basis of the recommendations in the manual, a segment of a major street in Abu Dhabi, Salam Street, was redesigned in 2011. Prior to the redesign, this street presented multiple hazards to pedestrians. There was very limited separation between vehicles and pedestrians, with no formal sidewalks or curbs. The redesigned road now has much-improved pedestrian facilities, including median barriers, raised crossings and traffic control. The result has been improved walking conditions for pedestrians, and a reduction in vehicle speed of 4-10km/hr relative to nearby streets. Street redesign has been accompanied by increased enforcement at pedestrian crossings, raised awareness through education campaigns, and implementation of other design measures such as bollards and redirective curbs.

The manual is first of its kind to be tailored to the local climate and culture, and aims to guide Abu Dhabi’s transition from a motor-vehicle-oriented city to a multi-modal one.

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