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• What paths did cyclists ride through the
selected shared spaces intersections?
• Did cyclists ride through the shared space
intersections differently than non-shared
Understanding Shared Space: an Examination of Cyclists and Shared Space Projects
Allison B. Duncan, PhD
Portland State University
• Video analysis of 1750 cyclists riding through 3
shared space intersections and 3 control intersections.
• Cyclist paths were plotted from videos taken during
the summer of 2014. Path differs from a route by its
scale and is defined at the intersection scale as the
course taken when riding through an intersection.
• Each path was plotted over a site plan and the rele-
vant variables analyzed.
• Sidewalk and crosswalk use were two variables ana-
1. Elwick Square
2. Coventry & Coventry control
There is growing interest in making our streets safer for vulnerable users.
Shared space, an urban design and traffic calming technique, is touted to
improve the safety of vulnerable users. It involves removal of a street’s
traffic control elements (curbs, signs, lane markings, etc.) so the road-
way becomes an integral component of the surrounding urban fabric. The
goal is to open the space to all users equally. Europe has implemented
many shared space projects and interest in growing in the United States.
This is a newer area of study; the concept has only been around since the
1980’s. The majority of existing research has focused on pedestrians as
the primary vulnerable user group. This research focused on how bicycle
riders use shared space intersections.
Coventry, England. Control intersection
Coventry, England. Shared intersection
• Chi Square tests run on the pooled data showed
a significant, large relationship between site and
sidewalk use X2 (5) = 469.3, p =.000. X2 tests
did not find a significant association between site
and crosswalk use.
• Shared sites and sidewalk use showed a signifi-
cant, medium association X2 (2) = 178.0,
• Control sites and sidewalk use showed a signif-
icant, large association X2 (2) = 233.9, p=.000.
• Shared sites and crosswalk use showed a sig-
nificant, small association X2 (4) = 17.1,
Observations showed that cyclists rode both in the road
and/or on the sidewalk for both types of intersections. When
comparing both shared and control sites, my research found
that a significant proportion of cyclists would ride on the side-
walk if it was accessible for either intersection type. Addi-
tionally, I found that cyclists were more likely to ride through
the crosswalks of shared space intersections than control in-
tersections. This shows that even when calmed or not, many
riders preferred to avoid riding near vehicles when possible
through the study sites.
This research was generously support-
ed by a National Institute for Transpor-
tation and Communities (NITC) Dis-
0.50% 2% 0.50%
Elwick Sq (shared)
Sidewalk and Crosswalk use:observedpercentages
Veer to crosswalk
Observational results: Selected variables
Ashford, Elwick Square England. Shared intersection
Poynton, England. Shared intersection
Example of possible
cyclist paths through
a study site: