Many pedestrian crossings in Oslo should be upgraded or removed

An inspection of 85 pedestrian crossings in 50 km/h zones on national roads in Oslo suggests that only 10 pedestrian crossings should be kept without changes, while 23 pedestrian crossings should be removed, 16 should be upgraded, 35 should be somewhat changed, and one should be moved.

The objectives of pedestrian crossings are to improve the conditions for pedestrians regarding mobility, safety and subjective safety. To these purposes, numerous crossings have been made in Norway.

However, pedestrian crossings are not an unambiguous safety measure, and therefore the Norwegian Public Roads Administration in 2002 started to assess if this practice should be continued. The resulting Handbook 270, entitled “Gangfeltkriterier” (Criteria for making pedestrian crossings), recommends where new pedestrian crossings can and should be made. The criteria laid down may also be used in an assessment of existing pedestrian crossings.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has selected 85 pedestrian crossings for inspections.

In 26 pedestrian crossings (31 %), the criteria for making a pedestrian crossing in 50 km/h zones are not fulfilled. In six of these 26 pedestrian crossings the speed level is too high and the remaining 20 pedestrian crossings have too few pedestrians and bicyclists in the peak hour. 

  • The risk assessment for vulnerable road users shows the following risk in the pedestrian crossings:
  •  High risk: 12 pedestrian crossings (14 %)
  •  Medium risk: 50 pedestrian crossings (59 %)
  •  Low risk: 23 pedestrian crossings (27 %).

Pedestrian crossings with high and medium risk normally have many accidents, high speed level, few pedestrians, bad sight, long crossing distance, more than two traffic lanes in the same direction, and/or insufficient marking, signs or road light.

Based on the registrations, analyses and assessments the following solutions are recommended for the 85 pedestrian crossings: 

  • Remove: 8 pedestrian crossings (9 %)
  • Remove, but keep possibility for crossing: 15 pedestrian crossings (18 %)
  • Move: 1 pedestrian crossing (1 %)
  • Maintain and upgrade: 16 pedestrian crossings (19 %)
  • Maintain, few changes: 35 pedestrian crossings (41 %)
  • Maintain, no changes: 10 pedestrian crossings (12 %).

 Inspection of pedestrian crossings in 50 km/h zones in Oslo. TØI report 1058/2010. Authors: Michael W. J. Sørensen, Marjan Mosslemi, Juned Akhtar


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