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Street Infrastructure Design Concept for Semi-autonomous Future

Create design strategies of the safe on-off zones for AVs and Wayfinding Systems for a better mobility network.

Photo of Lu Zhu
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The conceptual infrastructure design concepts aim to provide a safe and efficient road environment for all type of road users, and sustainable features to reduce the environmental impact of the impermeable surface in the coming semi-autonomous future. This proposal aims to increase the awareness of future mobility and road system change, the design concepts provide strategies to adapt to future mobility needs on road sharing and passenger staging. Besides infrastructure design, it also proposes a connected mobility network wayfinding system to offer convenience for visitors and road users to effectively reach the destinations.

Infrastructure Design Key components:

- Travel Lane: The reduced width travel lanes (10' suggested urban travel lane width) in the urban environment to reduce vehicle driving speed;

- Regular Parking Zone: Certain number of on-street parking are preserved for automobiles.

- Protected Bike Lane: The buffered bike lane provides flexible car door opening space and a safe travel area for cyclists.

- AVs Zone: Off traffic on-off/loading zone design for AVs provide non-interference AV areas.

Mobility Network components:

Wayfinding Kiosk: The kiosk provides local mobility network information and key local destinations' information. The information will provide real-time transit connection information and information on optional travel modes, such as bike-share, ride-hailing, e-scooter, etc.

Sustainable Infrastructure:

Stormwater filtration Pond: On-street stormwater filtration ponds slow the stormwater surface runoff to the combined sewage during heavy rains.

Other possible feature:

Ride-hailing Waiting Furniture: The furniture provides liveliness on the sidewalk and the rest places for pedestrians and riders.

Bike Share-Station: Nearby bike share station provides convenient last mile travel option.

Note: the component arrangements would depend on the street section and surrounding urban context.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Conventional road users: Driver, Cyclist, Pedestrian, Motorcycle Rider; Potential road users: Autonomous Vehicle User, Scooter Rider, Hover Board User, etc.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

CitEMotion provides urban planning, design, and development consulting services for communities who dare to lead the future. The main goal of the company is to create evidence-based solutions for human-centered urban transformations.

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • $75,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The road infrastructure: The project would collaborate with the City of Pittsburgh, Department of City Planning and the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to select the most suitable location within the city to test the potential project. Also, CitEMotion would work with contractors to modify the street infrastructure. The mobility network kiosk: In addition to collecting information from the city departments for the digital mobility network. CitEMotion would work with key stakeholders and platform design partners around the selected location to input destination information into the wayfinding system.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Besides the long-term improvement of urban flow which would be based on the measurement of a larger urban adaptation of the design concept, the success of the project would be based on the usage of the infrastructure and accident reduction. Regarding infrastructure: The measurement could be performed through traffic counts, including automobile, bicycle, pedestrian, etc., the counts would be used as a measurement to compare with the historical traffic flow data to see the traffic change. Additionally, the project could track the accidents to measure the road environment safety. Regarding wayfinding kiosk: Similarly, it would be based on the usage of the information look up. User feedback: The project would also record the feedback from general users to perform user study on what would be the possible improvement field.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Idrees Mutahr

Hi Lu, thank you for the submission I am one of the facilitators on the platform. I like that your idea addresses the possibility of bringing together existing mobility services and information in one place. However, would the AV staging area need to be on the other side of the bike lane? Having vehicles cross the lane may make some cyclists uncomfortable, so perhaps similar to some bus stop designs the area could be more aligned to the road with the lane behind it.

Photo of Lu Zhu

Dear Idrees, thank you for the comment. The crossing would definitely create uncomfortableness for cyclists and shifting the bike travel zone back to the vehicular on-off area make sense as well, but it would also create a crossing zone for pedestrians... (Lets excluding the shared pedestrian and bicycle sidewalk at the moment, as major US cities haven't adapted to mixed traffic norm yet.) My design concept is still in exploration, I believe many different design scenarios would make sense in relative urban street contexts, like the one you imagined that some streets may have to separate staging area from non-vehicular travel mode but some other may make sense to bring the staging area close the curb like areas around major commercial destinations or bar streets... Most importantly, I hope to use this opportunity to increase the awareness of the need for urban infrastructure updates for semi-autonomous travel, and possibly, we could try a few temporary installations to test and record the data to see what type of street design would help the adaptation of AVs and improve urban mobility. Thank you again, I can revise some of my writing to make it clear.

Photo of Idrees Mutahr

No problem Lu, thank you for the response! If you would like to make changes you can always update your proposal between now and the end of the propose phase.

Photo of Lu Zhu

Dear Idrees, thank you. I would love to add more details in the coming weekends.

Photo of Diana Avart

Hi Lu Zhu ,

I would also recommend looking into how Pittsburgh has approached the Busway and T stations. Both use the varying topography of the City to have people getting on/off the bus or T either at a lower or higher elevation than the main roads in most cases. Perhaps you could incorporate raised platforms or take advantage of some of the valleys as these modes of transportation do to create or take advantage of existing "safe zones".

- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Lu Zhu

Dear Diana, thank you for the feedback. That would be a great idea, but I'm sharing some ideas for mixed traffic staging area in major commuting corridors. Off-street travel infrastructure could definitely be used for riders' use safety, but personally, I'm not sure how much it could inform the driveless urban infrastructure designs in multi-mode travel areas and encourage the sharing of roads. I hope these designs could be adaptive based on the road use behavior data analysis and inform others to think about this topic. Most importantly, make a design project happen.