Pedestrianization Definition and Types – Variations on a Theme

Let us begin with some pedestrianization definitions, reconciling that one “universal” meaning could be hard to come by– particularly in the context of differing persuasion or interest. The merits of one group’s definition could easily turn into a discussion with another party (which has a totally different frame of mind) when their varying definitions are placed side-by-side. Here, let us just remain open to a number of variations on a theme.

Converting a street or an area to car-free use is called pedestrianization. Alternately, it is the removal of vehicular access to a street– for the exclusive use of pedestrians by means of local policies such as street closures or similar restrictions. Thence, a pedestrianized location has become synonymous with the absence of motorized vehicles within an area.

The matter can also be thought of in the context of a thoroughfare which is dominated by people on foot; hence, the derivative essence of– pedestrians and the consequent pedestrianization of an area. Such meaning is always in tandem with the absence of cars or motor vehicles– as we now reconcile with the elements of pedestrians versus vehicles– and the dominance or absence of the other.

As reconciled herein, it has three types:

1. Full Pedestrianization is the elimination of motor vehicle traffic at all times and on all days by means of formal traffic orders. On this, continuous is my choice keyword, being descriptive of a situation where the absence of cars is unbroken in the context of time. When this scheme is implemented, it becomes common for affected businesses to become creative with how they deliver their goods and supplies to and from their establishments. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to ease on the definition and allow small motor vehicles within the premises during “off-periods” such as very late in the evening or very early in the morning.

2. Part-Time Pedestrianization is the elimination of motor vehicle traffic for only certain hours of the day and/or certain days of the week. Here, continual is my choice keyword, being indicative of a constantly recurring transition between the permission and the barring of cars from a thoroughfare. Time frames can vary from designated periods within the day, weekly periods, or only designated periods within a year.

3. Partial Pedestrianization is to allow some motor vehicle traffic at low speeds; also called Traffic Calming. On this, constriction is my choice keyword, reflective of how this scheme is usually undertaken. Common strategies include narrowing the width of an existing road (and the widening of the adjoining sidewalk) in order to cause a bottle-neck effect and consequently the slow-down of traffic. The introduction of humps has also been accepted as another alternative under this scheme.

As seen from the above, the concept of pedestrianization is not always the total removal of cars from a location. Very often, the strategy or pedestrianization type has to be correlated to what is appropriate in the context of businesses that could be affected and the acceptance of the stakeholders.