Launch of iRAP star rating of urban design guide prioritises street safety

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Star Ratings use a robust, evidence-based approach to assess the risk for four road user groups: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and vehicle occupants.
Star Ratings use a robust, evidence-based approach to assess the risk for four road user groups: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and vehicle occupants.
The guide assesses current design giving a star rating and then suggests amendments to raise the rating.
The guide assesses current design giving a star rating and then suggests amendments to raise the rating.

A new design supplement, the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) Star Ratings of the Global Street Design Guide, has been launched to complement the Global Designing Cities Initiative’s Global Street Design Guide, which will allow road designers around the world to understand the scale of the safety benefit that good road design can deliver.

The Guide has been developed by the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI), a program of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), as a supplement to NACTO-GDCI’s Global Street Design Guide (GSDG), using iRAP’s Star Rating Methodology. The project has been supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility. iRAP is financially supported by the FIA Foundation.

iRAP Star Ratings provide a simple and objective measure of the level of safety provided by a road’s design. Star Ratings use a robust, evidence-based approach to assess the risk for four road user groups: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and vehicle occupants. iRAP’s Star Ratings are the global standard for road infrastructure safety and are embedded into the UN Road Safety Targets. Star Ratings represent the infrastructure related risk of death or serious injury. A five-star street is the safest while a one-star street is the least safe

Released in 2016, the Global Street Design Guide has served as a blueprint for safer and higher-performing streets, and as tool for addressing the 1.35 million road crash deaths and up to 50 million injuries that occur each year as a result of poorly-designed roads that prioritize automobiles.

High quality road design takes the needs of all road users into account. This supplement to the Global Street Design Guide—which gives the iRAP Star Rating for the existing and improved designs—will allow road designers everywhere to understand the scale of the safety benefit that good road design can deliver. The resource is free to download, and it will provide information and actionable solutions for those wanting to make safety upgrades to their streets.

Embedded into the UN Road Safety Targets, iRAP's Star Ratings are the global standard for benchmarking road infrastructure safety. Providing a simple and objective measure of the level of safety provided by a road's design, Star Ratings use a robust, evidence-based approach to assess the risk for four road user groups: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and vehicle occupants. Star Ratings also provide a direct connection to the economic benefit of safer streets. For each increase in Star Rating, the cost of road crashes is typically halved.

The FIA Foundation recently joint funded another supplement to the Global Street Design Guide - Designing Streets for Kids with Botnar Foundation, Bernard van Leer Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.