National case study: Mexico Road Safety Week

In Mexico, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), an organisation that works across the world to promote sustainable and equitable transport, has set up the Camina strategy. The strategy focuses on improving road infrastructure for the most vulnerable road users, and on communicating the benefits of these changes to local government. Recent activities have targeted intersections, where 70% of road crashes in Mexico’s cities occur.

As part of the third UN Global Road Safety Week 2015, ITDP México, supported by México Previene, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at reducing serious injuries and deaths on the roads, organized the third tactical urbanism intervention of the Camina strategy. The intervention was carried out as follows:

  • A risky intersection in the Doctores neighbourhood of Mexico City was altered for the day. Large orange traffic cones were used to redistribute the road space more equally between people on foot and people in cars. This increased the amount of space available to those on foot from 14% to 49% (see images below), with pedestrians benefitting from wider footpaths, new crossing islands and shorter crossing distances, and lower car speeds.

ITDP intersection

  • Local children and their families, and representatives from the city police department, were invited to visit the intersection to learn about the concepts involved and experience the improved safety of the intersections for themselves.
  • The masked wrestler Peatónito, who defends Mexico City’s residents against dangerous traffic and poor road design, interviewed children from the neighbourhood about their experiences of walking and cycling to school. See the subtitled video of the interviews here.

By redesigning the intersection to prioritise the most vulnerable road users, pedestrian safety and comfort increased and the behaviour of all road users improved, demonstrating the efficacy of the Camina strategy’s intervention. ITDP México and México Previene delivered the redesign plans and the results of the experiment to the local government authority so that the junction might be rethought permanently.

ITDP México intends to repeat the intervention several times per year at other intersections in Mexico City. Both organisations are continuing to work to ensure that this intervention serves as a reference for future intersection design.

-   Visit the ITDP México and México Previene websites for more information.
-   Find out how you can organise a similar event on our governments & NGOs page or by reading our guide to publicity and the media.
-   Read about other events through our Road Safety Week map.