Developing traffic safety based on residents' needs

A community and its development are deeply affected by the physical solutions chosen to manage traffic and land use. These solutions must necessarily have not only to do with the transport infrastructure of a city, but also with how humans use and interact with that infrastructure. The questionnaire which Strafica presented to the residents of Kouvola and Iitti allowed them to gather knowledge regarding traffic solutions, human behavior, and the transportation infrastructure. The ultimate goal of the questionnaire was to acquire information useful in deciding what aspects of infrastructure should be improved to best provide the municipalities with safe, sustainable transportation.

The human factor is always present in traffic incidents. In the first part of Strafica’s questionnaire, respondents were asked to describe the driving habits of themselves and their neighbors and to discuss traffic offenses. Residents gave their opinions on what groups of people were most endangered by traffic incidents in their own towns.

Part of Kouvola and Iitti  questionnaire :

Part of Kouvola and Iitti questionnaire:

The second part of the questionnaire concentrated on the traffic infrastructure of the towns. Respondents used pinpoints to identify hazards to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. Strafica asked about traffic incidents that had occurred, those that almost did, and the reasons behind them.

Respondents view of the questionnaire.

Respondents view of the questionnaire.

“Getting information about places where the accidents occur is pretty straightforward. It is the ones which almost do that we have no way of knowing. It is important to get data on those close-call accidents because then it is easier for us to know how to act before anything bad happens.” explains Tapio Kinnunen, the traffic safety coordinator.

The data collected from pinpoints

The data collected from pinpoints

The data gathered from the questionnaire built with Maptionnaire helped the Kouvola’s and Iitti’s experts in the field to prioritize improvement efforts. Involving the residents in these decisions made the planning process much more effective, as the municipalities were able to understand their traffic infrastructure as their residents do.

Maptionnaire gives us a great opportunity to communicate with the residents and receive honest information from them. People want to be involved in these matters, so they are very happy when they are given the chance to answer questionnaires. We rely more on the digital format since hosting only a public meeting tends to put too much emphasis on those with the loudest voices leaving the majority unheard.
— Tapio Kinnunen, Traffic Safety Coordinator.