When a street is shared, all users of the street must have a heightened sense of situational awareness. The requirement for every user of the street to be situationally aware will lead to caution and therefore safety. Designated lanes reduce the need for this situational awareness, providing people with a false sense of security while in their lane. Streets designed to demand situational awareness may not be the easiest, nor the fastest means to travel, but provide a safer environment for every mode of transportation on the street.
I’ve always wondered how amidst all the chaos that occurs in the streets of cities in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand there are relatively few accidents. Guess it helps that you’re more ‘situationally aware’ in places where people don’t follow the rules. I mean in Vietnam you have pedestrians just strolling through the flood of motorcycles and they seem to be getting along just fine.
As argued by the author having dedicated lanes actually makes things less safe as people drop their guard and travel at faster speeds. He does have a point, but how often can you allow these specific places where the entire road is shared by all forms of traffic?