Shared spaces can be divided into a ‘trafficable zone’, an ‘accessible zone’ and an ‘activity zone’.
The ‘trafficable zone’ is the space where motorists are encouraged to travel; this is achieved through the strategic placement of street furniture and landscaping. Care needs to be taken that the alignment and delineation of the trafficable zone does not encourage motorists to travel at faster speeds here than desirable. The ‘accessible zone’ is a clear space for walking; a tactile paver edge will define this zone for visually impaired pedestrians. The ‘activity zone’, located between the trafficable and accessible zones, is where the street light poles, seats, rubbish bins and landscaping will be contained. Cyclists and pedestrians can use any of the zones.
A New Zealand Shared Space Guidance Note(external link) (Joyce 2012) for the design of shared space was developed as an initiative by the IPENZ Transportation Group. The note concluded that “In general it is considered that cyclists should be considered in the design of streets involving shared space principles in the same way in which they are considered in all streetscape designs. Connectivity to the surrounding cycling network should be considered as well as on street facilities such as cycle parking”.
Austroads does not have any guidance documents specifically relating to shared space but it does make reference to shared spaces throughout the Guide to Traffic Management series.
A shared zone might involve a street that is one-way for motor vehicles but allows people to cycle in either direction (via a contra-flow cycle lane or separated path). The traffic control should be established by a local bylaw. For design considerations and signs requirements, see the design guidance on provision for contra-flow cycling.