A road that offers no exit for motorized through traffic is often referred to and signed as a dead-end road. However, when such a road continues as a road or path usable by pedestrians or cyclists, we call these “living end roads”. We started a project to correct the old and often misleading signage of living end streets.
A typical dead-end sign is valuable for motorized vehicle drivers, but often provides misleading information to the non-motorized road users. The sign discourages everyone to take that road, while many of those do have an exit for cyclists and pedestrians, making them part of the most appropriate itineraries for cyclists and pedestrians, both from a road safety as a comfort point of view.
IFP's solution (read more)
The IFP lobies local, national and international road authorities and legislators to be aware of this issue and to take the necessary actions. A concept note can be found here. Based on a study performed by one of its members, the Swiss pedestrian association, an adapted sign was proposed. Other IFP members have been very active in their region to promote the concept. In Belgium, where the sign has some space on the top and hence could simply be changed by applying a specific sticker, the Voetgangersbeweging provides stickers that have already been used in over 5000 signs. Recently, Barcelona got living end signs thanks to the work from Catalunya Camina. New Zealand changed its law, and the first contacts with the US secretary of transport might lead to adoption of a living end sign in the US too.
In February 2015, work with the UNECE working party 1, responsible for the road signage within the Vienna convention, has started.
In Belgium, this project was launched by the Voetgangersbeweging in cooperation with the municipality of Kampenhout, Belgium, in March 2012. "It's unbelievable that nobody thought about this earlier," said Mayor Jean Meeus of Kampenhout, "So far, people often turned around when they noticed the dead-end sign. Now that we applied those stickers, our people will be triggered to explore our municipality walking or cycling and discover new places. Great initiative! " Also the commissioner for Mobility and Transport Stefaan Peremans is amazed about this the creative solution. "We have recently done a lot of efforts around our network of the “slow roads” (paths and right-of-ways). This project fits nicely in there. More than 80 percent of the “dead end” roads in our area in reality are living end roads. It puts our residents hopefully to more cycling and walking. "