1.08.2008

look ma, no lights

...and no traffic buildup either.

Via boingboing:



Of course it's been sped up. (Notice the pedestrians).

But did you also notice, despite the seeming chaos, that there is no traffic buildup?

Which makes me wonder if Europe's experiment with taking away traffic signs can work even in megacities.

5 comments:

koikaze said...

Not bad, not bad ... but ...

Did you notice how it rewards aggressiveness while putting everyone in the area at risk? Look at it again, and check out those making the right turn from the second lane and the effect they have on others in the area.

Traffic controls regulate all to inhibit those who put the public at risk by being unduly aggressive. However, I doubt a free-for-all is the best possible alternative. In the instance depicted, perhaps a set of those one-way tire puncture things would be effective for taming those of us who think our needs are more urgent than the needs of others.

Whaddayathink?

Fred

Urbano dela Cruz said...

Hey Fred,

Nice to hear from you. I was wondering how you were.

"Traffic controls regulate all to inhibit those who put the public at risk by being unduly aggressive."

I have to agree that that is the logic of traffic control. Removing road signs IS counter-intuitive.

Here's what Dutch traffic guru Hans Monderman (inventor of the woonerf street) had to say:

----

"The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate. We're losing our capacity for socially responsible behavior. The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people's sense of personal responsibility dwindles." (emphasis added)

----

So. I wonder, (as libertarian as this sounds) is it efficient to restrict everyone just so we can to control the outliers (the overly aggressive drivers)?

But I'm with you on looking for design solutions. Perhaps traffic calming funnels to slow down vehicle approaches. Or a change in the surface on the intersections (raised bumps) to prevent reckless driving.

In any case, we need approaches that make the driver become aware of people -not just of traffic rules -and be engaged in the street.

Peter said...

All I know is that in many intersections I've gotten stuck in traffic jams caused by a few drivers which end up becoming large traffic jams.

Urbano dela Cruz said...

Peter,

Yep. Stupidity plus volume will do that every time.

UDC

koikaze said...

Hi, UDC

Two comments regarding the Hans Monderman quotes:

1) "The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate."

I submit the "many rules" deprive us of something even more fundamental; the ability to exercise judgment. One of the profound changes that has occurred during my lifetime is the removal of judgment from a multitude of human activities. It's a topic worthy of an essay in it's own right, but I won't trouble you by writing it now.

2) "The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people's sense of personal responsibility dwindles."

Precisely!

You ask whether it is "efficient to restrict everyone just so we can to control the outliers". I suspect it's efficient, but I question whether it's wise. One of the unintended consequences is the effect it has on judgment and personal responsibility.

We are certainly in agreement about using design solutions. If we differ, it is in the aggressiveness of our designs; the difference between your "traffic calming" approach and my preference for punctured tires. As described in a note I sent you, rudeness conveys mathematically demonstrable benefits. There must be an associated penalty to reduce that advantage. A couple of blown tires will teach judgment and consideration ... quickly.

Awwww, I'm only half-joking.

Fred

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