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Old December 8th 04, 01:10 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default An alternative view of traffic control

Very interesting article on Wired
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1...w=wn_tophead_7
reporting on experiments in removing road signs, traffic lights,
marking, even the edge beween the pavement and the road. If the
results mentioned are true, it seems the best way to cut down on
accidents and increase mobility is to remove anything that tells you
what to do and instead force drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to use
their eyes.

One excerpt:

"We drive on to another project Monderman designed, this one in the
nearby village of Oosterwolde. What was once a conventional road
junction with traffic lights has been turned into something resembling
a public square that mixes cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. About
5,000 cars pass through the square each day, with no serious accidents
since the redesign in 1999. "To my mind, there is one crucial test of
a design such as this," Monderman says. "Here, I will show you."

With that, Monderman tucks his hands behind his back and begins to
walk into the square - backward - straight into traffic, without being
able to see oncoming vehicles... "

R


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Old December 8th 04, 03:45 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default An alternative view of traffic control

Rupert Goodwins wrote:

Very interesting article on Wired
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1...w=wn_tophead_7
reporting on experiments in removing road signs, traffic lights,
marking, even the edge beween the pavement and the road. If the
results mentioned are true, it seems the best way to cut down on
accidents and increase mobility is to remove anything that tells you
what to do and instead force drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to use
their eyes.

This has been discussed on usenet (misc.transport.urban-transit, I
think) a few years ago. I suspect it generally works better in medium to
low traffic situations, in the same way that roundabouts can be better
than traffic lights (where you've got space) if the road is not too
busy. But if traffic levels are too low, motorists won't realise there's
a problem and accidents will be more likely. 'Tis no use forcing them to
use their eyes if they don't know they're being forced to use their
eyes!

How this would compare with traffic lights and signs depends on whether
everyone's willing to obey the traffic lights and signs - as long as
everyone is, I'd stick with them.

Undefined edges are a different matter - it depends on your objective. A
lack of hard edges slows motorists down, but often makes pedestrians
feel less safe.

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Old December 8th 04, 07:29 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default An alternative view of traffic control


"Rupert Goodwins" wrote in
message ...
Very interesting article on Wired
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1...w=wn_tophead_7
reporting on experiments in removing road signs, traffic lights,
marking, even the edge beween the pavement and the road. If the
results mentioned are true, it seems the best way to cut down on
accidents and increase mobility is to remove anything that tells you
what to do and instead force drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to use
their eyes.

One excerpt:

"We drive on to another project Monderman designed, this one in the
nearby village of Oosterwolde. What was once a conventional road
junction with traffic lights has been turned into something resembling
a public square that mixes cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. About
5,000 cars pass through the square each day, with no serious accidents
since the redesign in 1999. "To my mind, there is one crucial test of
a design such as this," Monderman says. "Here, I will show you."

With that, Monderman tucks his hands behind his back and begins to
walk into the square - backward - straight into traffic, without being
able to see oncoming vehicles... "


Sorry we can't have that in the UK for two reasons. 1) It would put sign
makers and people in similar jobs out of work and 2) it would put the
control freaks out of work.


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Old December 8th 04, 12:07 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default An alternative view of traffic control

Brimstone wrote:
"Rupert Goodwins" wrote in
message ...

Very interesting article on Wired
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1...w=wn_tophead_7
reporting on experiments in removing road signs, traffic lights,
marking, even the edge beween the pavement and the road. If the
results mentioned are true, it seems the best way to cut down on
accidents and increase mobility is to remove anything that tells you
what to do and instead force drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to use
their eyes.

One excerpt:

"We drive on to another project Monderman designed, this one in the
nearby village of Oosterwolde. What was once a conventional road
junction with traffic lights has been turned into something resembling
a public square that mixes cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. About
5,000 cars pass through the square each day, with no serious accidents
since the redesign in 1999. "To my mind, there is one crucial test of
a design such as this," Monderman says. "Here, I will show you."

With that, Monderman tucks his hands behind his back and begins to
walk into the square - backward - straight into traffic, without being
able to see oncoming vehicles... "



Sorry we can't have that in the UK for two reasons. 1) It would put sign
makers and people in similar jobs out of work and 2) it would put the
control freaks out of work.



But it would be great business for lawyers, because accidents will
happen and it would be that more difficult to establish liability.
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Old December 8th 04, 12:46 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default An alternative view of traffic control

On Wed, 8 Dec 2004, Rupert Goodwins wrote:

Very interesting article on Wired
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1...w=wn_tophead_7
reporting on experiments in removing road signs, traffic lights,
marking, even the edge beween the pavement and the road. If the
results mentioned are true, it seems the best way to cut down on
accidents and increase mobility is to remove anything that tells you
what to do and instead force drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to use
their eyes.


There has been quite a bit of work on schemes like this. What it comes
down to is presenting drivers with something unfamiliar - when they lose
all the signs and markings they're used to, they don't know what's going
on, so they slow down. The problem is, once they get used to it, it
doesn't work, and they get faster again. Perhaps the solution is to keep
changing the signs and markings every few months!

tom

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Old December 8th 04, 02:55 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default An alternative view of traffic control

Paul wrote:
Brimstone wrote:
"Rupert Goodwins" wrote
in message ...

Very interesting article on Wired
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1...w=wn_tophead_7
reporting on experiments in removing road signs, traffic lights,
marking, even the edge beween the pavement and the road. If the
results mentioned are true, it seems the best way to cut down on
accidents and increase mobility is to remove anything that tells you
what to do and instead force drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to
use their eyes.

One excerpt:

"We drive on to another project Monderman designed, this one in the
nearby village of Oosterwolde. What was once a conventional road
junction with traffic lights has been turned into something
resembling a public square that mixes cars, pedestrians, and
cyclists. About 5,000 cars pass through the square each day, with
no serious accidents since the redesign in 1999. "To my mind, there
is one crucial test of a design such as this," Monderman says. "Here, I
will show you."

With that, Monderman tucks his hands behind his back and begins to
walk into the square - backward - straight into traffic, without
being able to see oncoming vehicles... "



Sorry we can't have that in the UK for two reasons. 1) It would put
sign makers and people in similar jobs out of work and 2) it would
put the control freaks out of work.



But it would be great business for lawyers, because accidents will
happen and it would be that more difficult to establish liability.


Those reports indicate that "accidents" have all but stopped.


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Old December 9th 04, 11:11 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default An alternative view of traffic control

Brimstone wrote:
snip


Those reports indicate that "accidents" have all but stopped.


"all but", but lawyers could make them happen again, if it was in their
interest.
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Old December 11th 04, 12:33 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default An alternative view of traffic control

Tom Anderson wrote the following in:


There has been quite a bit of work on schemes like this. What it
comes down to is presenting drivers with something unfamiliar -
when they lose all the signs and markings they're used to, they
don't know what's going on, so they slow down. The problem is,
once they get used to it, it doesn't work, and they get faster
again. Perhaps the solution is to keep changing the signs and
markings every few months!


But intrinsic in the design is the fact that you can't go through it
faster, it'd be like going round a blind corner faster. You have to
slow down and think because to negotiate it successfully you have to
see what's going on there and decide what to do.

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Old December 11th 04, 04:37 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default An alternative view of traffic control

On 11 Dec 2004, Robin May wrote:

Tom Anderson wrote the following in:


There has been quite a bit of work on schemes like this. What it
comes down to is presenting drivers with something unfamiliar -
when they lose all the signs and markings they're used to, they
don't know what's going on, so they slow down. The problem is,
once they get used to it, it doesn't work, and they get faster
again. Perhaps the solution is to keep changing the signs and
markings every few months!


But intrinsic in the design is the fact that you can't go through it
faster, it'd be like going round a blind corner faster. You have to slow
down and think because to negotiate it successfully you have to see
what's going on there and decide what to do.


You'd think that, but apparently, that's not what happens. Drivers learn
what the traffic is likely to be like, and drive based on that. Yes, it is
like going round a blind corner faster, and people do it.

I really should cite some references for this, but i don't remember enough
of the detail to find them, so i can't. Feel free to assume that i am
imagining it!

tom

--
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