Friday, November 24, 2006

Unsafe is the new safe

(photo by Alon Brik)
I've been reading today (via The Spiegel, Gristmill, CSMonitor) on this really cool (but kinda risky) idea, that some progressive cities and towns, like many Dutch towns, Ejby in Denmark, Ipswich in the UK and Ostende in Belgium, have been experimenting with as a cure for traffic chaos. Basically it all has to do with removing the conventional road signs - traffic lights, white lines, sidewalks etc- and create a single "shared space" for everyone, motorized or not!
The Dutch traffic guru Hans Monderman says "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.".
You'd be suprised to hear that the number of accidents has declined dramatically and there's improved flow of traffic in these demo-cities. London is also entertaining this new idea of road anarchy, and its been currentlly tested in Kensington.
Hmm, this may very well work for the civilized parts of the world but just imagine if we tried this over here in times huh?!



Anonymous Joshua Leeger said...

You should read the book "A Pattern Language," about city planning that makes sense...

7:11 PM  

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