10041Light-Free, Car-Free Day - Idea Factory
- Dec 2, 2006With enormous respect to Martin Cassini and those who believe that human
nature and civil behaviour alone is going to do the trick, I would like
to add the following small variant for an eventual Light-Free, Car-Free
Day in your city. But first a caveat:
The very nature of the car is that it makes one impatient, and speed is
a natural, inevitable, almost universal expression of this impatience.
In all of us I am afraid, even those of us who stop and smile when a
pedestrian is waiting to cross. It is, irrevocably, the nature, the
pathology of the beast (the beast by the way in this case being that
particular combination of man and machine - the roaring centaur of the
So, what to do in those places in 2007 where they decide to turn off the
traffic lights for the day and have a go at this interesting idea?
Bear in mind that - in our skeptical version of this at any rate - the
one thing that is needed to slow people down is to remove as many of
those long straight lines that usually they have to run in. What we
need to do is to make it physically impossible for them to speed. At
least at the learning stage.
So at every intersection on this one day, just before the lights go off,
someone smart puts in an agreed obstacle, a large visible obstacle that
everyone, every driver can see and be obliged to slow down for and creep
Now this might for example be one or two parked cars in the middle of
the intersection - a sort of improved roundabout.
Even better perhaps if we can do something around whatever is the large
visible object we pop there. For example turn it into a bit of convivial
public space. Maybe with a couple of potted plants. An all day poetry
reading from a chair and media link. Maybe a get up like the following
from the terrific Rebar group --
http://www.rebargroup.org/projects/parkingday/index.html -- but this
time in the middle of the intersection.
Anyway, you get the idea.
Anybody ready to run with this?
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