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10651Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Slow transport?

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  • Simon Baddeley
    Jan 1, 2008
      Today's traffic policy started with managing the flow at intersections of
      urban streets, with traffic mechanisation around 1900 a need was felt to
      regulate friction at junctions. The most striking examples is the roundabout
      in American cities, inspired by Haussmann's late 19thc traffic circles in

      I have been an urban cyclist for over 10 years and very interested in the
      thinking that informs transport management and street design. The concepts
      that especially interest me are the attitudes to time and space that
      underlie personal and institutional decisions about traffic management and
      human movement. The Radburn principle - as you observe - contradicts growing
      preference for shared space disrupted by the increasing speed of traffic.

      Railways became segregated. Trams did not - initially. Our new trams in
      Birmingham are, for a variety of reasons, running on old segregated rail
      lines except for a short couple of miles. When, recently, there have been
      collisions between trams and cars it is often the tram that is seen in the
      media as 'the problem'. As a cyclist I enjoy cycling with my dog on canal
      towpaths on the city as it is segregated - safe from motorised traffic, but
      in general I favour integration and am not a keen supporter of urban traffic
      segregation by speed.

      Below is an interesting set of reflections with illustrations arguing for
      the removal of controls on individualised traffic so all road users come to
      regulate their movement - walking or in or on different forms of transport -
      by using civility and intelligence. You can see the attraction of this idea
      to people of the right who trust the market and favour deregulation. This is
      also attractive to those who favour democratisation of road space,
      participation and the removal of a segregated traffic hierarchy:


      This relates to roads. This shared space does not preclude a segregated
      rapid transit infrastructure running over or under roads. This seems
      contradictory but it seems to me that the argument here is about the way
      humans share road space in cities and smaller settlements and the
      implications of these decisions for where we build the places where we live,
      work, worship, take our leisure.

      There's a headline in yesterday's Birmingham Post which says there'll be no
      government funding for an extension of our Metro tram system unless the
      different municipalities of the West Midlands can agree on a credible system
      of road rationing or congestion charging. The West Midland's Councils
      struggle to agree this but want the cash. Deadlock and delay ensue. Any
      policy perceived as restricting the 'freedom' of motorists is politically
      very risky for local politicians. I understand this. I hear the vox pop.
      People love their cars. I've got rid of my car. I cycle and use public
      transport. My wife would never copy me. My daughter has just bought herself
      a car. My son does not have the means to keep a car. I am regarded as a
      harmless eccentric!



      > From: Huang Eu Chai <hng001@...>
      > Reply-To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      > Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2008 09:21:06 -0000
      > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Slow transport?
      > Have you looked into the "Radburn Principle" yet?
      > I'm not sure if this may be of use to you since it's neither urban nor
      > explicit, but personally I have always felt that the theory had a
      > subconscious but very major impact on the way come cities are planned
      > and built (Singapore in my case).
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