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They think everything together on one road is good?

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  • Colin Leath
    I haven t had time to consider this / try to figure what the implications might be, but it seems provoking. Colin http://carfreeuniverse.org Why don t we do it
    Message 1 of 20 , May 29, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      I haven't had time to consider this / try to figure
      what the implications might be, but it seems
      provoking.
      Colin
      http://carfreeuniverse.org

      Why don't we do it in the road?
      A new school of traffic design says we should get rid
      of stop signs and red lights and let cars, bikes and
      people mingle together. It sounds insane, but it
      works.

      - - - - - - - - - - - -
      By Linda Baker
      http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2004/05/20/traffic_design/index.html

      May 20, 2004 | It's rush hour, and I am standing at
      the corner of Zhuhui and Renmin Road, a four-lane
      intersection in Suzhou, China. Ignoring the red light,
      a couple of taxis and a dozen bicycles are headed
      straight for a huge mass of cyclists, cars, pedicabs
      and mopeds that are turning left in front of me.
      Cringing, I anticipate a collision. Like a flock of
      migrating birds, however, the mass changes formation.
      A space opens up, the taxis and bicycles move in, and
      hundreds of commuters continue down the street,
      unperturbed and fatality free.

      In Suzhou, the traffic rules are simple. "There are no
      rules," as one local told me. A city of 2.2 million
      people, Suzhou has 500,000 cars and 900,000 bicycles,
      not to mention hundreds of pedicabs, mopeds and
      assorted, quainter forms of transportation. Drivers of
      all modes pay little attention to the few traffic
      signals and weave wildly from one side of the street
      to another. Defying survival instincts, pedestrians
      have to barge between oncoming cars to cross the
      roads.

      But here's the catch: During the 10 days I spent in
      Suzhou last fall, I didn't see a single accident.
      Really, not a single one. Nor was there any of the
      road rage one might expect given the anarchy that
      passes for traffic policy. And despite the obvious
      advantages that accrue to cars because of their size,
      no single transportation mode dominates the streets.
      On the contrary, the urban arterials are a communal
      mix of automobiles, cyclists, pedestrians, and small
      businesses such as inner-tube repairmen that set up
      shop directly in the right-of-way.

      As the mother of two young children and an
      alternative-transportation advocate, I've spent the
      past decade supporting the installation of ever more
      traffic controls: crosswalks, traffic signals, speed
      bumps, and speed limit signs in school zones. But I'd
      only been in Suzhou a few days before I started
      thinking that maybe there's a method to the city's
      traffic madness -- a logic that has nothing to do with
      the system of prohibition and segregation that governs
      transportation policy in the United States.

      As it turns out, I'm far from the first person to
      think along these lines. In fact, the chaos associated
      with traffic in developing countries is becoming all
      the rage among a new wave of traffic engineers in
      mainland Europe and, more recently, in the United
      Kingdom. It's called "second generation" traffic
      calming, a combination of traffic engineering and
      urban design that also draws heavily on the fields of
      behavioral psychology and -- of all subjects --
      evolutionary biology. Rejecting the idea of separating
      people from vehicular traffic, it's a concept that
      privileges multiplicity over homogeneity, disorder
      over order, and intrigue over certainty. In practice,
      it's about dismantling barriers: between the road and
      the sidewalk, between cars, pedestrians and cyclists
      and, most controversially, between moving vehicles and
      children at play.

      For the past 50 years, the American approach to
      traffic safety has been dominated by the "triple E"
      paradigm: engineering, enforcement and education. And
      yet, the idea of the street as a flexible community
      space is a provocative one in the United States,
      precisely because other "traditional" modes of
      transportation -- light rail, streetcars and bicycles
      -- are making a comeback in cities across the country.
      The shared-street concept is also intriguing for the
      way it challenges one of the fundamental tenets of
      American urban planning: that to create safe
      communities, you have to control them.

      "One of the characteristics of a shared environment is
      that it appears chaotic, it appears very complex, and
      it demands a strong level of having your wits about
      you," says U.K. traffic and urban design consultant
      Ben Hamilton-Baillie, speaking from his home in
      Bristol. "The history of traffic engineering is the
      effort to rationalize what appeared to be chaos," he
      says. "Today, we have a better understanding that
      chaos can be productive."

      A few years ago, Hamilton-Baillie spent several months
      researching traffic and street design in northwest
      Europe, followed by a stint as a Loeb fellow at
      Harvard. A former researcher at Sustrans, a
      sustainable-transportation nonprofit agency, he has
      become a leading proponent of the shared-spaces and
      second-generation approach, which he says meets the
      needs of automobiles while returning streets to their
      historic function as civic gathering places.

      But the implications, especially in the United States,
      are nothing less than radical. Reversing decades of
      conventional wisdom on traffic engineering,
      Hamilton-Baillie argues that the key to improving both
      safety and vehicular capacity is to remove traffic
      lights and other controls, such as stop signs and the
      white and yellow lines dividing streets into lanes.
      Without any clear right-of-way, he says, motorists are
      forced to slow down to safer speeds, make eye contact
      with pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers, and
      decide among themselves when it is safe to proceed.

      "The more you post the evidence of legislative
      control, such as traffic signs, the less the driver is
      trying to use his or her own senses," says
      Hamilton-Baillie, noting he has a habit of walking
      randomly across roads -- much to his wife's
      consternation. "So the less you can advertise the
      presence of the state in terms of authority, the more
      effective this approach can be." This, of course, is
      the exact opposite of the "Triple E" traffic-calming
      approach, which seeks to control the driver through
      the use of speed bumps, photo radar, crosswalks and
      other engineering and enforcement mechanisms.

      The "self-reading street" has its roots in the Dutch
      "woonerf" design principles that emerged in the 1970s.
      Blurring the boundary between street and sidewalk,
      woonerfs combine innovative paving, landscaping and
      other urban designs to allow for the integration of
      multiple functions in a single street, so that
      pedestrians, cyclists and children playing share the
      road with slow-moving cars. The pilot projects were so
      successful in fostering better urban environments that
      the ideas spread rapidly to Belgium, France, Denmark
      and Germany. In 1998, the British government adopted a
      "Home Zones" initiative -- the woonerf equivalent --
      as part of its national transportation policy.

      "What the early woonerf principles realized," says
      Hamilton-Baillie, "was that there was a two-way
      interaction between people and traffic. It was a
      vicious or, rather, a virtuous circle: The busier the
      streets are, the safer they become. So once you drive
      people off the street, they become less safe."

      Contrast this approach with that of the United Kingdom
      and the United States, where education campaigns from
      the 1960s onward were based on maintaining a clear
      separation between the highway and the rest of the
      public realm. Children were trained to modify their
      behavior and, under pain of death, to stay out of the
      street. "But as soon as you emphasize separation of
      functions, you have a more dangerous environment,"
      says Hamilton-Baillie. "Because then the driver sees
      that he or she has priority. And the child who forgets
      for a moment and chases a ball across the street is a
      child in the wrong place."

      When it comes to reconfiguring streets as community
      spaces, ground zero is once again Holland and Denmark,
      where planners are removing traffic lights in some
      towns and cities, as well as white divider lines,
      sidewalks and speed limits. Research has shown that
      fatality rates at busy intersections, where two or
      three people were being killed every year, dropped to
      zero when controls and boundaries were taken away.
      (This is food for thought among
      alternative-transportation advocates in the United
      States, who extol northern Europe as a model precisely
      because so much space in these countries is dedicated
      to segregated pedestrian spaces and bike lanes.)

      A photo of a reconstructed intersection, "the Brink,"
      in the Dutch province of Friesland, provides more
      design details. Until 1998, the Brink was a standard
      asphalt intersection with traffic controls and
      segregated spaces. Today, the entire area has been
      repaved with red bricks bordered by sections of green
      railing. A raised piazza juts into the middle of the
      intersection, but there are no sidewalks, road
      markings, or right-of-way signs. Every day, 4,500 cars
      share the space with cyclists and pedestrians who
      wander about "the road" at will.

      Hamilton-Baillie recalls visiting "the Brink" with
      Hans Mondermann of the Friesland Regional Organization
      for Traffic Safety, a planner who has redesigned
      several intersections with second-generation ideas in
      mind. "I was amazed to hear him say, 'Have you ever
      seen so many traffic violations?'" said
      Hamilton-Baillie. "'No rules, no rules,' he told me.
      'You have to think.'"

      Subvert, don't attack, the dominant paradigm. Or, as
      David Engwicht, a shared-spaces proponent in Brisbane,
      Australia, has written: "Implicit in the whole notion
      of second-generation traffic calming is the idea that
      significant social change only happens when we amplify
      the paradoxical 'submerged voice' as opposed to
      tearing down the 'dominant voice.' Engwicht, a plenary
      speaker at the Walk 21 Cities for People Conference in
      Copenhagen this June, argues that controlling a
      driver's natural propensity for speed is futile. A
      more effective approach is to engage the driver by
      emphasizing "uncertainty and intrigue" in the street
      environment -- for example, planting a tree in the
      middle of the street instead of putting up a stop
      sign.

      "Standardized signage and use of standardized road
      markings should be reduced to a minimum," Engwicht
      writes. "As they create predictability and contain no
      intrigue. They also reinforce that a street belongs
      exclusively to the motorists."

      There's another step in the second-generation logic
      process. Safety analysts have known for several
      decades that the maximum vehicle speed at which
      pedestrians can escape severe injury upon impact is
      just under 20 miles per hour. Research also suggests
      that an individual's ability to interact and retain
      eye contact with other human beings diminishes rapidly
      at speeds greater than 20 miles per hour. One theory
      behind this magic bullet, says Hamilton-Baillie, is
      that 20 mph is the "maximum theoretical running speed"
      for human beings. (Evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson
      has drawn similar conclusions.) "This is of interest,"
      he says, "because it suggests that our physiology and
      psychology has evolved based around the potential
      maximum impact on the speed of human beings."

      The ramifications go beyond safety, says
      Hamilton-Baillie, to bear directly on the interplay
      between speed, traffic controls and vehicle capacity.
      Evidence from countries and cities that have
      introduced a design speed of 30 kilometers per hour
      (about 18.5 mph) -- as many of the European Union
      nations are doing -- shows that slower speeds improve
      traffic flow and reduce congestion.

      "This surprises many people, although mathematically
      it's not surprising," Hamilton-Baillie says. "The
      reason for this is that your speed of journey, the
      ability of traffic to move smoothly through the built
      environment, depends on performance of your
      intersections, not on your speed of flow between
      intersections." And intersections, he says, work much
      more efficiently at lower speeds. "At 30 miles per
      hour, you frequently need control systems like traffic
      signals, which themselves mean that the intersection
      is not in use for significant periods of time. Whereas
      at slower speeds vehicles can move much more closely
      together and drivers can use eye contact to engage and
      make decisions. So you get much higher capacity."

      Combining slower speeds with a reduction in traffic
      controls, in other words, may have more than public
      safety and shared-space benefits. It also appears to
      profit the driver. (This is the logic behind the
      modern roundabout, a redesigned version of the classic
      traffic circle that is replacing signalized
      intersections in the United Kingdom and is gaining
      acceptance among transportation officials in the
      United States).

      "You can see this is the way to break out of the
      pro-car, anti-car debate," Hamilton-Baillie says.
      "Because the shared approach very much accepts the car
      as a vital useful component in cities that will remain
      with us for some generations to come."

      Let's return to China for a minute. If traffic in the
      world's most populous country provides a useful
      comparison and contrast, it's because
      second-generation traffic calming isn't about anarchy;
      it's about studied anarchy. In essence,
      Hamilton-Baillie is advocating for a new field: one
      that blends traffic engineering with urban design. Or,
      as he titled an upcoming paper: "Urban Design: Why
      Don't We Do It in the Road?" There's a place for
      highways and roads dedicated solely to the movement of
      automobiles, he says. Just not in the city, where
      streets constitute 70 percent of all public space.

      "You have to have a completely different approach to
      the design of streets in the broad urban realm," he
      says. "You have to make an absolutely clear transition
      between those roads that are necessary, the
      state-controlled and legislative world of the traffic
      environment, to the human-controlled, culturally
      controlled world of the city, where you pick up your
      rules not from what you're allowed to do, but from a
      much more subtle and complex series of codes that are
      implicit through design and environment."

      "If I walk into your living room, I do not need a sign
      that says, Do Not Spit on the Floor," he explains.
      "Indeed, if there were such a sign, it would probably
      be counterproductive."

      Over the last few years, the shared-street concept has
      emigrated out of mainland Europe to the United
      Kingdom. In addition to home zones, which are cropping
      up in isolated residential developments, the city of
      Manchester is currently reconfiguring a major section
      of its central core according to shared-space
      principles. Hamilton-Baillie himself is working a
      project that he says is the first in the country to
      bring together all the elements of second-generation
      traffic calming: removing the road markings from a
      road that runs past a primary school in the city of
      Bath. It's a project, he says, that capitalizes on the
      area's "rich urban morphology" -- St. James Square,
      the school and a historic church -- to "create a
      series of places rather than a single highway."

      In the United States, as one might expect,
      policymakers haven't exactly embraced the virtues of
      ambiguity and uncertainty embodied in
      second-generation principles. "Woonerfs are certainly
      being planned on private property," says James Daisa,
      a project manager at Kimley-Horn Associates and a
      national expert on pedestrian-friendly development.
      "But the concept has yet to come to bear on public
      streets." City codes are part of the problem, he says.
      The reluctance of traffic engineers is another.

      Consider the case of Brookline, Mass., which installed
      a woonerf in front of a Marriott Hotel last January. A
      patchwork of brick pavings, the shared-space lacks big
      curbs, and the sidewalk and street are all at the same
      level. But as reporter Anthony Flint noted in the
      Boston Globe, the public works department botched the
      entire concept by painting white lines and big
      right-turn arrows on the street, and placing
      yellow-and-black-striped rectangles on the landscaped
      "bump-outs."

      "It's clear that advocates and private developers
      aren't sufficient to bring about a true woonerf,"
      wrote Flint. "The traffic engineers need to be in the
      room, and they need to understand the concept. A
      fact-finding trip to the Netherlands may be in order."

      For their part, many American traffic engineers say
      one critical ingredient is missing for a system built
      around shared spaces to work in the United States: a
      communal sensibility. "We live in a culture that gives
      so much value to the individual and the expression of
      that is how we act in a car," says Robert Burchfield,
      a city traffic engineer in my home town of Portland,
      Ore., which is nationally recognized for its
      preservation of public space and its dedicated network
      of cycling lanes and pedestrian pathways. "I'm not
      comfortable with less order when I can't get people to
      go below 50 or 60 miles per hour."

      But this, of course, is precisely the point; redesign
      the street environment as an active community space,
      and you equalize the power relationship between cars
      and human beings "The real gain in urban quality does
      not come from clawing back areas of the city from
      cars, as important as that is," said Hamilton-Baillie,
      who gave a talk at the Portland Department of
      Transportation last fall. "But the next step is how
      you apply a broader approach to those areas where you
      need cars and trucks, bicycles and shops, and
      pedestrians and children's play, all those different
      functions to take place in precious urban space."

      Even if we're not ready to send our children merrily
      into the street, many of us, intuitively, have already
      embraced the concepts behind second-generation traffic
      calming. Like most other parents, I've drilled into my
      kids the fact that traffic lights and signs work for
      cars, but don't necessarily serve pedestrians who want
      to make it across the street in one piece. "Look left,
      look right, look left again," I preach ad nauseum --
      even when the walk signal is green. And who can resist
      the symbolism associated with recapturing the street
      for the (teeming) masses? It's not quite the fall of
      the Berlin Wall, but the shared-space approach
      overturns the landmarks of sedentary isolation --
      everything from gated communities to skyrocketing
      childhood obesity rates -- to celebrate the complexity
      and contradictions of city life.

      The absence of traffic controls means that people are
      out for themselves; the trick is, they have to look
      out for everyone else as well. Second-generation
      traffic design is a curious mix of selfishness and
      altruism, of order amid chaos. And, after a fashion,
      it just might work.

      - - - - - - - - - - - -

      About the writer
      Linda Baker is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon.
    • J.H. Crawford
      Hi All, Does anybody have time to refute this drivel? One look at China s rate of road deaths compared to the number of cars is sufficient to discredit much of
      Message 2 of 20 , May 30, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi All,

        Does anybody have time to refute this drivel?
        One look at China's rate of road deaths compared
        to the number of cars is sufficient to discredit
        much of the story.

        Just because she was there for ten days and
        "didn't see a single accident" is no reason to thing
        that it's safe. How often do you actually see the
        aftermath of a collision?

        There's much else wrong here.

        The woonerf is a very low traffic local street;
        the concept is not adaptable to streets that carry
        more than a few cars per hour.

        Anyway, this shouldn't be allowed to stand, and
        I can't take the time to refute it right now.

        Regards,


        >I haven't had time to consider this / try to figure
        >what the implications might be, but it seems
        >provoking.
        >Colin
        >http://carfreeuniverse.org
        >
        >Why don't we do it in the road?
        >A new school of traffic design says we should get rid
        >of stop signs and red lights and let cars, bikes and
        >people mingle together. It sounds insane, but it
        >works.
        >
        >- - - - - - - - - - - -
        >By Linda Baker
        >http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2004/05/20/traffic_design/index.html
        >
        >May 20, 2004 | It's rush hour, and I am standing at
        >the corner of Zhuhui and Renmin Road, a four-lane
        >intersection in Suzhou, China. Ignoring the red light,
        >a couple of taxis and a dozen bicycles are headed
        >straight for a huge mass of cyclists, cars, pedicabs
        >and mopeds that are turning left in front of me.
        >Cringing, I anticipate a collision. Like a flock of
        >migrating birds, however, the mass changes formation.
        >A space opens up, the taxis and bicycles move in, and
        >hundreds of commuters continue down the street,
        >unperturbed and fatality free.
        >
        >In Suzhou, the traffic rules are simple. "There are no
        >rules," as one local told me. A city of 2.2 million
        >people, Suzhou has 500,000 cars and 900,000 bicycles,
        >not to mention hundreds of pedicabs, mopeds and
        >assorted, quainter forms of transportation. Drivers of
        >all modes pay little attention to the few traffic
        >signals and weave wildly from one side of the street
        >to another. Defying survival instincts, pedestrians
        >have to barge between oncoming cars to cross the
        >roads.
        >
        >But here's the catch: During the 10 days I spent in
        >Suzhou last fall, I didn't see a single accident.
        >Really, not a single one. Nor was there any of the
        >road rage one might expect given the anarchy that
        >passes for traffic policy. And despite the obvious
        >advantages that accrue to cars because of their size,
        >no single transportation mode dominates the streets.
        >On the contrary, the urban arterials are a communal
        >mix of automobiles, cyclists, pedestrians, and small
        >businesses such as inner-tube repairmen that set up
        >shop directly in the right-of-way.
        >
        >As the mother of two young children and an
        >alternative-transportation advocate, I've spent the
        >past decade supporting the installation of ever more
        >traffic controls: crosswalks, traffic signals, speed
        >bumps, and speed limit signs in school zones. But I'd
        >only been in Suzhou a few days before I started
        >thinking that maybe there's a method to the city's
        >traffic madness -- a logic that has nothing to do with
        >the system of prohibition and segregation that governs
        >transportation policy in the United States.
        >
        >As it turns out, I'm far from the first person to
        >think along these lines. In fact, the chaos associated
        >with traffic in developing countries is becoming all
        >the rage among a new wave of traffic engineers in
        >mainland Europe and, more recently, in the United
        >Kingdom. It's called "second generation" traffic
        >calming, a combination of traffic engineering and
        >urban design that also draws heavily on the fields of
        >behavioral psychology and -- of all subjects --
        >evolutionary biology. Rejecting the idea of separating
        >people from vehicular traffic, it's a concept that
        >privileges multiplicity over homogeneity, disorder
        >over order, and intrigue over certainty. In practice,
        >it's about dismantling barriers: between the road and
        >the sidewalk, between cars, pedestrians and cyclists
        >and, most controversially, between moving vehicles and
        >children at play.
        >
        >For the past 50 years, the American approach to
        >traffic safety has been dominated by the "triple E"
        >paradigm: engineering, enforcement and education. And
        >yet, the idea of the street as a flexible community
        >space is a provocative one in the United States,
        >precisely because other "traditional" modes of
        >transportation -- light rail, streetcars and bicycles
        >-- are making a comeback in cities across the country.
        >The shared-street concept is also intriguing for the
        >way it challenges one of the fundamental tenets of
        >American urban planning: that to create safe
        >communities, you have to control them.
        >
        >"One of the characteristics of a shared environment is
        >that it appears chaotic, it appears very complex, and
        >it demands a strong level of having your wits about
        >you," says U.K. traffic and urban design consultant
        >Ben Hamilton-Baillie, speaking from his home in
        >Bristol. "The history of traffic engineering is the
        >effort to rationalize what appeared to be chaos," he
        >says. "Today, we have a better understanding that
        >chaos can be productive."
        >
        >A few years ago, Hamilton-Baillie spent several months
        >researching traffic and street design in northwest
        >Europe, followed by a stint as a Loeb fellow at
        >Harvard. A former researcher at Sustrans, a
        >sustainable-transportation nonprofit agency, he has
        >become a leading proponent of the shared-spaces and
        >second-generation approach, which he says meets the
        >needs of automobiles while returning streets to their
        >historic function as civic gathering places.
        >
        >But the implications, especially in the United States,
        >are nothing less than radical. Reversing decades of
        >conventional wisdom on traffic engineering,
        >Hamilton-Baillie argues that the key to improving both
        >safety and vehicular capacity is to remove traffic
        >lights and other controls, such as stop signs and the
        >white and yellow lines dividing streets into lanes.
        >Without any clear right-of-way, he says, motorists are
        >forced to slow down to safer speeds, make eye contact
        >with pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers, and
        >decide among themselves when it is safe to proceed.
        >
        >"The more you post the evidence of legislative
        >control, such as traffic signs, the less the driver is
        >trying to use his or her own senses," says
        >Hamilton-Baillie, noting he has a habit of walking
        >randomly across roads -- much to his wife's
        >consternation. "So the less you can advertise the
        >presence of the state in terms of authority, the more
        >effective this approach can be." This, of course, is
        >the exact opposite of the "Triple E" traffic-calming
        >approach, which seeks to control the driver through
        >the use of speed bumps, photo radar, crosswalks and
        >other engineering and enforcement mechanisms.
        >
        >The "self-reading street" has its roots in the Dutch
        >"woonerf" design principles that emerged in the 1970s.
        >Blurring the boundary between street and sidewalk,
        >woonerfs combine innovative paving, landscaping and
        >other urban designs to allow for the integration of
        >multiple functions in a single street, so that
        >pedestrians, cyclists and children playing share the
        >road with slow-moving cars. The pilot projects were so
        >successful in fostering better urban environments that
        >the ideas spread rapidly to Belgium, France, Denmark
        >and Germany. In 1998, the British government adopted a
        >"Home Zones" initiative -- the woonerf equivalent --
        >as part of its national transportation policy.
        >
        >"What the early woonerf principles realized," says
        >Hamilton-Baillie, "was that there was a two-way
        >interaction between people and traffic. It was a
        >vicious or, rather, a virtuous circle: The busier the
        >streets are, the safer they become. So once you drive
        >people off the street, they become less safe."
        >
        >Contrast this approach with that of the United Kingdom
        >and the United States, where education campaigns from
        >the 1960s onward were based on maintaining a clear
        >separation between the highway and the rest of the
        >public realm. Children were trained to modify their
        >behavior and, under pain of death, to stay out of the
        >street. "But as soon as you emphasize separation of
        >functions, you have a more dangerous environment,"
        >says Hamilton-Baillie. "Because then the driver sees
        >that he or she has priority. And the child who forgets
        >for a moment and chases a ball across the street is a
        >child in the wrong place."
        >
        >When it comes to reconfiguring streets as community
        >spaces, ground zero is once again Holland and Denmark,
        >where planners are removing traffic lights in some
        >towns and cities, as well as white divider lines,
        >sidewalks and speed limits. Research has shown that
        >fatality rates at busy intersections, where two or
        >three people were being killed every year, dropped to
        >zero when controls and boundaries were taken away.
        >(This is food for thought among
        >alternative-transportation advocates in the United
        >States, who extol northern Europe as a model precisely
        >because so much space in these countries is dedicated
        >to segregated pedestrian spaces and bike lanes.)
        >
        >A photo of a reconstructed intersection, "the Brink,"
        >in the Dutch province of Friesland, provides more
        >design details. Until 1998, the Brink was a standard
        >asphalt intersection with traffic controls and
        >segregated spaces. Today, the entire area has been
        >repaved with red bricks bordered by sections of green
        >railing. A raised piazza juts into the middle of the
        >intersection, but there are no sidewalks, road
        >markings, or right-of-way signs. Every day, 4,500 cars
        >share the space with cyclists and pedestrians who
        >wander about "the road" at will.
        >
        >Hamilton-Baillie recalls visiting "the Brink" with
        >Hans Mondermann of the Friesland Regional Organization
        >for Traffic Safety, a planner who has redesigned
        >several intersections with second-generation ideas in
        >mind. "I was amazed to hear him say, 'Have you ever
        >seen so many traffic violations?'" said
        >Hamilton-Baillie. "'No rules, no rules,' he told me.
        >'You have to think.'"
        >
        >Subvert, don't attack, the dominant paradigm. Or, as
        >David Engwicht, a shared-spaces proponent in Brisbane,
        >Australia, has written: "Implicit in the whole notion
        >of second-generation traffic calming is the idea that
        >significant social change only happens when we amplify
        >the paradoxical 'submerged voice' as opposed to
        >tearing down the 'dominant voice.' Engwicht, a plenary
        >speaker at the Walk 21 Cities for People Conference in
        >Copenhagen this June, argues that controlling a
        >driver's natural propensity for speed is futile. A
        >more effective approach is to engage the driver by
        >emphasizing "uncertainty and intrigue" in the street
        >environment -- for example, planting a tree in the
        >middle of the street instead of putting up a stop
        >sign.
        >
        >"Standardized signage and use of standardized road
        >markings should be reduced to a minimum," Engwicht
        >writes. "As they create predictability and contain no
        >intrigue. They also reinforce that a street belongs
        >exclusively to the motorists."
        >
        >There's another step in the second-generation logic
        >process. Safety analysts have known for several
        >decades that the maximum vehicle speed at which
        >pedestrians can escape severe injury upon impact is
        >just under 20 miles per hour. Research also suggests
        >that an individual's ability to interact and retain
        >eye contact with other human beings diminishes rapidly
        >at speeds greater than 20 miles per hour. One theory
        >behind this magic bullet, says Hamilton-Baillie, is
        >that 20 mph is the "maximum theoretical running speed"
        >for human beings. (Evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson
        >has drawn similar conclusions.) "This is of interest,"
        >he says, "because it suggests that our physiology and
        >psychology has evolved based around the potential
        >maximum impact on the speed of human beings."
        >
        >The ramifications go beyond safety, says
        >Hamilton-Baillie, to bear directly on the interplay
        >between speed, traffic controls and vehicle capacity.
        >Evidence from countries and cities that have
        >introduced a design speed of 30 kilometers per hour
        >(about 18.5 mph) -- as many of the European Union
        >nations are doing -- shows that slower speeds improve
        >traffic flow and reduce congestion.
        >
        >"This surprises many people, although mathematically
        >it's not surprising," Hamilton-Baillie says. "The
        >reason for this is that your speed of journey, the
        >ability of traffic to move smoothly through the built
        >environment, depends on performance of your
        >intersections, not on your speed of flow between
        >intersections." And intersections, he says, work much
        >more efficiently at lower speeds. "At 30 miles per
        >hour, you frequently need control systems like traffic
        >signals, which themselves mean that the intersection
        >is not in use for significant periods of time. Whereas
        >at slower speeds vehicles can move much more closely
        >together and drivers can use eye contact to engage and
        >make decisions. So you get much higher capacity."
        >
        >Combining slower speeds with a reduction in traffic
        >controls, in other words, may have more than public
        >safety and shared-space benefits. It also appears to
        >profit the driver. (This is the logic behind the
        >modern roundabout, a redesigned version of the classic
        >traffic circle that is replacing signalized
        >intersections in the United Kingdom and is gaining
        >acceptance among transportation officials in the
        >United States).
        >
        >"You can see this is the way to break out of the
        >pro-car, anti-car debate," Hamilton-Baillie says.
        >"Because the shared approach very much accepts the car
        >as a vital useful component in cities that will remain
        >with us for some generations to come."
        >
        >Let's return to China for a minute. If traffic in the
        >world's most populous country provides a useful
        >comparison and contrast, it's because
        >second-generation traffic calming isn't about anarchy;
        >it's about studied anarchy. In essence,
        >Hamilton-Baillie is advocating for a new field: one
        >that blends traffic engineering with urban design. Or,
        >as he titled an upcoming paper: "Urban Design: Why
        >Don't We Do It in the Road?" There's a place for
        >highways and roads dedicated solely to the movement of
        >automobiles, he says. Just not in the city, where
        >streets constitute 70 percent of all public space.
        >
        >"You have to have a completely different approach to
        >the design of streets in the broad urban realm," he
        >says. "You have to make an absolutely clear transition
        >between those roads that are necessary, the
        >state-controlled and legislative world of the traffic
        >environment, to the human-controlled, culturally
        >controlled world of the city, where you pick up your
        >rules not from what you're allowed to do, but from a
        >much more subtle and complex series of codes that are
        >implicit through design and environment."
        >
        >"If I walk into your living room, I do not need a sign
        >that says, Do Not Spit on the Floor," he explains.
        >"Indeed, if there were such a sign, it would probably
        >be counterproductive."
        >
        >Over the last few years, the shared-street concept has
        >emigrated out of mainland Europe to the United
        >Kingdom. In addition to home zones, which are cropping
        >up in isolated residential developments, the city of
        >Manchester is currently reconfiguring a major section
        >of its central core according to shared-space
        >principles. Hamilton-Baillie himself is working a
        >project that he says is the first in the country to
        >bring together all the elements of second-generation
        >traffic calming: removing the road markings from a
        >road that runs past a primary school in the city of
        >Bath. It's a project, he says, that capitalizes on the
        >area's "rich urban morphology" -- St. James Square,
        >the school and a historic church -- to "create a
        >series of places rather than a single highway."
        >
        >In the United States, as one might expect,
        >policymakers haven't exactly embraced the virtues of
        >ambiguity and uncertainty embodied in
        >second-generation principles. "Woonerfs are certainly
        >being planned on private property," says James Daisa,
        >a project manager at Kimley-Horn Associates and a
        >national expert on pedestrian-friendly development.
        >"But the concept has yet to come to bear on public
        >streets." City codes are part of the problem, he says.
        >The reluctance of traffic engineers is another.
        >
        >Consider the case of Brookline, Mass., which installed
        >a woonerf in front of a Marriott Hotel last January. A
        >patchwork of brick pavings, the shared-space lacks big
        >curbs, and the sidewalk and street are all at the same
        >level. But as reporter Anthony Flint noted in the
        >Boston Globe, the public works department botched the
        >entire concept by painting white lines and big
        >right-turn arrows on the street, and placing
        >yellow-and-black-striped rectangles on the landscaped
        >"bump-outs."
        >
        >"It's clear that advocates and private developers
        >aren't sufficient to bring about a true woonerf,"
        >wrote Flint. "The traffic engineers need to be in the
        >room, and they need to understand the concept. A
        >fact-finding trip to the Netherlands may be in order."
        >
        >For their part, many American traffic engineers say
        >one critical ingredient is missing for a system built
        >around shared spaces to work in the United States: a
        >communal sensibility. "We live in a culture that gives
        >so much value to the individual and the expression of
        >that is how we act in a car," says Robert Burchfield,
        >a city traffic engineer in my home town of Portland,
        >Ore., which is nationally recognized for its
        >preservation of public space and its dedicated network
        >of cycling lanes and pedestrian pathways. "I'm not
        >comfortable with less order when I can't get people to
        >go below 50 or 60 miles per hour."
        >
        >But this, of course, is precisely the point; redesign
        >the street environment as an active community space,
        >and you equalize the power relationship between cars
        >and human beings "The real gain in urban quality does
        >not come from clawing back areas of the city from
        >cars, as important as that is," said Hamilton-Baillie,
        >who gave a talk at the Portland Department of
        >Transportation last fall. "But the next step is how
        >you apply a broader approach to those areas where you
        >need cars and trucks, bicycles and shops, and
        >pedestrians and children's play, all those different
        >functions to take place in precious urban space."
        >
        >Even if we're not ready to send our children merrily
        >into the street, many of us, intuitively, have already
        >embraced the concepts behind second-generation traffic
        >calming. Like most other parents, I've drilled into my
        >kids the fact that traffic lights and signs work for
        >cars, but don't necessarily serve pedestrians who want
        >to make it across the street in one piece. "Look left,
        >look right, look left again," I preach ad nauseum --
        >even when the walk signal is green. And who can resist
        >the symbolism associated with recapturing the street
        >for the (teeming) masses? It's not quite the fall of
        >the Berlin Wall, but the shared-space approach
        >overturns the landmarks of sedentary isolation --
        >everything from gated communities to skyrocketing
        >childhood obesity rates -- to celebrate the complexity
        >and contradictions of city life.
        >
        >The absence of traffic controls means that people are
        >out for themselves; the trick is, they have to look
        >out for everyone else as well. Second-generation
        >traffic design is a curious mix of selfishness and
        >altruism, of order amid chaos. And, after a fashion,
        >it just might work.
        >
        >- - - - - - - - - - - -
        >
        >About the writer
        >Linda Baker is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon.
        >
        >
        >To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        >Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >


        -- ### --

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
      • Jym Dyer
        =v= This has been discussed on a number of other lists. _Salon_ is mostly good for fluff, so it s unfortunate but not surprising that one of its writers would
        Message 3 of 20 , May 30, 2004
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          =v= This has been discussed on a number of other lists. _Salon_
          is mostly good for fluff, so it's unfortunate but not surprising
          that one of its writers would miss out on the fact that recent
          growth of cars in China has been deadly for the carfree. (10
          days in one village is no match for 10 minutes with Lexis-Nexis
          or even Google News.)

          =v= It's the phrase "second generation traffic calming" that
          leaves me scratching my head. Everything they say (aside from
          the veneer of "evolutinary biology") sounds exactly like plain
          old "first generation" traffic calming. Traffic calming has
          *always* meant "self-reading streets," not obstacle courses.
          Speed humps, not speed bumps. To me, this part:

          | ... the "Triple E" traffic-calming approach, which seeks
          | to control the driver through the use of speed bumps, photo
          | radar, crosswalks and other engineering and enforcement
          | mechanisms.

          is simply wrong. NONE of that is traffic calming, it's all
          a form of traffic control that predates traffic calming.

          =v= I guess people have just misused the phrase so much that
          people like David Engwicht have taken to adding the "second
          generation" qualifier to emphasize its actual meaning?

          =v= I would suggest that Manhattan is a better example than
          Suzhou of how having many non-motorists calm a street. In
          most of Manhattan, pedestrians pretty much rule the surface,
          and cars can't go fast enough to kill at their usual rate.
          (The cars' pollution, noise, stress, etc. still take their
          toll, of course.)

          =v= Many streets in Manhattan are one-way, and calmed by
          mature street trees (and to some extent by high buildings).
          Pedestrians can jaywalk at any point. There are folkways
          for cyclists going with traffic (on the right) or the wrong
          way on one-way streets (on the drivers' side); but no rules
          seem to apply for the many delivery bicycles. It all adds
          up to safety, though a stressful one.

          =v= None of this comes close to the Dutch woonerf, though,
          which is about actively *discouraging* cars.
          <_Jym_>
          --
          Ads below? Just ignore 'em.
        • J.H. Crawford
          So, Jym, are you going to respond to Salon? :-) ... -- ### -- J.H. Crawford
          Message 4 of 20 , May 30, 2004
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            So, Jym, are you going to respond to Salon? :-)

            >=v= This has been discussed on a number of other lists. _Salon_
            >is mostly good for fluff, so it's unfortunate but not surprising
            >that one of its writers would miss out on the fact that recent
            >growth of cars in China has been deadly for the carfree. (10
            >days in one village is no match for 10 minutes with Lexis-Nexis
            >or even Google News.)
            >
            >=v= It's the phrase "second generation traffic calming" that
            >leaves me scratching my head. Everything they say (aside from
            >the veneer of "evolutinary biology") sounds exactly like plain
            >old "first generation" traffic calming. Traffic calming has
            >*always* meant "self-reading streets," not obstacle courses.
            >Speed humps, not speed bumps. To me, this part:
            >
            >| ... the "Triple E" traffic-calming approach, which seeks
            >| to control the driver through the use of speed bumps, photo
            >| radar, crosswalks and other engineering and enforcement
            >| mechanisms.
            >
            >is simply wrong. NONE of that is traffic calming, it's all
            >a form of traffic control that predates traffic calming.
            >
            >=v= I guess people have just misused the phrase so much that
            >people like David Engwicht have taken to adding the "second
            >generation" qualifier to emphasize its actual meaning?
            >
            >=v= I would suggest that Manhattan is a better example than
            >Suzhou of how having many non-motorists calm a street. In
            >most of Manhattan, pedestrians pretty much rule the surface,
            >and cars can't go fast enough to kill at their usual rate.
            >(The cars' pollution, noise, stress, etc. still take their
            >toll, of course.)
            >
            >=v= Many streets in Manhattan are one-way, and calmed by
            >mature street trees (and to some extent by high buildings).
            >Pedestrians can jaywalk at any point. There are folkways
            >for cyclists going with traffic (on the right) or the wrong
            >way on one-way streets (on the drivers' side); but no rules
            >seem to apply for the many delivery bicycles. It all adds
            >up to safety, though a stressful one.
            >
            >=v= None of this comes close to the Dutch woonerf, though,
            >which is about actively *discouraging* cars.
            > <_Jym_>
            >--
            >Ads below? Just ignore 'em.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
            >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
            >Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >


            -- ### --

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
          • Tony Brewer
            ... I had the pleasure of listening to Ben Hamilton-Baillie at a transport conference last year. His talk was excellent, very interesting and a lot of fun. And
            Message 5 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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              Colin Leath wrote:
              > I haven't had time to consider this / try to figure
              > what the implications might be, but it seems
              > provoking.
              > Colin
              > http://carfreeuniverse.org
              >
              > Why don't we do it in the road?
              > A new school of traffic design says we should get rid
              > of stop signs and red lights and let cars, bikes and
              > people mingle together. It sounds insane, but it
              > works.
              > <snip>

              I had the pleasure of listening to Ben Hamilton-Baillie at a transport
              conference last year. His talk was excellent, very interesting and a lot of
              fun. And what he said was right.

              I've been disappointed by the responses to this topic. Before jumping to conclusions, please check out these links:

              http://www.hamilton-baillie.co.uk/

              "A Street Revolution"
              http://www.hamilton-baillie.co.uk/Green_Places_June_04.pdf

              "A Social Alternative to Gridlock"
              http://www.hamilton-baillie.co.uk/BostonGlobe_article.doc

              "Home Zones - Reconciling People, Places and Transport"
              http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/professional/loeb_fellowship/sponsored_sites/home_zones/
              The PDF file is big (38MB) but well worth downloading
              http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/professional/loeb_fellowship/sponsored_sites/home_zones/homezones.pdf

              "Roads without lines are 'safer'"
              http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/3663857.stm
              5% is incorrect. It should be 5 mph

              ---

              Tony Brewer
            • Alex Farran
              ... I m sympathetic to the idea that reducing rules and segregation makes people drive/walk/cycle more carefully. As a cyclist I know that segregation and
              Message 6 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                Tony Brewer writes:

                > I had the pleasure of listening to Ben Hamilton-Baillie at a transport
                > conference last year. His talk was excellent, very interesting and a lot of
                > fun. And what he said was right.

                I'm sympathetic to the idea that reducing rules and segregation makes
                people drive/walk/cycle more carefully. As a cyclist I know that
                segregation and road markings nearly always make cycling more
                dangerous, less convenient and slower.
              • Steve Geller
                My first reaction to the scramble or anarchy intersections is fear of aggressive behavior. Anyone who walks, bikes or drives in an urban area knows that the
                Message 7 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                  My first reaction to the "scramble" or anarchy intersections
                  is fear of aggressive behavior.

                  Anyone who walks, bikes or drives in an urban area knows that the
                  city streets are an arena for competition. Just crossing the street
                  in a marked crosswalk can require a certain amount of pushyness.
                  This sometimes makes life hard for senior citizens.

                  As things are now, there's enough anarchism on the roads.

                  But I'm impressed with the traffic-calming results from traffic circles,
                  and I'm always surprised at how well people behave at a major intersection
                  when the traffic light doesn't work.

                  It might be that too many rules and regulations on the road
                  tend to stimulate competitiveness. Perhaps the best way to calm traffic
                  is to put up physical obstacles, not bureaucratic rules.
                • Jason Meggs
                  ... There s an old saying: Engineering, Education, Enforcement. (In that order!)
                  Message 8 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                    On Mon, 31 May 2004, Steve Geller wrote:

                    > My first reaction to the "scramble" or anarchy intersections
                    > is fear of aggressive behavior.
                    >
                    > Anyone who walks, bikes or drives in an urban area knows that the
                    > city streets are an arena for competition. Just crossing the street
                    > in a marked crosswalk can require a certain amount of pushyness.
                    > This sometimes makes life hard for senior citizens.
                    >
                    > As things are now, there's enough anarchism on the roads.
                    >
                    > But I'm impressed with the traffic-calming results from traffic circles,
                    > and I'm always surprised at how well people behave at a major intersection
                    > when the traffic light doesn't work.
                    >
                    > It might be that too many rules and regulations on the road tend to
                    > stimulate competitiveness. Perhaps the best way to calm traffic is to
                    > put up physical obstacles, not bureaucratic rules.

                    There's an old saying:

                    "Engineering, Education, Enforcement."

                    (In that order!)
                  • Jym Dyer
                    ... =v= You re in Berkeley, right? Berkeley has some good traffic circles, well-established ones that seem part of the landscape, rather than little
                    Message 9 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                      >> I'm impressed with the traffic-calming results from traffic
                      >> circles ...
                      >> Perhaps the best way to calm traffic is to put up physical
                      >> obstacles, not bureaucratic rules.

                      =v= You're in Berkeley, right? Berkeley has some good traffic
                      circles, well-established ones that seem part of the landscape,
                      rather than little obstacles. San Francisco just tried out a
                      pilot project of little bitty traffic circles that I predicted
                      would fail, and did, for precisely the reason that they didn't
                      seem part of the landscape.

                      =v= To me, this is precisely the difference between old-school
                      traffic engineering and traffic calming. (The _Salon_ article,
                      on the other hand, mislabels the obstacle approach as "traffic
                      calming" and calls the newer stuff "second generation traffic
                      calming.") If you put in obstacles, motorists tend to act like
                      they're in a derby or something, speeding from one obstacle to
                      another.

                      > "Engineering, Education, Enforcement." (In that order!)

                      =v= We seem to be going 'round in circles (and I don't mean
                      traffic circles). Physical obstacles and that "Triple E"
                      approach are both addressed in the _Salon_ article. :^)

                      =v= Nomenclature aside, though, you're both on the right track.
                      The crucial point is that the "engineering" has to something
                      other than obstacles. The street itself has to communicate a
                      slower pace. Achieve that, and you don't need so much education
                      and enforcement. Then the anarchy (the good kind) will come
                      into its own.
                      <_Jym_>
                      --
                      Ads below? Just ignore 'em.
                    • Steve Geller
                      ... Right, the obstacles have to seem part of the landscape. People will slow down if see their way constricted, but do tend to race from one artificial
                      Message 10 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                        >=v= You're in Berkeley, right? Berkeley has some good traffic
                        >circles, well-established ones that seem part of the landscape,
                        >rather than little obstacles. San Francisco just tried out a
                        >pilot project of little bitty traffic circles that I predicted
                        >would fail, and did, for precisely the reason that they didn't
                        >seem part of the landscape.

                        Right, the obstacles have to seem part of the landscape.
                        People will slow down if see their way constricted,
                        but do tend to race from one artificial barrier to
                        the next -- such as stop signs and traffic lights.

                        Extreme examples are a narrow alleyway (like the Moroccan Medina)
                        versus a 4-lane freeway.

                        I'd like to think that "good anarchy" comes out naturally
                        in constricted situations, and the bad kind rules when people
                        feel artificially restricted.

                        Most speeding is "artificial haste". People aren't really
                        in any hurry; they just don't have enough to do. An obstacle
                        that seems part of the landscape engages the driver with
                        something to do.

                        That's why people fume and fuss when stuck in traffic.
                        If they had something to do, like guide the car slowly through
                        a constricted maze, they would tolerate traffic much better.
                      • J.H. Crawford
                        Hi All, This is an interesting fault line that separates the true carfree advocate from Smart Growth folks. Maybe I m wrong, and maybe the all-in-one-hash can
                        Message 11 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                          Hi All,

                          This is an interesting fault line that separates the
                          true carfree advocate from Smart Growth folks.

                          Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe the all-in-one-hash can
                          be made safe for pedestrians, but if China's dismal
                          road safety is an indication (as it was claimed to
                          be in the article that sparked this discussion), then
                          we can dismiss this now. China has far fewer cars
                          than the USA and far more road deaths.

                          This "creative anarchy" can work fairly well, but
                          remember that whenever anything goes wrong you will
                          have, at best, an injured pedestrian or cyclist.
                          I simply don't believe that cars mix with people,
                          and for many reasons, not just safety.

                          I'll stick by my guns: the way to fix our cities is
                          to get cars completely out of them.

                          Regards,


                          -- ### --

                          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                          mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                        • Joe Astuccio II
                          ... I have done the reading on this yet. My first thought was that it might turn the street into a monster truck rally. With people driving very aggresively
                          Message 12 of 20 , May 31, 2004
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- Steve Geller <stgeller@...> wrote:
                            > My first reaction to the "scramble" or anarchy
                            > intersections
                            > is fear of aggressive behavior.
                            >
                            > Anyone who walks, bikes or drives in an urban area
                            > knows that the
                            > city streets are an arena for competition.

                            I have done the reading on this yet. My first thought
                            was that it might turn the street into a monster truck
                            rally. With people driving very aggresively and the
                            attitude of my SUV is bigger than yours so get out of
                            my way. I think there would be alot of tears shed
                            when people realize they wont be able to drive 70 mph
                            through town on a 3 lane "highway" while talking on
                            the cell phone and eating a big mac meal deal,
                            supersized of course.

                            have a great holiday,
                            Joe




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                          • Doug Salzmann
                            ... I think that s an important observation -- and a distinction that it would be well to keep in mind. Whether everything together on one road is good or
                            Message 13 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                              On Mon, 31 May 2004, J.H. Crawford wrote:
                              >
                              > This is an interesting fault line that separates the
                              > true carfree advocate from Smart Growth folks.

                              I think that's an important observation -- and a distinction that it
                              would be well to keep in mind. Whether "everything together on one
                              road" is "good" or not depends upon one's goals.

                              > This "creative anarchy" can work fairly well, but
                              > remember that whenever anything goes wrong you will
                              > have, at best, an injured pedestrian or cyclist.
                              > I simply don't believe that cars mix with people,
                              > and for many reasons, not just safety.

                              If we are discussing the best ways to mix traffic modes, including
                              personal autos, that's one thing -- there are clearly times and places
                              where it makes sense to toss them all into the same lanes (although
                              such solutions tend to limit the advantages of automobility, which
                              drivers don't usually like).

                              On the other hand, if the discussion is about the desire, on the part
                              of a significant and growing segment of the planet's human population,
                              to live life in communities without autos, we must adopt a different
                              focus. That discussion ought not to focus on accommodating cars in
                              the least obnoxious ways but, rather, on providing for ourselves the
                              carfree accommodation we want.

                              > I'll stick by my guns: the way to fix our cities is
                              > to get cars completely out of them.

                              Agreed. Everything I know about the issue suggests that cities and
                              cars just don't go together, for a long list of reasons with which
                              we're all familiar.

                              We won't, however, get as far as fixing cities in general until we
                              first build some carfree districts and cities to meet our personal
                              preferences and demonstrate our solutions. Various combinations of
                              political action and market forces can help bring such places to
                              reality, as is beginning (barely) to happen.

                              That, I think, is the best focus for our energy and efforts.


                              -Doug




                              --
                              "War is a racket."

                              -General Smedley Butler, 1934
                              Commandant, US Marine Corps



                              ---
                              Doug Salzmann
                              Kalliergo
                              Post Office Box 307
                              Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA

                              <doug@...>
                            • Steve Geller
                              ... Right. And it s about as likely to happen and getting rid of cigarettes, liquor or drugs.
                              Message 14 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                                At 11:45 AM 5/31/2004, J.H.Crawford wrote:
                                >This "creative anarchy" can work fairly well, but
                                >remember that whenever anything goes wrong you will
                                >have, at best, an injured pedestrian or cyclist.
                                >I simply don't believe that cars mix with people,
                                >and for many reasons, not just safety.
                                >
                                >I'll stick by my guns: the way to fix our cities is
                                >to get cars completely out of them.

                                Right. And it's about as likely to happen and getting
                                rid of cigarettes, liquor or drugs.
                              • Jason Meggs
                                ... I m not so sure the Berkeley circle (circles?) of antiquity work so well, and not so sure the new SF circles don t work well (or, at least as well). But I
                                Message 15 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                                  On Mon, 31 May 2004, Jym Dyer wrote:

                                  > >> I'm impressed with the traffic-calming results from traffic
                                  > >> circles ...
                                  > >> Perhaps the best way to calm traffic is to put up physical
                                  > >> obstacles, not bureaucratic rules.
                                  >
                                  > =v= You're in Berkeley, right? Berkeley has some good traffic
                                  > circles, well-established ones that seem part of the landscape,
                                  > rather than little obstacles. San Francisco just tried out a
                                  > pilot project of little bitty traffic circles that I predicted
                                  > would fail, and did, for precisely the reason that they didn't
                                  > seem part of the landscape.

                                  I'm not so sure the Berkeley circle (circles?) of antiquity work so well,
                                  and not so sure the new SF circles don't work well (or, at least as well).
                                  But I don't want to start a traffic circle debate here unless it's about
                                  how bikes and peds will flow in a carfree circle...er...city.

                                  > =v= To me, this is precisely the difference between old-school traffic
                                  > engineering and traffic calming. (The _Salon_ article, on the other
                                  > hand, mislabels the obstacle approach as "traffic calming" and calls the
                                  > newer stuff "second generation traffic calming.") If you put in
                                  > obstacles, motorists tend to act like they're in a derby or something,
                                  > speeding from one obstacle to another.

                                  This can be true. I'd like to see a study of safety around Berkeley's
                                  rather unique barrier system -- unfortunately, I've been unable to get
                                  access to public data about crashes and injuries lately in the new regime,
                                  and such data has always fallen short of accuracy. For instance, drivers
                                  are more likely to blast through stop signs at intersections with diagonal
                                  barriers, evidently thinking that they're safe from cross-traffic of cars
                                  and ignoring the fact that they're more likely to encounter a bicyclist,
                                  runner, stroller, wheelchair, etc. on a street with barriers.
                                  Enforcement is of course not an option, and if it were, it wouldn't be a
                                  good option for many reasons (E-E-E). On the other hand, speed humps
                                  cause people to rev up for each new hump, but on balance, they're
                                  travelling slower, giving more warning (even as they pollute the
                                  soundwaves with noise) and statistically it appears, less likely to strike
                                  and injure or kill a kid. So just because they're revving to treat them
                                  as an obstacle course "like they're in a derby or something" doesn't mean
                                  that the traffic calming isn't improving some things.

                                  (That having been said, speed humps have many detractions and are just
                                  another costly way to react to the automobile menace.)

                                  > > "Engineering, Education, Enforcement." (In that order!)

                                  I don't mean to imply full endorsement of all the implications one can
                                  perceive in that simplistic chant. It's a good phrase for trying to break
                                  up institutionalized poor practices. Lots of people raise arguments
                                  against traffic calming (and, forseeably, to carfree spaces generally) by
                                  saying "all we need is enforcement," which really means, "ignore the
                                  problem" and complicates matters by appealing to authorities. Education
                                  is also thrown up as (ironically enough) an obstacle or road block to
                                  actually changing the built environment. Education is great but it's no
                                  substitute for making a place safer or nicer.

                                  Jason
                                • dubluth
                                  Steve Geller s analogy suggests something about the nature of what is in need of fixing. Psychoactive drugs, including cigarettes, liquor, and caffeine,
                                  Message 16 of 20 , May 31, 2004
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                                    Steve Geller's analogy suggests something about the nature of what is
                                    in need of fixing.

                                    Psychoactive drugs, including cigarettes, liquor, and caffeine,
                                    directly affect the user. Secondary effects can be mitigated without
                                    the total prohibition that would deny the addict legal access to his
                                    or her drug. The effects of the serious abuse of alcohol and some
                                    other drugs is tragic, but the best management usually isn't the
                                    outlawing of all intake.

                                    Automobile use is pernicious. I don't think that those of us who have
                                    no use for automobiles would be doing ourselves a favor to ignore
                                    them. It is a recipe for getting run over. Accomodating automobiles
                                    also has a bad effect on the organization of public space. The noise
                                    and air pollution they produce aren't good things, as we all know.

                                    In summary, it is my belief that drug intake is primarily a private
                                    activity. Automobile use is a public activity. If driving were a
                                    private activity, those of us who haven't begun to worry about what a
                                    driving habit does to the driver couldn't be seeing it as a problem.

                                    Bill Carr

                                    --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Steve Geller <stgeller@c...> wrote:
                                    > At 11:45 AM 5/31/2004, J.H.Crawford wrote:
                                    > >This "creative anarchy" can work fairly well, but
                                    > >remember that whenever anything goes wrong you will
                                    > >have, at best, an injured pedestrian or cyclist.
                                    > >I simply don't believe that cars mix with people,
                                    > >and for many reasons, not just safety.
                                    > >
                                    > >I'll stick by my guns: the way to fix our cities is
                                    > >to get cars completely out of them.
                                    >
                                    > Right. And it's about as likely to happen and getting
                                    > rid of cigarettes, liquor or drugs.
                                  • Jeremy Hubble
                                    I disagree on the automobile vs. drugs assertion. Take for instance cigarettes: many indoor public places prohibit smoking. But, because of this, nonsmokers
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jun 1, 2004
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                                      I disagree on the automobile vs. drugs assertion. Take for instance
                                      cigarettes: many indoor public places prohibit smoking. But, because of
                                      this, nonsmokers have to travel through a clouds of smoke outside the
                                      entrances. Some places have gone further to prohibit smoking near the
                                      entrances. But nonsmokers still pass smokers as they are walking on the
                                      sidewalks. Even if smoking were restricted to private residences,
                                      neighbors would still be affected by the odors and fumes traveling
                                      through common walls, floors, and ceilings. The only real solution
                                      would be to totally isolate smokers from non-smokers, or assimilate on
                                      in to the other.

                                      Smoking allows people to more easily reach a psychological state. Cars
                                      allow people to more easily reach a new physical state. Society
                                      thrives on making things easier. It is only as the negative
                                      consequences start to outnumber the positive that usage declines.

                                      As for everyone on one road, an important point that I noticed in Delhi
                                      was the natural 'traffic calming'. Most roads seemed about the width of
                                      a typical 2 lane road in the United States, though many appeared to
                                      carry about 6 lines of traffic, plus bicycles, pedestrians, horses,
                                      cows, motorcycles, etc. With so much traffic on the road, the average
                                      speed of the traffic was extremely slow. Thus damage caused by
                                      accidents would be lower than expected. However, as India has been
                                      modernizing, roads have been 'improved' and 'expanded'. More cars have
                                      taken their place on the road. This results in a decreased carrying
                                      capacity of the road. (1 car traveling at 20 miles/hour carrying 1
                                      person takes up the space of 10 bikes at 10 mph, carrying 10 people.)

                                      Road anarchy only works well where road demand greatly exceeds road
                                      demand and there is a large variety of vehicle types.

                                      It's interesting to note that NYC has one of the lowest traffic fatality
                                      rates in the US, while also having one of the most shared road spaces.
                                      In Manhattan, pedestrians, cars, and even bicycles compete for scarce
                                      road space.

                                      dubluth wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Steve Geller's analogy suggests something about the nature of what is
                                      > in need of fixing.
                                      >
                                      > Psychoactive drugs, including cigarettes, liquor, and caffeine,
                                      > directly affect the user. Secondary effects can be mitigated without
                                      > the total prohibition that would deny the addict legal access to his
                                      > or her drug. The effects of the serious abuse of alcohol and some
                                      > other drugs is tragic, but the best management usually isn't the
                                      > outlawing of all intake.
                                      >
                                      > Automobile use is pernicious. I don't think that those of us who have
                                      > no use for automobiles would be doing ourselves a favor to ignore
                                      > them. It is a recipe for getting run over. Accomodating automobiles
                                      > also has a bad effect on the organization of public space. The noise
                                      > and air pollution they produce aren't good things, as we all know.
                                      >
                                      > In summary, it is my belief that drug intake is primarily a private
                                      > activity. Automobile use is a public activity. If driving were a
                                      > private activity, those of us who haven't begun to worry about what a
                                      > driving habit does to the driver couldn't be seeing it as a problem.
                                      >
                                      > Bill Carr
                                      >
                                      > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Steve Geller <stgeller@c...> wrote:
                                      > > At 11:45 AM 5/31/2004, J.H.Crawford wrote:
                                      > > >This "creative anarchy" can work fairly well, but
                                      > > >remember that whenever anything goes wrong you will
                                      > > >have, at best, an injured pedestrian or cyclist.
                                      > > >I simply don't believe that cars mix with people,
                                      > > >and for many reasons, not just safety.
                                      > > >
                                      > > >I'll stick by my guns: the way to fix our cities is
                                      > > >to get cars completely out of them.
                                      > >
                                      > > Right. And it's about as likely to happen and getting
                                      > > rid of cigarettes, liquor or drugs.
                                      >
                                      > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
                                      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                                      > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • J.H. Crawford
                                      ... That may (or may not) be so, but the pedestrian fatality rate in New York is very high and is not responding to any effort to reduce it. (See Carfree Times
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jun 1, 2004
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                                        Jeremy Hubble said:

                                        >It's interesting to note that NYC has one of the lowest traffic fatality
                                        >rates in the US, while also having one of the most shared road spaces.

                                        That may (or may not) be so, but the pedestrian fatality rate in
                                        New York is very high and is not responding to any effort to
                                        reduce it. (See Carfree Times #34 for more on this.)

                                        Regards,


                                        -- ### --

                                        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                        mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                                      • Steve Geller
                                        ... Kind of like a pedestrian or bicyclist threading his way among parked cars or trying to cross the street, while breathing all the auto exhaust. ... So the
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jun 1, 2004
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                                          At 07:29 AM 6/1/2004, you wrote:
                                          >I disagree on the automobile vs. drugs assertion. Take for instance
                                          >cigarettes: many indoor public places prohibit smoking. But, because of
                                          >this, nonsmokers have to travel through a clouds of smoke outside the
                                          >entrances.

                                          Kind of like a pedestrian or bicyclist threading his way among
                                          parked cars or trying to cross the street, while breathing all
                                          the auto exhaust.

                                          >It's interesting to note that NYC has one of the lowest traffic fatality
                                          >rates in the US, while also having one of the most shared road spaces.
                                          >In Manhattan, pedestrians, cars, and even bicycles compete for scarce
                                          >road space.

                                          So the lesson is that everything together makes it slow and safe
                                          for all? If speed is desired, the roadways can't be shared.
                                          If they can't be shared, then the motorists should be paying
                                          proportionately more money for access.

                                          Following the same reasoning, I favor toll roads and charging
                                          for access to a "carpool" lane.
                                        • dubluth
                                          In message 7338 Jym Dyer pointed us to an article about this second generation traffic calming by David Engwicht.
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Jun 1, 2004
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                                            In message 7338 Jym Dyer pointed us to an article about this "second
                                            generation traffic calming" by David Engwicht.
                                            <http://www.lesstraffic.com/Articles/Traffic/SGTC.htm>
                                            It is much more thoughtful than the salon article that inspired this
                                            thread.

                                            Responding to Jeremy's points, it is true that people sometimes engage
                                            in annoying and damaging behaviors. Some annoyances and damage can
                                            result from drug intake habits. That doesn't make drug use the same
                                            as driving.

                                            Because of the way an automobile transportation system's shapes a
                                            city's physical structure, accomodating personal automobiles in the
                                            city results in harm to third parties. On the other hand, allowing
                                            an addict to intake the drugs they desire isn't necessarily allowing
                                            them to harm others.

                                            Smokers and injectable drug users may not care that they are creating
                                            a cloud of smoke or littering the pavement with used needles. At the
                                            same time, presumably sober people burn logs in fire places in the
                                            city causing serious respiratory distress to many others.

                                            Drug use isn't the issue. I think Jeremy's issue is with people being
                                            exposed to cigarette smoke they don't want to breath. I sympathize
                                            with that concern.

                                            -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

                                            I was actually thinking that the purpose of driving was to reach a
                                            different mental state through a change in physical location or
                                            through movement.

                                            For example, a person may be having the thought "I'm out of peanuts.
                                            The store has peanuts. ..." Soon they could be thinking, "I have them
                                            in my basket. I want them in my pantry. ..." Eventually their
                                            mental state might be completely off the subject of how well stocked
                                            their pantry is and they on to other things. That is probably their
                                            hope anyway.

                                            Our hero may or may not have used his car in reaching that "peanut
                                            contented" mental state. That is largely a matter of preferences and
                                            costs. Costs are partly determined by accessiblity, and accessibility
                                            is influenced by city design.

                                            From peanuts back to tobacco: A nicotine dependant person may achieve
                                            the physiological state they crave by using cigarettes that produce
                                            nuisence smoke or by using a nicotine patch that bothers no-one. That
                                            is normally a matter of how they view their smoking and whether they
                                            can afford the patch.

                                            I'm missing the meaning of the sentences about making things easier
                                            and usage declining.

                                            Bill

                                            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Jeremy Hubble <jhubble@c...> wrote:
                                            > I disagree on the automobile vs. drugs assertion.
                                            <SNIP>
                                            >
                                            > Smoking allows people to more easily reach a psychological state. Cars
                                            > allow people to more easily reach a new physical state. Society
                                            > thrives on making things easier. It is only as the negative
                                            > consequences start to outnumber the positive that usage declines.
                                            >
                                            <SNIP>
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